Monday, 31 December 2012

The Best Of 2012

This seems a natural time to have a quick look back over the year. I'm not about to bore you all with what I've learnt and what I now want to achieve and all that... I'm just going to, quite simply, look back at what I think are my best photos of the year. I would love to know if you can think of any glaring omissions (I may just add some in) or if you disagree with any of my choices.

So, in no particular order, here goes...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Frozen In The Peak

I should warn you, before I start, that this was my favourite Peak day out so far - I had every variation of perfect light that I could ever wish for... so I hope it will go down well. Also, bear in mind that any pictures seen here can be purchased as a download, print, framed print, poster, postcard, card or anything else imaginable - just get in touch.

A few weeks ago I took an afternoon off to make the most of the freezing weather in the Peak. My trip started at Grindleford station and took in Padley Gorge, Surprise View, Carl Wark and Higger Tor - before ending in the darkness at Hathersage.

On arrival I was instantly greeted with white trees - one of the most perfect hoar frosts I've seen - so I couldn't wait to get into the woods up Padley Gorge. Not only were they all white, but there was also a light mist which softened the sunlight beaming through the trees. Woodland just doesn't get any better than this. The first of these photos is one of my all time favourites (basically unedited).

Friday, 21 December 2012

Learning A Whole New Type Of Photography

Bonus post - lucky you!

In January (a couple of weeks from now, for you readers from the future) I have a couple of shoots lined up with the somewhat famous Bex Lendon, and Harley-Dee - both of which will be something entirely new for me. I'm writing this blog post ahead of time in order to record some of my thoughts on what are two mini-projects for me, and to hopefully get a few thoughts, comments and bits of advice ahead of time. (I should also note, to begin with, that none of the photos in this post are mine...)

The dates ain't nailed down just yet, so I'll go alphabetically - starting with Bex.

Bex is very well known locally, so this is quite a step up for me. I think I've known of her almost since I first moved to Sheffield - god knows when we first became 'friends' on Model Mayhem - so it was nice little success when I finally built up a portfolio good enough to earn a free test shoot with her. The initial plan was general fashion type stuff, the kinda thing I'm used to, around the University and Weston Park... all well and good - but I was wracking my brain trying to think of something to make it original and special - something to make me stand out from the crowd. Then suddenly, Bex saves the day - a question to the whole Facebook world about GIFS. I can do GIFS... I actually did my Masters project on modeling galaxy interactions with a series of GIFS to show my computational results... so that's it - we are going to try to make some cool .gif videos to go on Tumblr and whatnot.

Now, for these we have 2 options:
1) Individual frames manually layered.
2) Video with frames cut out.

Starting with the first, this is obviously useful for the more jerky, playful GIFs... and I think we are going to aim for the following kind of things...

The getting dressed theme:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Seeking Out The Snow

A couple of weeks ago the entire country seemed to get snow, even the South East, and yet somehow South Yorkshire missed out. Unable to accept that I would be one of the few people to not get any, I went in search of it in the Peak District, with another pre-sunrise trip up Mam Tor. I'm getting very used to the scramble up hills at break neck speed in the dark these days, but the slushy wet snow towards the bottom of the valley was an entirely new challenge this time and certainly slowed me down a wee bit, but the sight of the imposing white tops all around (Kinder, Rushup Edge and Mam Tor) means you know it's going to be worth it. There's something about snow capped peaks which makes them appear twice as big as they really are - and it's a really special feeling knowing that you are one of very few who will be witnessing them in that predawn partial light. 

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Short Calver Hill Post (Swaledale)

In an attempt to catch up with myself photographywise - here is an additional non-weekend blog post. A few weeks ago when up in Richmond I took a trip up Swaledale before sunrise to catch the first light on the moors behind Reeth. This was my first sunrise with a companion - as my ma came up to enjoy it with me (and drove me there, for that matter!), and after grey skies for the entire drive up the dale, the moment the sun rose gaps started to appear - allowing the warm light through to touch the hilltops. The night before Swaledale had had its first sprinkling of snow which, whilst evident in some of the photos, was much more pronounced a little further up the dale.

