Stories behind the images...
A moment beyond.
I’m standing in the river lining up this photo and I hear them behind me, rushing down the wooded embankment on the other side, two roe deer are heading to the stream. The first enters the stream and looks around while the other stops on the bank and waits for the all clear. The one in the river, no more than 20 metres away see’s me, freezes, and stares, I stare back, our eyes are locked. It’s a beautiful moment which is disturbed as I release my stare with a movement to get my camera. It’s a fools impulse as they is no way I can retrieve my camera from the tripod in the hope of grabbing a photo. In a flash they are back into the woods and away, the moment is over as they sound is replaced by the babbling stream. I turn again to take this photography, the conditions have improved, my morning is now complete, regardless of any photograph. I don’t know what you see in this autumn picture but for me I’ll always see a memory beyond the camera’s sensor.
In the afternoon I had wandered back to this beautiful estuary and the tide was well advanced covering my tracks of the morning. The S of the estuary was still well pronounced so I decided a more intimate composition to capture the shape. I sat here for a while watching the tide taking the odd photo to record the change, finishing off with a series of the long exposures as the S complete vanished. During these latter photos I had the good fortune to share my cheese roll with a friendly robin, it does get better than this.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF24-105mm f4 IS USM, 1/40 sec at f8, iso 100 105mm, tripod 0.6 ND medium grad
I do like this photo, it captures the day for me. After a disappointing sunrise I walked a mile along the beach into the estuary until I could go no further. At the water’s edge it was like quicksand and my wellies soon started to disappear. The tidal landscape around me was amazing, I quickly back tracked to safer ground and set up the tripod. The sand has been shaped by the outgoing tide to remain until the sea returns. It was an hour from low ebb and I intended to hang around the bay until the sea cleaned this canvas like the return sweep of a child’s sketching toy.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF24-105mm f4 IS USM, 1/13 sec at f11, iso 100 35mm, tripod 0.6 ND medium grad
When in Rome.
Do as the romans do. A phrase attributed St Ambrose, meaning it's advisable to follow the conventions of the area in which you are visiting. So here I am on my last day in Glenfinnan getting the classic tourist photograph having resisted all week, but you have to admit it’s an iconic scene to capture.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF24-105mm f11 IS USM, 1/160 sec at f7.1, iso 640 70mm, tripod
Back in the eighties I lived for a few years in a village called Long Ashton on the west side of Bristol. During our tenure in Bristol the one thing Carla and I missed apart from our families was the sea. Work had moved us down to Bristol with our first two very young sons and not being able to see the sea was a big thing. So after a couple of months we all got in the car and went to Clevedon which was only 20 minutes away to get some much needed sea therapy. What a disappointment! It was a cold day early in the New Year, the sea was a muddy brown and day was dull. We could see nothing to lift our hearts, this was nothing like our beloved North Sea coast. So we were soon in the car and off back to Long Ashton. We lived there for 3 years and I never took them back. As a very young family home sickness had blinded us of the obvious virtues of Clevedon that day. Now getting close to 36 years later I’m here again, and the beauty of your little town is easy to see, and your pier is a national treasure. So he is my tribute to Clevedon, sorry for not giving you a second chance.
Fujifilm xt2, XF18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS, 1/100 sec at f10, iso 200 39mm, -33/100 EV Lee .9 medium ND grad, tripod
June 20th 03:40
Here I am, standing on the shoreline just after 3:30 in the morning, the horizon is already ablaze with colour, I’m excited. My tripod is already out and waiting for the camera as I rapidly change my lens under the illumination of my head torch, I’ll use my super EF16-35 f4L, I’m excited. I look for an early composition, these rock platforms look fantastic, leading lines galore carved out by millennia of sea erosion, I’m excited. It’s still low light, to keep that colour on the horizon I need a ND grad, I decide to use a medium 2 stop to lift the foreground darkness, I’m excited. I frame the image, check the settings, aperture f11, calculate the shutter speed, back to ISO 100 and bulb, this is fun, I’m excited. The first photo taken with a 76 second exposure, I check the results but no pressure it’s still 40 minutes from sunrise, did I say I’m excited. The first photo of the morning, the day before the summer solstice, the time is 3:40.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF16-35mm f11 IS USM, 76 sec at f11, iso 100 45mm, Lee .6 medium ND grad, tripod
That morning. Sun's up.
June 7th 4:30 am
Beautiful. How else can I describe the dawn sunrise this morning. When you have to get up at silly O’ clock which was 3:25 am in the morning I always debate the night before will it be really worth it? I look at my weather apps, I check the tide, I check the sea conditions trying to find something to tell me to stay in bed. The fact I’m checking all this stuff I’m already committed, I will always go for it, and usually the sunrise is not too special. Don’t get me wrong once I’m out at that time regardless of the conditions it the best feeling in the world, I’m always at peace with the world. But this morning was something else, the sunrise could not have been better, it was beautiful. Now all I have to do is get a photo that gives me something back of that morning.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF24-105mm f4 IS USM, 0.4 sec at f10, iso 100 45mm, Lee .6 medium ND grad, tripod
Turning the tide
21st May 2019 5:05 am
The Durham coastline 30 years ago was home to the biggest coal mine in Europe and some of the worst coastline pollution in the world. This 12km stretch of beach was buried under 2.5 million tons of colliery waste a year and thanks to 100 years of dumping the devastation extended 7km out to sea. Over the last 20 years a clean-up operation funded with £10.5 million the Turning the Tide project has restored much of this coastline for access to the public and the return of nature. This beach, known locally as Chemical beach, is not easy accessed has been left to Mother Nature to do the clean-up. I think she has done a pretty good job without the help or continued abuse by man.
Canon EOS 6d mark II, EF16-35mm f4 IS USM, 1/4 sec at f11, iso 100 45mm, Lee .6 medium ND grad, tripod
Best till last
18th March 2019
I’d been thinking of trip to lakes for the past few weeks with the aim of putting winter to bed in my photography calendar. So this trip was to focus on the photography and the walk was secondary, but I did intend to summit a big one, staying in faith with my many years of coming here. The day was pretty moody, in a lull from the recent storms with overcast low clouds and light rain all day, which changed to snow on the tops. As photography goes it was a little disappointing, don’t get me wrong I’m in the Lake District and there is a photo round every corner, but nothing that stands out until nearing the end of my day I clocked this old and ravaged rowan out on the hillside. So out came the long lens and tripod to see what I could make of it. After tweaking several shots I settled on two compositions, here is the second.
Fujifilm X-T2, XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8, 1/15 sec at f18, ISO 200, 200mm. Tripod.