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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

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.

March 2017

The ups and downs of March

Everything seems to start to spring back to life in March. There is blossom on the trees and the roads are lined with yellow daffodils. March is the month where we turn our backs on Winter and start thinking about Spring and Summer. I was hoping Buckinghamshire might see a little bit more snow, but the ground is just too low here, unlike Scotland and Cumbria who were recently treated to another fall. Certainly in the latter part of the month the temperature has definitely risen.

The good thing about March is that it is now light enough for me to go out taking pictures before I start work. Even with the clocks going forward I still have enough light to work. There was only a handful of mornings that I did not go out, mainly due to heavy rain or strong wind. Not surprisingly we did get a good number of misty mornings, which I was more than happy with. Here is a section of images from March.

My two exhibitions in March went very well. The first one was at the ‘Chilterns MS centre’ in Halton, followed by ‘Art on the Hill’ in Brill. Thank you everyone that came along especially those who bought something! My next local exhibition will now be Bucks Open Studios in June. However, I will have a couple of images on show at the Connected exhibition near Nottingham throughout April and May.

On a downside my camera failed whilst I was out trying to shoot the final sunrise of March. It has been playing up for some time, so I knew it was on the cards. Armed with some research and information from visiting the Photography show earlier in the month. I now need to find a replacement.

February 2017

February The Short Month

I know February is a short month, but this one seems to have flown by. Like January, February is a fairly quiet month for my photography. But the last part of the month does become light enough for me to start going out regularly before I start my day job. I was pleased to find a light dusting of snow in the hills the second weekend of February. Along with the snow was a good amount of mist to soften all the backgrounds nicely. I quickly made the most of the conditions and visited a few of my favourite locations, including the scene that got me a couple of places in last year’s Landscape Photographer of the year competition.

It was also good to catch up with Sean Goswell for a chat and a wander around Warburg nature reserve. Like me Sean enjoys photographing trees and woodland so we have a lot in common. Sean has recently had a break from landscape photography and social media. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on why he had a break and why he has now started again.

My first exhibition of the year was also in February. Held in Longwick school it is a popular exhibition that has been going almost 30 years. I was pleased to make a few sales and speak to a number of people about my images. February also saw the Landscape Photographer of the year exhibition close in Waterloo Station. If you were not able to see the exhibition, it will be going on tour to a few other train stations around the UK.

London Bridge 20 Feb – 11 March
Glasgow 13 March – 25 March
Liverpool Lime Street 27 March – 8 April
Manchester Piccadilly 10 April – 22 April
Leeds 24 April to 13 May
Birmingham 15 May to 27 May
London Charing Cross 29 May to 10 June
London Paddington 12 June to 24 June

I am looking forward to and getting ready for the next two exhibitions in March at the Chilterns MS Centre near Wendover and Art on the Hill in Brill.

January 2017

Well, we are now one month into 2017.

Like most people I have to say January isn’t a favourite month of mine. It’s true that we are more likely to get some great weather for landscape photography, with frost, snow and mist. But due to work commitments and the sunrise being so late, I am not able to make the most of these conditions. I only managed to get out with my camera ten times during January, which for me is pretty poor but here is a selection of my best images from January.

January was quite a busy month for catching up with some admin. I spent some time organising and signing up for some future exhibitions. One of these is Bucks Open Studios, where I will be opening up the family home in June again. Another exhibition is the Connected exhibition at Patchings Art Centre. The demand for entry to this exhibition is quite high, so I was pleased that I managed to get in this year. A list of all my upcoming exhibitions can be found here.

Just a quick reminder that there are still some copies of Woodwork left, if you have not had a chance to get your copy yet.

 

Dates for your Diary

A list of dates for my upcoming exhibitions and sales

Watlington Art Show
6th – 8th October 2017
Watlington Primary School, Love Lane, Watlington, Oxfordshire

Haddenham Rotary Club Art Exhibition
21st October 2017 – 22nd October
St Mary’s School, Aston Road, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire HP17 8AD

Aylesbury Grammar School, Art & Craft Fair
18 November 2017
Walton Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 7RP

Bucks Open Studios
June 2018
Final details to be confirmed.