So here are the photos...

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Frosty Win Hill Inversion

Hello again,

I'm getting a wee bit behind now... hopefully I'll put another post up midweek to try and catch up, but I'm gonna jump back a couple of weeks and show you/tell you all about my frosty, cold, dark Win Hill walk.

After doing Mam Tor and Grindslow Knoll for sunrise and failing to get an inversion, the logical next place (without repeating myself) seemed to be Win Hill. So after much weather checking and waiting, I finally found a forecast for a cold, calm morning and set off out. This was by far the coldest night of the year so far, and upon arriving at Hope all was looking good. There was a very thick mist which made my head torch pretty much useless - just lighting up the water particles in front of my face, obscuring my view, rather than the path and puddles ahead - and frost/ice everywhere. I've been out in colder days, but the fog seemed to have frozen everything solid which made it very picturesque - from what I could make out in the darkness.

When getting the train (which I have to), I have only a limited amount of time to get up to the top of these hills before sunrise so usually have to take the shortest, steepest route - which can become very interesting when this icy and in the dark. But about half way up, thoroughly out of breathe, the fog suddenly cleared and I could look out across the top of the clouds... this was the moment I'd been waiting months for!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bamford and Stanage Edges

I'm getting a wee bit behind on these at the moment... after all those weeks without a post I now have a series of them built up - so here is our walk from last week around (as you probably guessed from the title) Bamford and Stanage edges.

peak district fun, parachuting, walking, stanage edge

Monday, 19 November 2012

Charlotte: Outtakes

Well hello everyone... I'll start this week with an apology for being so quiet of late, I can't even remember how many week's I've left it without blogging - but here is a good one. The main reason was being generally very busy, a lack of Peak trips and a shoot failure, reorganisation and failure again (when I was planning a post on it both weeks...).

CLICK HERE to see the full set of images.

So, after the original model for these photos cancelled twice, with 2 days notice I got in touch with one of my strangers - No.35, who can be seen HERE (or HERE, for non Facebook users) - who kindly agreed to step in with no hesitation. The general idea was to do something autumn themed; very casual with a nice warm feel and luckily for me the day came, and not only did Charlotte turn up with a vast array of clothing but also the sun showed itself for the first time all week. You all (should, by now) know how much I love some backlighting...

You should also all note, this was Charlotte's first ever go at modelling, not that you would ever guess - as confident and full of expressions as they come and very friendly/chatty to boot! So here are some outtakes, the main photos will be uploaded somewhere/500px/Facebook/here in the coming weeks... and will probably include some of these too, as they capture the casual feel we were going for.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sunrise At Mam Tor

(Remember, any photos here can be bought as prints/downloads/cards/calendars at the various links on the links page, or by contacting me...)

Hello all!

Well, I've had a very busy weekend - as some of you have probably seen - and again I'll not bore you with too many words but I'll shove some lovely pictures up for you! It is just about possible at this time of year to make it into the Peak District in time for sunrise. I took the 6.20 train to Edale, arriving at 6.55 - leaving me about 50 minutes to get up to the top of Mam Tor before sunrise. I actually made it up in 35 minutes, with all my camera gear weight, starting in the dark and making my way through 6inch deep mud, which I am somewhat proud of - so had plenty of time to find a spot. Now, I wasn't expecting it to be dead quiet up there, but upon arriving at the top I found photographer after photographer after photographer. They are a friendly bunch, all polite with each other making sure not to get in each other's shots - but there is certainly a certain amount of vying for the popular spots - but again nobody hogs them for too long.

Before arriving in Edale, I was actually undecided whether to head on up Grindslow Knoll or Mam Tor - and am I glad I chose Mam Tor! Once the sky started to brighten it became very obvious that Kinder and Grindslow Knoll were covered in dense cloud - which clung to it all morning even whilst the rest of the sky was perfectly clear.

