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.

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.

My Flickr Faves March 2017


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

The Trotternish Tree 2 BY Dave Fieldhouse

The Trotternish Tree

Sublime light and fantastic depth. It has been captured many times, but when it looks as good as this who cares. Dave had a great trip up to Skye and he capture some excellent images there. Have a look at them all if you have the time. Well done Dave.

Lost and Found BY Steve Palmer

Lost and FoundSteve has captured something that is very visually appealing to me. The reflections and the foreboding atmosphere are wonderful. It is one of those shots that I think I wish I had taken it

Survivor BY matt oliver

Matt has a knack at capturing these moody scenes of the Peak District. This one is arranged perfectly and has some nice diagonals working together. I really like that bit of low cloud too.

Well done again Dave, Steve and Matt.


Here is this months list of photographers that also deserve a mention. Click on the names to see their images. Darren Rose Chris Dale Danny Howarth Darren Ciolli-Leach

My Flickr Faves January 2017


Well it has now been a year since I started choosing my monthly favourite images by other photographers, and it seems to have been well received. As it is the start of a new year, I have decided to add a few honourable mentions at the end of the post. Sometimes it is really hard picking just three images, so I thought it would be nice to mention the other photographers and their pictures that almost made it. Like before my chosen images will be put together in a gallery on Flickr along with all the previous ones.

Curbar mist by Matt Oliver

Curbar mistAs soon as I saw this picture I knew it was going to feature in this month’s selection. I’m sure you will agree, the misty light in this picture is stunning. From the highlights on the foreground rocks to the rays in the distance, it all adds tremendous interest and depth to the image. Apparently moments before this, the visibility was only about 20 feet due to low cloud. I can just imagine the joy that Matt felt as this scene began to appear in front of him.

Frosty Footpath by Robert Birkby

Frosty Footpath

Robert has captured a super image here with some lovely sharp detail. I love the way the hoar frost frames the path into the woods. Then that path draws you into the wood and the lovely soft mist in the background. Beautiful work Robert.

Spine by Neil Burnell

I could probably pick a top three from just Neil’s pictures alone. Neil definitely has a eye for what makes a great image. It was a close call between this one and his Stilts image from the Essex Coast. But this one just had the edge as I’m a sucker for a moody mono square. I like the way this has the feeling that he has travelled to the end of the earth to capture it. The mixture of the jagged rocks and the curve of the shoreline also work really nicely together. Keep up the good work Neil!

Well done Matt, Robert and Neil.

honourable mentions

As mentioned above here is the list of photographers that also deserve a mention. Click on the names to see their images.

Claire Zaffin Roger Voller Neil Burnell (Again) Matt Lethbridge Matthew Dartford



Choosing my Favourites Images

A insight into me Choosing the images each Month.

I’m hoping to continue choosing my favourite images from other photographers throughout 2017. I am constantly impressed by the enormous amount of wonderful images that I see daily. But with this amount of images it is easy for some of them to get lost. By sitting down and choosing three images it gives me a chance to catch up and take some time to look at the talent out there and look at their images in more detail. It also gives me a change to say well done to the photographer and will hopefully mean something to them too.

I thought I would give you some insight how I make some of the decisions, as sometimes I see some images which I would like to include but can not. It might also tell you why I have not choosen one of your images in the past.

Some Rules

All of the images need to be posted on Flickr as this monthly selection started as a set of Flickr galleries. I will continue to grow these galleries along with the monthly blog post. So I need to be able to add the image to a gallery. There is the option to stop people from adding your images into galleries in the Flickr settings, so if you have this turned on I can not use your image.

Another option in the Flickr settings that prevents me from using images is the “Allow others to share your stuff” option. If this option is set to no, I can not embed your image in my blog post. All of the blog posts need to link back to the photographers Flickr page. I feel it would be very wrong for me to make screen grabs of any image and then post it to my blog. I have seen plenty of images with this option set to no and would have chosen them as probably the number one image. But I respect that they do not want others using their image in their blog posts.

Sometimes I also need to double check whether the image was taken in the month that I am working from. Images that are not obviously from that month or have their exif data disabled will sometime get put to one side if I can not be sure that they were taken that mouth. Again I understand some photographers like to hide their exif data, which I totally respect.

Apart from those rules that’s about it. Interacting with me on Flickr or Twitter is going to give you a big advantage. I like to look through a couple of groups like Doug Chinnery’s natural landscapes and the private UK Twitter Togs group. But apart from them I just take some time looking through your photostreams and picking out the ones I like. Sometime I will make a list of the ones I like as I see them in the month or just sit down and make a selection when the month is over.

Keep up the good work everyone, I look forward to seeing what you capture in 2017.

Flickr Faves December 2016


Each month I pick three of my favourite images and group them together in a gallery on Flickr. The full collection of these galleries can be found here. These are my favourites from December. A little insight on how I pick these images can be found here.

Plantation – by Michael Gibbs

Plantation 051216/01

This is a super image by Michael that lets your imagination run wild. I have stood next to Michael and watched him build up these layers of exposures to create something magical.
This image really draws you into it with the tunnel effect from the surrounding arch and the light from behind the trees in the background. Very inspiring work Michael well done.

Midwinter – by Cathryn Baldock


Another beautiful multiple exposure from Cathryn filled with golden light and refections. It looks like a little world in the sky with a heavenly floating feeling. I really like the line of trees at the bottom, and how there is no real up or down.

A Glimmer of Hope – by Karl Mortimer

A glimmer of hopeThis is a rather melancholic image from Karl, but it has the feeling of reaching out towards  better things. I like the central position of the main branch and how it separates out in all directions. That velvety green moss and the few orange leaves add a nice touch of colour too. Oak trees are always such interesting trees with their contorted branches, Karl has framed this one perfectly.