24 August 2013

I was fortunate enough to combine a visit to two of my favourite places in the UK on a long weekend break. We had only planned a day trip to the Lake District but managed to get a last minute hotel in Coniston so we could head up a day early. Unfortunately, as with most of my visits to this amazing area, the British summer weather lived up to its reputation and it rained non-stop. In a brief respite from the rain I made it out at sunset to a jetty on Coniston to shoot some long exposures with my new Lee filters. As you can see there was very little colour in the sky.

The next day the weather had improved and we took the kids to Tarn Hows, a very scenic spot and a nice easy walk for toddlers. In the afternoon we started the next part of our journey and headed over to the in laws house in Bishop Auckland where we were leaving the kids so my wife and I could head up to Northumberland for our wedding anniversary the next day.
I absolutely love Northumberland and try and get here at least once a year. We visited the interesting, spooky and slightly eccentric Chillingham Castle on the way and headed over the Cheviot Hills full of beautiful purple heather (below) to Bamburgh.
We spent sunset on the beach and I was up at 5am and back there again for sunrise. I had the beach to myself and despite the disappointing sunrise (the tide was too far out for the shots I wanted) I just love being by the beach. 
On the way home I managed to squeeze in a stop at Embleton beach - a wonderful curving bay that goes from golden sand to big black boulders (which look great on a receding tide). It also helps having the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle perched on a cliff above it. Again the tide was out and the mid morning light was harsh but I stacked all of my filters for a 2 minute exposure (Hoya ND400 8 stop screw on along with a Lee Filter holder containing a Hitech ND1.2 and Lee Hard ND Grad 0.9). The Hitech caused a horrendous purple cast hence the conversion to mono.

Lake District / Northumberland

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10 August 2013

I'm pleased to say that I came third in the Travel round of the annual Photographer of the Year competition run by Photoanswers.co.uk (the online portal for best selling UK camera magazines Practical Photography and Digital Photo - both published by Bauer Media).

The standard of entries is always strong and so to have been shortlisted and then placed is a great achievement.

My image appeared in the September edition of Practical Photography - shown above - (out in shops from August 8th) as well as Digital Photo magazine (out in shops from August 15th).

Photographer of the Year - Travel - 3rd Place

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08 August 2013

I've just returned from a week holiday with the family in Malta. I'd never been to Malta before and love to visit new places but I must admit I wasn't sure what to expect having heard mixed things about the country. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Okay so Bugibba (where we were staying) is an uninspiring place but outside of the resort there are some great places to visit from the excellent capital Valetta and the equally impressive Grand Harbour / Three Cities to the fishing port of Marsaxlokk with its iconic colourful fishing boats (below). More pictures to follow.



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05 August 2013

Today my image was shown on the Insight Guides Photography App as picture of the day. The App is available to download for ipod/iphone/ipad. It can also be seen on their website by clicking on this link: http://www.insightguides.com/inspire-me/destination-of-the-day/05-08-2013?position=9

The image was taken in Lucerne, Switzerland. A larger version can be found on Flickr.


Insight Guides Photography App

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29 June 2013

I've been down in London this week for an event at ExCel. This is the first time I've taken my camera there and I was determined to get out one evening shooting. My colleagues and I were all staying in the Greenwich area and so as they headed into a restaurant for an evening of food and drink I forced myself onwards lugging my DSLR and tripod. I grabbed a quick subway for some sustenance knowing I was not going to eat otherwise and walked to the Cutty Sark.

I had in mind several places I wanted to shoot for blue hour but I found myself unable to move from the Cutty Sark, being captivated by the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful sunset taking place. There were lots of people sitting out watching the sun going down over the London skyline and the atmosphere was helped by a extremely talented busker playing some chilled out music on an electric guitar.

However as it was fast approaching 9pm and with sunset due at 9:30pm it was now or never! I could quite happily have spent the next couple of hours just sat there but instead I forced myself away and jumped on the DLR to Tower Gateway.

I made it to the Tower Bridge area for blue hour and the following are some of the shots I took that evening.


The next evening after the show I was out for a meal in Canary Wharf. I took the DLR back on my own so I could stop off again at the Cutty Sark to photograph Canary Wharf over the river.

As a proud northerner I've never been fond of London but after this visit I have to admit that the photographic options there are amazing. It is a cool city but one I don't think I could live in! I'm now looking forward to my next visit whenever that may be.


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15 June 2013

I'm delighted to say that for a second time I have won the 'Your Heritage' photographic competition (first time was in 2010). This is an annual competition which takes place in my home town of Middlewich in Mid Cheshire. It has been running since 2009 and is now attracting more entrants and a better calibre of images each year. All images are submitted as prints which are showcased at the FAB Festival (formerly Folk and Boat). All images have to have been taken in Cheshire (which is difficult for me as most of my best photography is done while travelling). I won 3 out of the 5 categories (General, Landscape and Mobile) as well as best overall shot (below).

I'm now the proud holder of a trophy, some gift vouchers, and a newspaper clipping of me in the local paper (Middlewich Guardian).