After the sun had risen and the others had started drifting off I set off along the ridge to catch the train back from Hope - and it was lovely being up there so early on, before the millions of other walking folk came out - enjoying watching the mist slowly rise out of the surrounding valleys.

peak district sunrise landscape

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Popular Higger Tor Walk

After a few weekends without escaping into the Peak, we finally got out again for a short(ish) walk around these eastern edges. Starting in Grindleford we headed off up Padley Gorge - whilst still a little early for it to be as spectacularly autumnal as it can be, there were still a few bits of orange visible.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Shades of Autumn (Early Autumn in Sheffield)

This week's post is another with few words but plenty of photos...

Today we went for a lovely sunny walk through some of the nicer parts of Sheffield - down Ecclesall Road and around Endcliffe Park. Whilst it is still a little early for the full autumnal orange and brown colours, there are already some very nice bits of colour if you look for them, especially with warm, low light like today - so here we are:

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Golden Light Over Stanage Edge

Over the last week I've given you a million little previews of this blog post, but finally, I have got around to working on the photos and uploading them to bring it all together here...

As has often been the case recently, I'll keep it short on words and let the photos do as much talking as possible. We arrived at Stanage Edge around 6 o'clock (I seem to remember) and even on the short walk up to the top, it was instantly clear that the light was going to be very kind to me...

Sunset at stanage edge in the Peak District, with beautiful golden light
The approach to Stanage Edge, bathed in beautiful golden light

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Lose Hill, Hollins Cross, Kinder Scout and Grindslow Knoll

I have loads more photos for you this week - so again, not too many words but plenty to look at.

What with being limited to public transport, and therefore staying within the rough area of the Hope Valley where the train can drop us off, a lot of these photos are of places you've seen on this blog before - but as always it is nice to try and make something new of the same locations. I hope I have managed to do so, but if not then there are always some new ones toward the end from where we ventured into new territory for us!

I started the day with the 9.20 train to Hope so I could get in an extra couple of hills before Keri joined me later... so I had to rush the first 5 miles into an hour to be on time and what with it being so warm last weekend, the ascent of Lose Hill at almost slow jogging pace nearly killed me. After reaching the top, I had a walk along the ridge over Back Tor and then down at Hollins Cross into Edale to meet Keri - who by that point had already spent an hour enjoying tea and sandwiches at the always-lovely Pennypot Cafe. (They were also kind enough to fill my massive bottle of water up after I drank it all on this first little section!)

View along the ridge from Lose Hill to Mam Tor over the Hope Valley in the Peak district
View along the ridge to Mam Tor from Lose Hill

Saturday, 8 September 2012

2 Rules, 51 Faces, 16 Months and 2 Cities.

As some of you may have (but probably have not) noticed, this last week saw me passing the midway point of my 100 Strangers project - so it seems like a good point to go back and look at what I've done so far. Over the last 16 months I have spoken to more strangers than I probably ever expected to in my whole life, and each has been interesting in their own way - at least enough for me to want to get a photo, and sometimes enough to hold onto me for hours in conversation. In this post, I intend (but could well go off topic) to have a look at some of my favourites so far... whether that be due to the background story (for example, one anonymous stranger who I found out only had months to live), the quality of photo, the beauty/masculinity of the subject or anything else that makes them stand out to me. I should probably also point out that if you are one of my strangers and don't feature here - I actually like all of my photos, but couldn't put them all in the post!

A good place to start, would probably be with my first ever stranger... which I look back at now and wonder what on earth I was thinking, camera-wise (eyes underexposed, poor vignette added...), but I had to start learning somewhere...

Canon 450D, 17-85mm @ 85mm, f/4

Saturday, 1 September 2012

A Walk Up Win Hill

I have quite a lot to do at the moment, hence no post last week, but I have put aside this time to at least publish some sort of post! I intend to make it very light on words, and give you plenty of pictures to make up for it as that will at least save me a bit of time... So here we go... I'll start with this photo to hopefully lure you in to the rest of the post...

