Being in the mountains often provides the photographer with dramatic scenery and light that can change in an instant.
Blood Moon over Canisp
In Norse it is the white mountain and I was lucky enough to capture a blood moon rising from behind its rocky outcrop. Conditions also helped in that the sun had not yet set behind me, however, a helpful bank of thick black cloud completely obscured it leaving only a faint hint of pink amongst the blue of the coming night.
Canisp stands alone while other mountains lurk out of this image, the mighty Quinag off to the right. Located on the North West Coast of Scotland in an area known as Assynt.
Alport Castles to Ditch Clough
At first this scene appeared to offer little photographically. Indeed in the opposite direction is the unique rock formation of Alport Castles. It was only when you noticed the layers of landscape near and far, appearing and disappearing in the low cloud and mist is the interest piqued. Changing by the second and pulled together by using a telephoto lens the scene was further enhanced when lower, darker more foreboding cloud started to move in and dominate. Then, within minutes, the sun took hold and the image was gone.
The Lake District Fells
This image has many of the elements I love. A wonderful dramatic sky, layered mountainous landscape and a single tree. The shot itself was taken from a small hill near Lowick in the Lake District and looks North West towards Wast Water and the Scafell range. After picking my daughter up from Durham Uni for the summer break we had managed to blag a few days photography in the Lakes on the way home. Yes, shes a photographer too!
Within the Mountains
Or is it? I really love this image as it leaves the viewer wondering where it was taken? Which mountain range was it? Was it a mountain range? In fact the last statement is closest to the truth. I placed this image in the mountain section because it does have the feel of a mountain range in rather foreboding weather. It is an image that provokes conversation and debate, even more so when it is revealed that the image was taken at Carlton on Trent (you really can’t get much less mountainous!) In fact the image is the result of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) A technique you either love or hate. I have to say i love it, any image that causes conversation is really an image that deserves a place on the wall.
Light in the Mountains
Another shot from my intentional camera movement series. The title just represents what I see in the image, but the beauty of it is that we may all see something different. I will continue to do more work with this method of photography because I have found that it is the sort of image that works well in a business reception area where clients waiting for meetings tend to be intrigued by the questions it raises.
I know that this type of image really splits photographers down the middle, but if you look at photography as an art form then an image that makes someone stop and look is of great value, however you came by the result.
For the ultimate in mood and drama
Monochrome is a special medium. In a way it simplifies things for the photographer and focuses the mind on line, contrast and texture. Get it right and it can convey mood like no other photographic technique.
Infrared was the technique used by my favourite photographer. Its a favourite technique of mine in the summer as it works better in harsh light. As you will see from the images in this gallery, I use it for creating fear and suspense, usually in places that already give a sense of foreboding!
Victorian Gothic Grave Monuments
To say a Cemetery is a wonderful place to visit may seem strange. However, when I want to create images that try to unsettle and I suppose have the look of the early black and white horror film genre they can be perfect. Not just any cemetery will do however and I had to search for a while to find the Sheffield General Cemetery. This is a wonderful place. No longer in use and largely overgrown but located in the heart of Sheffield. Shot in infrared which adds to a feeling of unease and on the hottest of summer days.
Strangely enough for a place of death the place was buzzing with the sounds of wildlife and humanity going about its business on the busy streets of Sheffield that enclose it.
Sheffield General Cemetery
Another shot from my day in this wonderful place. Again shot in Infrared I was helped by the sunlight falling on the grave stones and the white flowers of the Bindweed leading to the cross at the centre of the image. The darker underside of the canopy provides a suitable frame.
Whitby Harbour with Ghosts
Our recent whistle stop trip to Whitby not only allowed us to visit the Abbey but also gave us time earlier in the afternoon to get some shots of Whitbys famous harbour. The very harbour the Demeter was heading for in Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula, bringing the blood sucking Count to our shores. With this image I was trying to create that Victorian age feeling. Initially I was going to increase the images grain but decided i liked it as it was. I was lucky to have a few moments when black cloud encroached on the scene yet a burst of sunlight lit up the harbour wall in the foreground and stretching into the image. You can clearly see we had rain falling out to sea and the ghostly feel is further enhanced by the shadowy half transparent figures on the harbour wall. The image was shot in one of my favourite mediums Infrared which gave a thirty second shutter speed effectively rendering the people moving on the wall as shadowy ghosts.
Bringing the Dark into the Light
I have always loved taking images during those hours of darkness or the hours leading to and from the night, the so called blue hours. Not only can you get images of some of the wonders of the night sky, moon, milky way etc but also it can add another aspect to your images. For me it provides an air of mystery with a minimalist approach and image and shapes dancing at the edge of our eyesight.
Moonlight Alport Castles Peak District
As a photographer you soon realise that lighting conditions can change in an instant. This image is really testament to that fact. I had wild camped at Alport Castles to catch the sunrise and also hoped to get an image of the milky way as the weather had given clear skies. At midnight cloud had moved in so I abandoned the attempt in favour of some sleep. I soon regretted my decision not to take a sleeping matt and was back up at 2am. This was the scene that greeted me. Low cloud or mist had moved into the valley but a thin veil of cloud was also obscuring the moon. So much so that it was allowing some moonlight to fall into the valley and give a hint of features yet also allowing me to take images of the moon while leaving details of the moons surface. One of my favourite images this year.
Photography is all about light. It is really that simple. As a photographer light can be our biggest frustration and greatest Allie. I think it is safe to say however that there are few occasions when with a little ingenuity and technique no amount of light is too little or too much. hopefully this gallery will go some way to proving this.
