December 2017

December 2017

Well, it is the end of another month and another year. December has been a little bit quiet for my photography, as it has been too dark for me to get out in the mornings before I start work. That said, the weekends have been kind to me and I have been lucky with the weather then.

Snow and mist seemed to be a recurring theme this month, which of course I was really  pleased about. On the 3rd December we had one of those misty starts to the day that last most of the morning. I headed to a a piece of very tidy woodland that I have had my eye on for a few months. I have visited five or six times but I never managed to get a image from there. I knew it would work best in winter and it needed mist to make it work. The conditions were perfect for what I wanted and I managed to get a few shots that I was happy with.

The snow was a little bit of a surprise. Snow was forecast, but nowhere near as much as we got. On top of the hills we had about 7 inches, which is the deepest that I have seen it for a good number of years. I was out most of the day trying to make it around to all the locations that I wanted to visit and was happy with the results, some of which you can see below…

Thanks to all of you for your continuing support of my work. Wishing you a very happy 2018!

November 2017

A busy quiet Period

November has been a pretty good month and surprisingly busy. That said the amount of photos that I have taken is relatively low. With the dark mornings things tend to quieten down a little, as it is not worthwhile going out before work during the week. That said I did have a few days off for my birthday at the start of the month and one morning I arranged a later start at work, when I saw it was going to be really foggy.

With the darker mornings I try and spend my time organising some printing and selecting new images that I might exhibit next year. I also put together my calendar which is now for sale if anybody would like one. I have also had a few sales through my website that I need to fulfil.

I took part in my last exhibition of the year. It was held in Aylesbury Grammar School on the 18th. I displayed 17 framed prints along with a print rack full of mounted prints. I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone that came to see my work during 2017, especially those who bought something.

Perhaps the highlight of the month was the awards evening for the ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ competition. I had a really good night there and caught up with lots of other like minded photographers. My commended picture is not part of this year’s exhibition, but it does feature in the digital exhibition which is showing on the screens in Waterloo Station.

Outdoor Photographer of the Year

In other competition news I am pleased to say that I have had three images shortlisted in this year’s ‘Outdoor Photographer of the Year’ Competition. It is the first time that I have entered this competition, so it is great news to get shortlisted. Looking though the other entries it is a little daunting, as there is some amazing images in there. Even if I go no further it is still a achievement to be shortlisted.

I also attended a printing workshop with Doug Chinnery and Fotospeed. Held in the picturesque village of Lacock, Doug ran through all you needed to know to produce colour accurate prints that are consistent. It was great to meet Doug and learn from his knowledge. I really do recommend one of these workshops if you are serious about printing.


Here is a selection of images that was taken during November.

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.



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.

My Flickr faves from May 2017


Here are my chosen three images from other photographers that were taken in May. Like before my chosen images will be put together in a gallery on Flickr along with all the previous ones. Or you can read all of my other previous Flickr fave posts here.

Pond Art – 2 by William Dore

Pond Art - 2A cracking image from William. I really like the way the leaves are arranged and how they seems to glow against that nice black background. Excellent work William.

Orange Tip (female) by Neil Burnell

Orange Tip (female)I have been looking for a orange tip myself with this kind of image in mind.
Neil has captured this one perfectly with some lovely bokeh.

Stoke Common by Paul Mitchell

Stoke Common

I just love the golden light that Paul has captured on the side of these trees.
The mist adds a lovely soft backdrop to the image too.

Well done William, Neil and Paul.


Here is this months list of photographers that also deserve a mention. Click on the names to see their images. Cathryn Baldock Stu Meech Jake Turner Gary Miller

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.

My Flickr Faves April 2017


Here are my chosen three images from other photographers that were taken in April. Like before my chosen images will be put together in a gallery on Flickr along with all the previous ones.

April was a pretty good month for me, and it looks like plenty of others have also had a good month. This made choosing my favourites tricky as there were so many great shots to choose from.

Affric Rainbow by Verity Milligan

Affric Rainbow

Verity has captured a real wow moment here, and she has managed to compose it beautifully too. All of the element are working together perfectly and not fighting for attention. Super work Verity.

The Guardians by Jeremy Barrettthe GuardiansA very nice square from Jeremy. I really like the wonderful shaped trees and the way his infrared camera has produces some really nice contrasting tones.

Rise by Dani Colston


A great minimalist shot from Dani here, with lovely mysterious atmosphere and simplicity. I do not think I have ever seen another shot of this tree, which is surprising as it is such a good looking one.

Well done again Verity, Jeremy and Dani.


Here is this months list of photographers that also deserve a mention. Click on the names to see their images. Stuart McGlennon Martin Birks Mathew Dartford Finn Hopson


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.

Olympus High Res Mode

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Well the day after my camera stopped working I had to go out and see if I could get a replacement. After having a good look around the Photography show at the Nec, I had a couple of ideas what would replace my old camera with. The final decision was to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. I know a few people might think this is a odd choice for me, because of the kind a images I take. Most landscape photographers would normally go for a camera with a large megapixel count full frame sensor.

I was seriously tempted with the Sony Alpha system. But in reality the financial outlay on the system was just too big for me. To get all of the lenses I need it would cost me more than I could afford. I know I could buy them one at a time, but I was not prepared to make that compromise. The Olympus was not exactly cheap, once I had added a grip and a spare battery it was over £2,000. But one huge advantage was I already own the lenses I need as my last camera shared the same lens mount.

When I get the time and I have got used to the camera, I will try and write a bit more about the camera. For now I just want to share two image samples. One of the big selling points that the Olympus has is to quickly shift its sensor taking eight shots. The camera then combines them into one high resolution capture. The combined images produce a file that is effectively 80 megapixels. Below are some links to a standard 20 megapixel image and a 80 megapixel high res mode image.

Image Samples

Standard 20 megapixel unedited RAW file (20.3 MB)

Standard 20 megapixel RAW file edited as saved as a jpeg (22.6 MB)

High Res Mode 80 megapixel unedited RAW file (68.9 MB)

High res Capture 80 megapixel RAW file edited as saved as a jpeg (67.9 MB)

I should state the high res mode does need to be taken on a tripod or when the camera is totally stable. Also if the subject is moving this can apparently produce some strange results. I personally think the results from the 20 megapixel are fine for my needs, but having the option to produce a really large file is nice to have.