My Flickr Favourites from October 2017

MY THREE FAVOURITE PICTURES BY OTHER
PHOTOGRAPHERS October 2017.

Here are my chosen three images from other photographers that were taken in October. You can see all of my other previous Flickr favourites posts here. It looks like October was a good month for everyone, there certainly were some nice images to choose from.

 Loch Ailort by Neil Almond

Loch AilortNeil has captured a wonderful image here. The foreground detail is really detailed and the shape of the rock leads your eyes towards the scene beyond perfectly. The tones and mood are also spot on.

SA0057 by Darren Ciolli-Leach SA0057

It looks like Darren had a productive time when he went up to Scotland. This is my favourite of a very impressive collection of images. If you have the time try and have a look through them all. The image has some lovely layers and the tree roots in the foreground look great. It does deserve a better title though Darren! 😉

Dinorwic Quarry 23 Oct 2017 by Matthew Dartford

Dinorwic Quarry 23 Oct 2017

Super tones and mood again from Matt. This is my favourite spot in Dinorwic and Matt has made it look pretty epic here.

Well done Neil, Darren and Matthew.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Here is this months list of photographers that also deserve a mention. Click on the names to see their images. Leigh Dorey Neil Burnell, Mark Littlejohn, Dani Colston, Amar Sood, & Sarah Brooks

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October 2017

The start of the season

October is very much the start to my favourite period for photography. But at the same time it also is the start of darker mornings and limited camera time during the week. It is kind of ironic that I spend all summer longing for it to come, and once it was here I cannot make the most of it. I would love to continue wandering around the woodland up in the hills, but it is just too dark to do so. Fortunately as the clocks have now gone back, I should hopefully be able to get back into the hills for a week or two.

To maximise my photography time during October, I started shooting close to where I work. I started off by scouting a nearby country estate which has a good network of footpaths. I tend not to take many pictures when I am exploring, but when the conditions were right later in the month I knew just where I needed to be. As the sunrise got even later I started focusing on closeups of the flowers, leaves and seed heads on a small piece of waste ground 5 minutes away from where I work. I hope to continue this project in November.

Weekends of course I was free to get out into the hills and other places like Burnham Beeches. The autumn colour is now starting to show and should reach its peak in the next week or two. I was fortunate to have a couple of days off work in half term, and it just so happened that both these days had very misty mornings. I made the most of these conditions, by going to a couple of locations that I have been planning on visiting on just such occasion.

Of course the news that I have had a image commend in this years Landscape Photographer of the year competition, was very well received. Well done to everyone who managed to get something in the book. I’m looking forward to the awards evening and catching up with some of you there.

I also had two local exhibitions during October which went very well. I have already started signing up for exhibition in 2018, so keep an eye on my dates for your diary page for a up to date list of up coming events.

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017

I am pleased to announce that my image called ‘Lady’s Walk in Autumn’, has been commended in this year’s Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. The image will appear in the competition’s accompanying book, which is available from shops and online retailers from today. A full list of all the this year’s winners is available on the Take A View website.

I also want to say well done to all of the winners and everyone else that managed to get an image or images commended.

Ashridge Chiltern Woodland Autumn Landscape Photography

Lady’s Walk in Autumn – Ashridge Hertfordshire.
Commended in Classic View 2017.

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September 2017

September Mornings

September has been a fairly unproductive month for me as I seem be be going out and not taking many pictures. I have been spending a lot of time exploring new locations, which can be time consuming and often fruitless. The dark overcast mornings later in the month also did not help me, as by the time it got light enough to shoot I had to leave to go to work. That said I did have a handful of mornings when the conditions were very nice. Signs of the approaching autumn has been present all month, so lets hope it is going to be a good one.

If you are passing by, I have a picture hanging up in the Ashridge visitor centre this weekend. The image has been shortlisted in their Tree-mendous Weekend competition. The winner of the competition will be announced on Sunday. The voting is all done by the public, so any votes for my image will be much appreciated.

Finally just a quick mention about this exhibition in Watlington, that I am taking part in next weekend. The exhibition is open Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 3pm.

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August 2017

Projects, Dorset, and a few Misty Mornings.

August like the rest of the year seems to have flown by. The month started out with me completing my ‘Entangled’ project and working on another similar project called ‘Yellow’. ‘Yellow’ focused on a field of sunflowers, but concentrated on individual flowers in various stages of the flowers blooming. I really enjoyed working on these projects and it made me wonder if this should be something I should do more of. These projects also got me using my Hasselblad a bit more, which has to be a good thing.

I did managed to spend a bit more time exploring some new locations. For me the summer months are perfect for exploring, as the light mornings allows me about 2 hours before I start work. Being warmer also makes it a more pleasant experience. All this exploring does not really produce lots of pictures that I want to share, but hopefully the time was well spent and should provide some nice new images later in the year. As much as I like returning to my favourite places, a new location really does motivate me to get out there and try and capture something new.