The remains of a 7th century Christian monastery which was later a benedictine abbey that went into disuse during the dissolution of the monastery’s during Henry 8th rule.
The famous and infamous Whitby Abbey has to be one of my favourite locations immortalised in literature. For it is on the rocks below the abbey that the Russian ship the Demeter meets her end the Captain strapped to the wheel and a large dog bounds up the 199 steps to the church of St Mary and the abbey beyond. Count Dracula has reached our shores.
Bram Stoker used the locations at Whitby after coming here to stay in 1890 and being so captivated by the stunningly rugged coastline. Can there be a story more adapted and re-adapted over the years? And if you haven’t read the original novel please do, then pay Whitby a visit. Perhaps it would be best to leave it to a grey November afternoon as the sun is setting low over the sea, just be wary if you notice a large dog running with purpose or perhaps laying eyes on you for longer than it should.
I had wanted to take this image for more years than I can remember. This old barn has stood there looking at me not ten miles from my home but conditions had never been right. It was always one of those shots but never planned and so when I passed by chance along the road a different crop was in the field or the light wasn’t right. On this occasion I was actually on my way to shoot something else and casually glanced to my left. Finally everything seemed to come together! And I never did get to that other shoot.
The Coming of the Light
I love to take images of dramatic landscapes yet some of my favourites are revealed when I least expect it. As is the scenario with this image which depicts nothing more than a reed bed at a local nature reserve. This image went from nothing to spectacular and back to nothing in less than a minute as the dawn light all too briefly blazed across the shoreline of the old gravel pit. Then just as quickly extinguished by the black clouds that filled most of the sky and the moment was gone.
Sometimes it is amazing to stand with breath almost held in anticipation of the scene developing before you. This image was all that and more. I had planned this image, it was the image I wanted. It was taken on the outskirts of my own village at about 4am. What you can’t see is the stunning shot that was also unfolding behind me as the sun arose behind my back. For many agonising minutes my shot looked dull with the mist completely obscuring the windmill and the river, it took all my nerve not to abandon the shot in favour of a rushed composition that had already presented itself behind me. Then suddenly the sun began to hit and break the mist. For a few fleeting minutes the shot began to unfold before the sun had its way with the mist and the new day arrived.
images of British Wildlife animals birds insects mammals
For many years I shot almost exclusively wildlife. Now I only dust off the big lens occasionally. There is something enigmatic about British wildlife that brings back that urge to step quietly in woodland during the first light of day. To walk silently behind the deer or fox take the shot and slip away. I have said this before but this is hunting as it should be. To hunt the fox, shoot, and have him slip away back to his family unaware of my presence has perhaps provided my most rewarding wildlife experiences.
Red Grouse on Alert
This did not start out as a wildlife shoot. In fact I had gone up to the Yorkshire Dales for a day to do some landscape photography and was just coming down off the moors at the end of the day. Then started one of the strangest wildlife encounters I have ever had. Walking down the track I noticed a single tree that had the potential for a good image. Unfortunately the tree must have been in this little guys territory. For the next fifteen minutes he physically attacked me. So much so that I forgot about the tree and proceeded to at least take the opportunity of getting a shot of my assailant. (obviously not to pass on to the authorities). I actually shot this while trying to hold the little chap at bay with one of the legs of my tripod, while shooting with a 50mm lens. I hastily beat a retreat, neither of us worse the wear for the encounter.
Red Fox Vixen
I have photographed this fox for a couple of years now and to be honest it has always been a battle of wills. A battle that I generally lose! This is one of my few good shot of this very clever mother. As you can see from the stare, she has spotted me again. On one occasion she appeared at the edge of the wood gazing out across the field. I was well hidden and downwind, she did not even look at me but suddenly disappeared back into the wood. I was sure I hadn’t been seen so waited eyes trained on the spot in the woodland she had just turned back into. I had that feeling of eyes on me so glanced to my right, and there she was staring right at me. This clever lady had obviously sensed something and had circled through the wood to approach me from the side. To be honest I don’t mind being ”out-foxed” and look forward to it continuing.
Roe Deer Stag
Sometimes taking an image of any wildlife can be the icing on top of the cake and I suppose this image typifies that. This was another occasion when I had gone out to shoot a landscape shot. After I had finished I began the walk back to the car but because I also shoot wildlife I always find myself walking very quietly and slowly, never walking out into a crossroad of paths without first glancing around to see what may be coming down the other way. This is exactly what happened with this shot. I spotted the deer about 100 metres away he was feeding on the hedge and then walking closer a few steps before fighting with the grass, the hedge etc! Because of this I managed to fit my long lens and lay down at the edge of the path. For an hour he came gradually closer until he was just a few metres away and obviously curious about what was in front of him. Finally nerves overcame him and he slowly retreated and disappeared into the crops. A wonderful hour spent with this beautiful wild animal, but very late for tea!
landscape images where Water dominates the picture waterfalls rivers sea lakes lochs
Water shapes our landscape and I never grow tired of taking images of it. Living near the lower reaches of the River Trent provides me with many opportunities to photograph these meandering stretches. As a photographer I always look for water as it really can provide so many aspects to an image.
Carlton On Trent
Never more is it so clear that water shapes our landscape than when a great river like the Trent is in flood. I simply love the cloud reflections in this image as they remind me of the old paint butterflies we used to do as kids. You can just make out Carlton on Trent church on the horizon.
I have to say, we where not expecting to see water lilies in full bloom floating on a Lakeland Tarn. Needless to say it was a nice surprise and the clouds taken with a fifteen second exposure provided some wonderful lines into the shot. I also wanted the clouds reflection on the water and by splitting the image in half it gives a nice symmetry to the image.