A black and white photo of mam tor in the peak district national park, showing the mountain silhouette
View along over Lose Hill and Mam Tor from Win Hill.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ingleborough: Our second peak of the week.

As can be seen from last weekend's post, last week we conquered the tallest hill in the whole of Yorkshire, Whernside... and this week it was Ingleborough's turn. As I also mentioned last week, Ingleborough is my favourite hill/mountain for so many reasons - from the impressive profile, panoramic views and limestone scenery to the variations from steep climbs to gentle slopes, it has a bit of everything stuffed into about 10 miles of walking. The start point of our walk, Clapham, is a perfectly picturesque dales village with a stream down the middle, numerous little bridges and even it's own waterfall - so certainly not a bad place to spend a little time wandering around also - although there was no time for that this time after quite a late early afternoon start.

A photo of low evening sun on Ingleborough, a mountain in the Yorkshire Dales national park, UK.
My favourite shot of the day, taken on the way back, past Ribblehead, in the low evening sunlight

Monday, 13 August 2012

Whernside: The Top Of Yorkshire

Last week we, finally, went for a walk up Whernside - the highest 'peak' in Yorkshire at 736m above sea level - on what turned into a lovely hot summers day. We set off from the always impressive Ribblehead viaduct on our ~8 mile round trip never having been to the top of this hill before - which I still can't really believe. The other two of the three Yorkshire peaks (Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent) were clearly visible the whole way through as a result of the lack of cloud, with Ingleborough looking particularly imposing - so much so that we have been lured into walking that again tomorrow, so you can expect a post on that next week. 

Ribblehead Viaduct

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Taste Of Essex

This has been by far the longest gap between blog posts, for which I greatly apologise - I've just been too busy, not to write the posts, but to get out and do anything worth writing about. Last week I went down to Essex to visit Keri's parents for a week of holiday and got plenty of opportunities to go out and take some photos... the only downside is that this could well be my last visit to the south for the foreseeable future as her parents are moving up to Grantham as soon as they can. 

Much time was spent at the beach (in that little bit of summer we had), loads of visiting cafes and tearooms was done, I climbed a tower and, as many of you will have seen - I chased an amazing sunset...

So here are the photees...

Dovercourt Lighthouse on the beach, in black and white
Dovercourt Beach

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Wet Afternoon In Upper Swaledale

Two weeks ago, I had my monthly(ish) trip back up to the real Yorkshire - otherwise known as 'North Yorkshire' and finally got to do the walk around Keld, starting from Muker. This walk has something for everyone - starting with the meadows around Muker, up the young river Swale, through dense woodland, past plenty of waterfalls, up to the views from high over the valley and taking in some of the remains of the mining at the spectacular Swinner Gill. Nothing can ruin it, not even downpour after downpour - although that definitely makes photography a wee bit more tricky.

Anyway, I'll start with this photo from half way around the walk (mainly as then, on the truncated post on the homepage of my blog, this will be the one that shows up...)

photograph of swaledale in yorkshire. Sunlight over the valley
Panoramic shot of the light over Swaledale as one of the showers cleared east, perfect timing as it happened at my favourite point, over my favourite view.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Dan Graduating from Durham

Last weekend was my brother's graduation so we all had to pop up for a day out in Durham. After sitting through the boring formalities (this time with only a pillar for a view) inside the cathedral (where no photos are allowed to be taken?!?!? - I think you need to sort this out, Durham...) we could go about enjoying the day. I realise I probably shouldn't be so negative, but I know Dan agrees full well from my graduation that it can be one of the most boring hours of your life, apart from the 30 seconds where the person you know is stood up.

Left to right: Meg (sister), Keri (girlfriend), Ma, Dan, Laura (sister), Pa.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Eye Contact (or nearly at least)

This week's post is late, for which I apologise... to make it up to you all I will keep it short and filled with pictures. You've all seen most of these, or at least you have if you have been keeping up to date on my Facebook page - which is the least I expect of you all. These are some of my pictures from in amongst the crowds at the Olympic Torch event in Sheffield. As far as I remember (I may be wrong) - these are all pretty much straight out of the camera - saved time in processing here!