I spent a nice week in the Isle of Purbeck with my family again. We visited last year and really enjoy our time down there so we decided to go again. There was a handful of shots that I wanted to capture, as I did not manage to capture the images I wanted last year. Fortunately I managed to capture them this year. Once I had captured them I took a fairly laid back approach and just enjoyed being out photographing somewhere different. Whist I was down there I met up with Leigh Dorey to capture Corfe Castle in the mist, and also Kevan Brewer for a wander around a misty part of the New Forest.

Here are some of my favourite images that were taken in August.

Entangled

Entangled

Entangled has become a working title for a project that I have recently been working on. I shared a couple of images on social media and received some encouraging feedback, and a few people asked to see some more of them. I personally feel that these images work better as a group, rather than single images. This is why I have held off posting any more of them.

How the project started

A few weeks ago I met up with Darren Rose and he introduced me to Rammamere Heath. We had a walk around the heath and the surrounding woodland for a couple of hours, and I immediately felt that this was a place that I could keep returning back to. The heath has a good covering of heather (which is not that common in these parts), and the surrounding woodland also looked very nice.

Since that first visit with Darren, I have returned a few times mainly just to scout the area and get to know it better. On one of these mornings I was walking around the heather on the heath trying to find a composition that worked well. I glanced down at a large cobweb that was covered in droplets of water from the rain during the night. I took a couple of shots of it and moved on to continue with my search.

Truth be told I didn’t find the shot I was looking for, and reviewing the images later on only underlined the fact. But the shots of the cobweb seemed to look rather interesting. After some processing I was really pleased with the results and thought I might be on to something. I returned to the heath a few days later to get some more images. Focusing on the leaves and seeds that have been caught in them. Since then I have been making regular trips to the heath, and concentrating on a small area of the heath. In fact a majority of the images were taken using only four large cobwebs.

Hasselblad, Entangled, Rammamere Heath, Bedfordshire, Cobwebs, web, spiders

What’s Next?

I plan to continue to keep visiting Rammamere Heath and the cobwebs, so the project will continue to grow. I visited this morning and everything was covered in dew. I saw that the heath was covered in plenty of other large cobwebs, which is good news as two of the four main cobwebs were damaged during the week, and they have not been repaired. I hope to concentrate a bit more on some images captured on film, which I think should work well. As for a book or something else, we will have to see.

The project currently contains around 60 images, but here is a smaller section of some of my favourites.

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July 2017

Fields of Gold and Woods of mist

July has been pretty productive for me. While most people have been wondering what has happened to the sun, I have been celebrating the moody skies and the return of the mist in the hills. With the sun rising so early it gives me plenty of time to go out before work. I normally spend a lot of time hunting for new locations this time of year. But as the conditions have been so good, I only had a handful of mornings exploring new places.

Barley and wheat have continued to be a theme throughout July. It has turned from green to gold and in a few of the fields it has already been harvested. The windmill at Great Haseley has been a location that I have been visiting a lot recently. The windmill is 10 minutes away and it has had a nice field of barley growing in front of it this year. Being so close I was able to pop out in the evenings for an hour when the clouds were looking nice.

I have also started working on a small project with cobwebs. All of the images are monotone and a little abstract. It is only in the early stages but I like how it is going. Hopefully in the months to come it will continue to grow.

Last but not least I was pleased to see some misty morning back in the hills, and this last week has been especially good. Woodland in the summer can be really tricky as the greens can be really over powering. Also getting around can be a bit of a change as things like bracken and brambles have a tendency to grow everywhere. That said I did manage to get a few images that worked well.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. Here are some of my favourite images from July.

 

June 2017

Poppies, orchids and a pop up gallery

June got off to a good start with a short camping trip to the Gower in Wales. As is the norm with Wales we had some mixed weather that limited my photography a bit. But it is always nice to be away and somewhere a bit different. I managed to capture a series of nice shots from Three Cliffs Bay, which was one of my main goals of the trip. The Gower certainly is a beautiful spot and when the sun is out, the beaches are hard to beat.

Of course my Bucks Open Studios exhibition was a big part of June. Converting my house into a gallery and opening it up for three weekends in a row was a little disruptive. But overall the experience was good and I enjoyed meeting and speaking to all of the visitors. It was widely reported that the number of visitors attending the open studios was down compared to last year, but fortunately my sales did not seems to be affected too much by this. I just want to say thank you to everyone who came to visit me.

As I mentioned last month I find the summer months challenging, So I do tend to focus a little more on the smaller things like butterflies and orchids. The orchids seem to be having a good year this year, like most of the wild flowers. The butterflies seemed to have a bit of a hard time with the strong wind at the start of June. But the heatwave we had in the third week helped bring the numbers back up. Finding nice ones early in the morning whilst they are still asleep has been a bit of a challenge. So hopefully next month will be more rewarding.