Middlewich Photo Comp win

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30 May 2013

I first visited Tenby on the Pembrokeshire coast almost 20 years ago (when I was just 15) on a camping holiday with my friend and his family. Regretably I've not been back since. Until now!

I'm a big fan of European city breaks but I also like to have short breaks in the UK (normally Northumberland or the Lake District). This year we decided on Tenby. Admitedly we were aprehensive at the thought of a 6 hour drive with three year old twins in the back of the car, but it was well worth it. I think I have just found the next place I want to live (sorry Northumberland coast you are just too cold!!).

Nb. All images are taken from my Flickr site where they are available to view much bigger.

North Beach looking towards the harbour at low tide
Tenby harbour long exposure (4 image stitch)
Lobster/crab pots in Tenby harbour

While Tenby is a stunning little town, the surrounding beaches and coves are equally worth a visit,



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22 May 2013

Like buses, magazine requests all come at once (almost)! This is now my third image in three different magazines in the last three months. I think that is probably it for a few more years!

This magazine is Wanderlust, an excellent UK travel magazine. I've been a subscriber for over 8 years so nice to be included in the magazine. For anyone with a passion for travel they also have a great community over at www.wanderlust.co.uk/mywanderlust/.

The original image below was taken on a short trip to Switzerland last summer.

Wanderlust June 2013

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07 May 2013

I received a Flickr mail tonight saying that the Getty Images team has noticed my work on Flickr, and is pleased to offer me an invitation to enroll with them. They selected 7 of my photos for inclusion in the programme which is a partnership they have with Flickr for an invitation-only service for Flickr members to license their photos for commercial use.

My images for sale can be found here.

The 7 they requested are a random collection of images from Whitby, the Galapagos Islands, Menorca, Sri Lanka, Marrakech and Zurich. A couple of them are below.

Whitby - North Yorkshire, UK

Jemaa El Fna - Marrakech, Morocco


Getty Images

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27 April 2013

In the UK we have a lot of choice when it comes to photography magazines and to be honest they are all pretty decent. I've bought several of them over the years depending on what they were featuring however the one I turn to the most is PhotoPlus. It is a Canon only magazine by Future Plc who also publish Digital Camera, N-Photo (the Nikon equivalent to PhotoPlus) and Photography Week (an iPad magazine).

I received an email out of the blue about 6 weeks ago from the team at PhotoPlus asking to use one of my images in their 'Inspirations' section of the magazine. Needless to say I was very pleased. You can see it in the May 2013 edition which is out now.

You can see the original image below much larger on my Flickr stream.

Also you can check out more images from my 'Faces of Sri Lanka' series on Flickr.

PhotoPlus May 2013

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31 March 2013

As someone with a keen interest in photography, leaving my previous company 18 months ago to work for ILFORD Imaging, one of the oldest names in the industry, was a bit of a no brainer. One perk of the job was getting an invite to the opening of Genesis, Sebastião Salgado's exhibition starting in London on April 9th.

Salgado is an 'ILFORD Master' and has used our Gold Fibre Silk paper for all the exhibition prints. He is one of the true modern legends in photography and for anyone with an interesting in travel, reportage or black and white photography his work is inspirational. To be going to the opening night of an exhibition that will be seen all over the world is very exciting!

Below from the Natural History Museum for those interested in going:

The world premiere of Sebastião Salgado: Genesis unveils extraordinary images of landscapes, wildlife and remote communities by this world-renowned photographer.
Sebastião Salgado: Genesis
11 April - 8 September 2013
Waterhouse Gallery
Ticket prices £10 adults, £5 child and concession, £27 family
Free for Members, Patrons and children under 4

Perk of the job

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07 March 2013

I'm pleased to say that one of my images was featured in the April / May 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK Edition) which went on sale today.

National Geographic Traveller UK April 2013

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05 March 2013

I've just been to Focus on Imaging 2013 at the Birmingham NEC. I had a great day manning the ILFORD stand chatting to customers and showing off our great new papers. I did manage time for a quick wander. I've been eyeing up a Kata bag and some Lee Filters so it was nice to check them out although they remain on my wish list for now!

Focus on Imaging 2013

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23 February 2013

I'm just back from a short trip to Marrakech. I had visited before back in the summer of 2007 in the days before I was into photography and it was somewhere I have wanted to return to. The first time it was approx 55 degrees C most days so not so exactly exploring weather and I knew the photographic potential of the place! However I must admit I found the photography a bit of a challenge!

Don't get me wrong there is plenty to photograph but the lighting can often be difficult in the souks or narrow alleyways so you have to use a high ISO which means the images are not as clear or as sharp as I would prefer. Also I love photographing local people. There are so many great characters and faces throughout the city but nearly everyone I asked for their picture flat out refused (or wanted more cash than I was prepared to pay)!

I hate having my picture taken so as much as anyone I understand that this is completely their right (and is why I always ask if taking a picture of a specific person) but it is quite disheartening to miss out on so many great shots! It just furthers my admiration for pro photographers who come away with such amazing shots. Still I think I got a few keepers I'm pleased with so check out my Flickr set and let me know what you think.



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