There is something in a photograph where a person is picked out from in among the masses that I particularly love, and due to the lack of crowds, it is something I rarely get to try myself. This was a perfect opportunity though, and on a few occasions I managed to get that extra magic little ingredient - eye contact. Eye contact is by far the best thing that can ever happen to a photograph. Here are a few of my favourites, including some almost-eye-contact moments.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Don't Smile: Xenia Photoshoot

Okay... so as every single one of you will definitely know, this week involved me taking photos of an actual person - something very different to what you've all been getting used to.

They can (almost) all be viewed HERE.

Overall, this is probably going to be my longest post ever - so I won't blame any of you if you just skip through and look at the pictures... I probably would...

This all came about from my 100 Strangers project, on a trip to York I spotted a girl eating an ice cream who, even whilst clearly busy with said ice cream, was kind enough to let me take her portrait. The resulting photograph was Stranger No.42. After getting home and uploading I had seen that I had a new fan so had a look at their profile pictures to determine whether this was my stranger, and much to my surprise, I came across a different picture I had recently seen on 500px. Not only was this my stranger, but I had seen my stranger before in a photo by a photographer from London (see if you can find her... HERE). I still can't quite believe this myself - a girl from Russia, who did some modelling in London, whose pictures made it to my screen days earlier, who then lived in York, before finally walking down that street and onto my camera sensor... I need a statistician to try and figure out some likelihoods here... 

Over the next couple of weeks, much was discussed and it was decided we would try and do a shoot in York with a very summery feel. Little did we know at this point that summer would decide to completely desert us this year. At least this gave us time to thoroughly plan everything we possibly could... styles/lighting options/accessories/locations... This was definitely an advantage for me considering I'd never done anything like this before, and it was only Xenia's 4th shoot - it was good to spend hour after hour simply looking at good photos, listing what I like and dislike about them, learning which poses work, etc. 

So, finally, last Monday we got some sun so the night before we arranged to do it then... 

Part of what we were aiming for was that snapshotty style, with a lot of flare and loss of contrast - and to not be too careful with composition. A really shallow depth of field for foreground objects also seemed to be popular in this style - so I ended up just sticking with my 50mm 1.8 - and for the whole shoot used it wide open with no lens hood. One of the first shots was this one, which is quite possibly my favourite... (so what if not snapshotty... the rim light couldn't be better and I like the symmetry... this set me up for much more symmetry later on)

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Creamery, Hawes and Wensleydale

This week's post shall be a quick one (word-wise at least)...

The last post was about Swaledale, but on the same trip we visited Hawes and the Wensleydale creamery to show Keri just how wonderful a place it is... so... straight to the photos!

The view from just outside the Creamery

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A Quick Stop At Muker

On our way back from Hawes last weekend, we came over past the Buttertubs and into Swaledale where, at this time of year, the entire valley bottom is bright yellow. We had to get back to Richmond for a certain time, so unfortunately I only had around 45 minutes to explore the fields around Muker - this is never, ever enough time for this part of Swaledale - but I just had to make do...

Upper Swaledale has pretty much always been one of my favourite places, since visiting East Gill as a wee lad - and for some reason I never get taken up there as much as I would expect. I have lived most of my life just 40 minutes away and yet I can probably count the occasions I've dragged my family up there, quite comfortably, on my hands alone. In fact, I have never, ever, walked the walk from Keld to Muker at any time of year - never mind when the fields are like this.

So... having only 45 minutes, I really had to get a move on to make the most of this special occasion for me.

First, was a very quick stop off at a little waterfall by the road. I had forgotten it even existed, but had been reminded by a photo by Colin Gregory a while ago (I think). I have no idea how I forgot about it, it is pretty difficult to miss whenever you drive up this road, but still... here it is:

Waterfall by the Muker-Keld road. Definitely would be more spectacular with a little more rain...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee: Lighting the Beacon

We came back up to the real north for the 4 day weekend of the Diamond Jubilee and had to pack quite a lot in. Starting with a birthday party on Saturday, followed by trips up the dale to Arkengarthdale one day, Hawes and Muker the next, the Wensleydale Creamery, a sunset/night walk down by the river in Richmond, watching the lighting of the beacon, the parade... the list is endless. In all likelihood I shall be writing the parade, Hawes and Muker all individual blog posts for themselves when time allows - so you can all look forward to them sometime soon.