The later part of the month was spent searching for poppy fields. It looks like farmers are no longer planting the lovely pink opium poppies in the fields in Oxfordshire, so I was only searching for red ones. After some fruitless searching locally I decided to head over to the Cotswolds one evening, and I managed to find seven fields full of poppies. The fields were all located fairly close together, so I really was spoilt for choice.

Here are my favourite pictures that were taken in June.

May 2017

From Wild Garlic to Orchids

May is such a wonderful month here in Buckinghamshire, as I am sure it is in other places around the UK. I think the transformation of landscape during May is quite amazing, resulting in a glorious green land. The vibrant colour of the new beech leaves is a particular favourite of mine. It’s a shame the colour only last for a couple of weeks.

Most of the first part of the month I spent in one location concentrating on wild garlic. Back in March I spotted a few patches of wild garlic growing, and made a note to return in May when I knew it would be in flower. Visiting the location every morning over two weeks, I enjoyed getting to know the area, even though most mornings the light was pretty flat. Even on the brighter days the light did not penetrate through the thick canopy where I wanted it to. All of these visits and exploring were important to me, so I knew where I needed to be when the conditions where good. Eventually the conditions were right and managed to capture what I wanted one Friday morning about 5.30am in the rain. The image was well received on social media and it looks great as a print.

As much as I like this time of year I also start to find it harder to photograph woodland and the landscape. The woodland I love in the winter becomes too green and overgrown for my liking. Because of this I start to turn my lens to the smaller things like orchids and butterflies, that start to begin to appear in May. I am lucky to have some locations near by that are home to some pretty rare orchids, so I started visiting these location in the later part of the month. Some of these orchids only grow in three locations in the UK and one of them is a hybrid that is unique to the location. Although this is not typically landscape photography they are a important part of my landscape. Besides I do find photographing something a little different rewarding.

Bucks Open Studios

During May I have also been really busy getting prepared for Bucks Open Studios, which is of course taking place next mouth. I will be opening up my home to visitors who what to come and see my work. I will be open for three weekends in June, so it will be great to see anyone who wants to come and visit me.

Here are some of my favourite images from May.

April 2017

All change for April

As the title suggests this April has been a bit different to previous ones. Firstly it was buying and getting to know a different camera system. As I have mentioned in a previous post I set off on the 1st April to go and buy a camera to replace my old one that stopped working the day before. I am really pleased with the new Olympus OM-D EM1 Mark II and a month on, I have got used to all of its settings and multitudes of buttons.

April is normally a month I really look forward to. The main reason for this is because we normally visit family in Scotland with a couple of nights stay in the Lake District on the way up and on the way down. Obviously this annual trip is great for my photography, with many photo opportunities to be had. Unfortunately this year the relatives we visit were unwell, so we all decided it was probably best if we did not go.

So with the time still booked off work, we decided we should try and get away, even if it was just for a couple of nights. As always our family holidays are normally planned around decent locations for my photography. After seeing images from Greg Whitton and the photographers that have been on the workshops. Snowdonia has been on my list of places that I would like to visit.

Obviously Snowdonia is quite a big place so I decided to spend most of my time in one location. I personally would rather spend a bit of time exploring one area, rather than driving around ticking off multiple locations and feeling rushed that I have to try and do everything. With the exception of a quick trip to the banks of Llyn Padarn, to shoot the famous tree there, I chose to visit and explore the abandoned slate mine at Dinorwig. I chose this location mainly because it is so different to what I normally shoot. I found the place fascinating to walk around, and it felt a little like I was transported back in time. The conditions these men lived and worked in certainly makes you think. There definitely was no health and safety back then!

Prior to my trip away, I also had a weekend away near Nottingham to visit the Connected exhibition at Patching Art centre in Calverton. This was the open weekend where most of the exhibitors visited and there was three guest speakers each day. Along with two of my own there are loads of fabulous images on show, from some very talented photographers. It was also great to catch up with some photographer friends and also put some faces to names I know online.

My highlights of the weekend were the talks by Rachael Talibart and Paul Kenny. I particularly found Paul’s talk on how he produces his work from objects he finds on beaches very interesting. I also managed to purchase one of his gorgeous prints that he had on offer there. On the Sunday morning me and Dylan Nardini decided to meet up in Clumber Park. We had a good wander around and we were treated to a nice bit of mist and some lovely light rays there. The exhibition is still up for another week, so I recommend going to see it if you haven’t already.

Another change for me is I normally spent all of my time in the latter part of the month visiting bluebells woods. In previous years I would have visited daily to start to plan compositions and find the best spots. This year I have decided to focus on all of the stuff I normally miss. One of these things is the rapeseed, that normally flowers at the same time as the bluebells. Fortunately there was a nice field halfway on my daily commute which I made the most of and along with some other fields that I spotted. I managed to get a few images that I am pleased with. Of course I have still been to see some bluebells as it would be to hard to totally ignore them, but I still think my time has been spent more wisely.

Here are a selection of my favourite images from April.