Come December, I always dread the thought of January. A month marked by no money, sobriety and a lack of Christmas lights!

However, after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Years festivities, I realise every year that I actually enjoy the peace and calm of this month. Everything slows down and so do I …

My favourite thing to do in January is to go hiking. Living in Bray, I am spoilt for choice with the Wicklow Mountains only a stone’s throw away. I try to get the whole family to come, music to the ears of our dog Joey. However, not for my 14 year old, who thinks it is booooring…

To make matters worse, I might bring the camera for some nice family photography. Needless to say that it is impossible to get a proper family portrait of all of us. Thanks to Joey I still manage to get some nice images …

walk-13

If you decide to venture out for a nice hike as well, I would like to share some photography tips with you.

On an overcast day look out for clearing or open spaces to take your photographs. The forest is way too dark for photos and flash photography can be very harsh. The light on an overcast day can be ideal as it is very even, it does not give a lot of contrast and guarantees some very flattering portraits.

Always make sure that your portrait subjects are not facing the full sun as it will make them squint. However, the sun should not be behind them either (unless the sun is going down and is not as bright any more), as this will ruin your photograph. A way around this is fill-in flash, but that is for another day… Instead try to find an open space that is a little bit sheltered.

walk-5

 

If you are lucky enough to be out on a sunny day, take advantage of the golden hour, which lasts for about an hour after sun rise and hour before sunset. The sun has a nice red light which gives everything a golden glow. Fantastic for photos.

And last but not least, try to compose your photo in a way to capture the beautiful trees, moss or leaves around your subjects. That will make your portrait truly special …

I might meet you on my next hike?

walk-7