Bank holiday Monday was probably the busiest day of the lot, and it was finished in quite memorable fashion with the beacon being lit above Richmond - and a large number of people made the walk up the hill to witness it (probably most of the people who hadn't already had too much to drink on the day on which the pubs of Richmond must make half of their yearly income).

We set off out at about 9pm, and at first seemed like the only ones going, until we got past the racecourse and onto the single track road that heads out towards Marske and Reeth where we found ourselves in quite a crowd of people all meandering up to the top of the hill. By 10pm, we had arrived and I took this quick panorama to show what it was like...
Arriving at the beacon

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Island Hopping In The Peat Bogs

As some of you may well know, yesterday we planned to walk up Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook - over to Kinder downfall and back to Edale via Jacob's ladder. Turns out it is harder than previously thought... to find out why you'll need to keep reading.

We took the 09.14 train from Sheffield to Edale to provide plenty of time for the walk followed by some sitting around in a cafe - and for the first half hour of the walk it seemed as though escaping to the Peak District was what the entire population of Sheffield had decided to do. Admittedly, at the lower end of Grindsbrook clough the path is very easy going and this clearly attracts the crowds. 

Walking through the woodland at the top end of Edale

Friday, 18 May 2012



As some of you will probably know (whoever read the last post!), I had some of my photos in my first exhibition this week - and if that doesn't deserve a post all of its own, then I don't know what does. This all came about when I finally got my act together and joined the Physics and Astronomy Art  group a week last Tuesday - and I was kindly invited to this exhibition. Unfortunately, due to the cost of getting prints made and mounted and framed and blah blah blah... I don't have any stock images that I keep around for just such an occasion - but I did have two large, cheap, frames from Wilkinsons and a 4 smaller mounts - which was just enough to lure me into pushing my luck and going for it.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A History of My Photos

It has been 2 weeks again since my last post - I had a busy weekend last week out and about in the Peak District, as usual, so didn't get the chance to put any effort in and update you all. However, in the next week I have a few things coming up, so you may get an extra post or two to make up for last week! Hurray for you! 

So, coming up I have my first exhibition with the Physics and Astronomy Art group... it looks very good, with lots of people... except I found out late about this and am still waiting for my prints to be delivered. They have until Tuesday. I am worried. After this, on Friday, it is 'International Photograph Your Day' day - so I'll spend the whole day camera in hand, photographing every little detail. I took part in this for the 3 years from 2008-2010 but forgot all about it last year, so I'm quite excited for it to come round again!

Now, onto the topic of the day... how I got interested in photography...

My first memory of anything to do with a camera was a small book of my Grandma's which I loved when I was a wee lad - an Ansel Adams postcard book. It should have been obvious from this point that in 15 years time I'd be where I am now - with his calendar on my bedroom wall. Fortunately for me - I am now the proud owner of this (now somewhat worn) book.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Mat + Fashion =

Well hello again everybody... It has been 2 weeks since my last post, but I have been very busy preparing this one alongside my actual work, learning a whole new genre of photography and staring out of my nice new high up windows that overlook everything (or just the carpark - but a lot goes on there!).

Two weeks ago I found out that I could be of use to a fashion student who needed some photos taking for their final project - obviously this was very exciting news so I got preparing straight away. It's quite amazing how much there is to think about, from lighting, to poses, to composition, to equipment, to technical bits and pieces...etc. The list is endless. So in what spare time I found/created I had a lot to get my head around in order to be prepared for this one.

