It’s been a quiet spell on the photography front for me, motivation has been pretty low in general for a year or so now. In March I had a week on a workshop up in Ardnamurchan which was fantastic to get the mojo going again, but we came back home pretty much right when the UK was going into lockdown, not the best time to keep the creativity up.Continue reading “Foggy Woodland”
Having spent a lot of time photographing Sherwood Forest, for my yearlong project and beyond, I was delighted to be contacted by the RSPB at the start of this year about their project to restore the old visitor centre area within the forest.
For those who aren’t aware, the RSPB took over management of Sherwood last year, and part of the changeover was working alongside Natural England to relocate the visitor centre, as the old one built in the 1970s was within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with the buildings, car parks and footfall all having an impact on the ancient oaks nearby.Continue reading “RSPB Sherwood Commission”
For years I’ve seen photos taken with infrared converted cameras and loved the look and feel, but never had the money to buy or convert a camera body myself.
I recently decided just to pick up a cheap infrared filter for the kit lens on my Fuji X-M1 which I use quite a bit for abstract work, and see how I got on with it.Continue reading “Infrared Filter”
Last weekend was the launch event for Connected Exhibition, something I’m very lucky to have nearby and get involved with every year. One of the highlights for me is always trying to organise a shoot around my local area on one of the mornings, with a few other photographers who travel here for the weekend of talks.
This year we headed out on the Saturday to Sherwood Forest, where else would I take people? We met in the parking space near Budby South Forest, the big area of open heathland where I shot much of my Sherwood book and got lucky with a decent bit of fog. Less than there had been on the drive over, not quite heavy enough to shoot in amongst the dense woodland, but still some serious atmosphere on the heath.Continue reading “Sherwood Borderline”
Is there a consistent aesthetic between the music you listen to and the images you make? It’s a question I’ve asked on Twitter before and resulted in some really interesting discussion, but I felt like it would be good to write down some of my thoughts on it.
Music has always been a huge part of my life, in my teens I played guitar in awful punk bands with school friends, I did a degree in music production then spent the first 8 years of my career working as a sound engineer in a local venue before now working for a company who make audio products.Continue reading “Music and Photography”
It’s nearing Christmas and time for the traditional end of year review, getting in a bit early this year but I’m also going to try and put a bit more thoughtful introspection into this one, rather than just listing all the good things that have happened.
That said, the year did start off with a few highs, writing articles for both Outdoor Photography and Amateur Photographer magazines, my Sherwood book being published then selling out and there were more bits of good news throughout the year too, with a third place in International Garden Photographer of the Year, commended in Outdoor Photographer of the Year, a series of successful talks, three images being included in an exhibition in Nottingham and a highly commended image at the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
A couple of weekends ago I met up with a pair of Darrens (Darren Rose and Darren Ciolli-Leach) over in the Peak District for a sunrise photography session. We decided to start off at Surprise View and Over Owler Tor, to see if there would be anything exciting going on at dawn, before heading down to Bolehill Quarry as the light came up.
I was at a bit of a loss initially, with a wide landscape view in front of me, it’s not something I’m used to shooting, the horizon was fairly flat and there wasn’t much detail in the sky, so my only real shot from sunrise was looking right down at a puddle of water in the rock at my feet.
On Friday I was at Kew Gardens for the launch of the IGPOTY exhibition, more on that in a future blog, but I decided to take my little Fuji X-M1 with the fantastic 27mm 2.8 pancake lens along to take a few snaps of the exhibition, plus I’d left myself a couple of hours extra before my train in case there were any photo opportunities.
A lot of photographers would relish the opportunity to have a couple of hours in London with a camera, but I couldn’t be more uncomfortable at the thought of street photography, architecture isn’t my bag either and flat midday light plus a wide angle lens isn’t what I’d usually choose for photographing trees.
I like writing these yearly reviews as much for myself as anything, looking back through the previous ones is a great way to track your progress both in terms of favourite photos from the year but also thought processes and achievements, hopefully they’re of some interest to others too.
My local Nottinghamshire landscape isn’t the most exciting for a photographer, especially when you’re seeing epic vistas posted on social media every week from people who can travel a lot, or live with the Highlands on their doorstep. It’s easy to get jealous and blame your surroundings for lack of inspiration. We have plenty of good forests and woodland which I love to shoot, but I wanted to create something different.
Having tried some more abstract techniques including multiple exposures and intentional camera movement over the past year or so I had been playing with the idea of trying to make an alternate landscape from my local area. I’ve done a couple of small projects recently and put some focus into the idea of creating something from nothing, but I wanted to do something bigger this time, I wanted to transport the viewer to one of those epic mountain vistas.