First came some general research around the styles that I like - I already had quite a collection of favourited photos on my various online accounts to browse through, but a lot of researching had to go into the specific styles that were in mind for this shoot. On the day before the shoot I put a collection together, of just the basics, so that if anyone was stuck for ideas then we would at least have a reference point to start from regarding posing and composition...

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Whatever Next?

Well, as you will probably all know, last week it snowed up here in the lovely north of England... which was just typical as I was spending a week in Essex at the time. However, I did manage to make it up whilst there was still some snow remaining on the hilltops of the North York Moors and Dales... so we rushed out as soon as we could to make the most of it. 

The bulk of the snow had fallen on Tuesday night, and I arrived on Thursday afternoon - so it was quickly decided that it would be a good idea to travel up the dale around sunset to make the most of the nice light and leftover cold stuff. 

 We set off from Richmond and carried on up Swaledale past Reeth, before stopping right before the road drops down into Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale. The following few pictures are what we found a few yards from the car.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

First Class - Just the sort of chap I am.

Hello all my lovelies! Here is this weeks blog post... nothing as stunning as last week's Essexian sunset but this is something I got very excited about - travelling first class!

So here are a few snapshots of my journey...
Tea - not a bad start to any journey...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Staring At The Sun

It's been a while since my last post (over a week!) so I thought I'd put up some of my photos from Essex. These are all taken in the fields around Wix from a couple of evening walks. 
The best thing about going for walks down in these southern lands, is that you can walk randomly off across the fields and never get stuck as a result of crumbling dry stone walls, rivers or cliffs - the worst you ever have to struggle past is a slight ditch between fields... easy.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Whenever I fall at your feet

Okay... so this week I decided to have a good look at some feet... I'll be moving soon and will no longer have this nice looking wooden floor so I had to get around to this sooner, rather than later. I've had the thought in my head for many weeks/months now - so it was nice to finally get it out and see if I can make something that compares well to the image in my mind.

I thought a good starting point would be to practice with lighting on some inanimate object, such as these shoes. I was limited to an extent as the only room long enough to use a long focal length and shallow depth of field happens to have the main window behind where the subject would be placed - so my main starting thought was just to expose for the front of the shoes, and use my giant silver reflector camera left to get some light back onto them... and this is what I got:
However, in my ever so humble opinion, I still thought there was too much shadow on there... so time to get the flash out. The next one was never intended to work, but I thought I'd take it for the purposes of this blog post to show just how bad it was. This one just uses a bare speedlite (at 1/64) to the right with the reflector on the left. Not nice, not nice at all...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Close Encounters

Due to tidying, window cleaning, hairy legs, too much sleep, solving a problem to do with the slow roll parameters and The Simpsons - I didn't get out much this weekend. Fortunately for me, though, I did manage to have a very close encounter... meet Morris...

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Lord's Seat and back to Mam Tor

Well, today we decided to get out of the ever-so scenic Sheffield and back into the lovelier parts down here in the 'south'. It should be made quite clear that this decision had been made regardless of the weather - it just so happens we always seem to pick the most perfect of days...

After getting the train to Edale (there and back for £5!!!) we got off and found our way along the road to Barber Booth... at which point this little trail starts us on our actual walk.
Looking back towards Grindslow Knoll - sitting just in front of the Kinder Plateau. Must make this my next hill!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I Pictured You In The Sun

Well, it has been raining all day so after much procrastination I finally decided to get around to looking through yet more old photos - and this is what I found.
The swirl effect was by physically twisting the camera - adds some interest to just another sunset shot!

On the left is the original, straight out of the camera and on the right is what I got after literally 2 minutes of playing with it - just levels, saturation and some noise reduction... all very nice and simple.

Not sure how this one is gonna go down though with all of you adoring public... it is something very new and different for me - but hopefully you'll like it and my view counts will fly up! After all, that is all I'm after.


Friday, 2 March 2012

Here is my first ever post on a blog... don't I feel cool. I thought I would start with some of these previously unseen pics (I think) from our walk up Mam Tor last October... not long now until this weather returns and I shall have many more peak district adventures... 

A stranger enjoying the views, can you blame him?