Autumn walk

The summer months are never great for landscape photographers, too much harsh light and strong shadows, so its great to see the autumn colour starting to appear. 

This weekend I took a nice walk around Scarborough mere with Ashleigh, my little girl, and the colours were amazing.

 Scarborough Mere

Scarborough Mere

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The blog is back!

Its been a long time since I found the time to write a blog post but things are going to change. Work commitments have meant that the photography has taken a back seat but now I'm back on it and the photography is going to be getting more of my time.

Last night Scarborough saw the arrival of over 100 Honda Goldwings here to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a fantastic cause.

To capture this image I positioned myself on the Spa Bridge which overlooks the seafront. For this type of image a tripod is essential as long exposures are involved. As the light levels fall exposure times increase. This means that this type of image is produced without the need for any additional filters. 

If anyone has any questions relating to this image then please feel free to contact me.

 The Goldwing Parade 2017 – all in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

The Goldwing Parade 2017 – all in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Technical information

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: 24-70mm 2.8L
Focal length: 32mm
Aperture: f/16
Shutter Speed: 15 seconds
ISO: 100

Family Portraits

A new year and a new determination to get out and make more use of my photographic skills. I decided to start the year by capturing a few portraits of the two ladies in my life. My talented wife, Julie, and our daughter Ashleigh.

Julie is a very talented writer and writes under the name "Jessica Redland", her work is well worth a look if you're interested in reading romantic fiction. She has recently parted company with her publisher after releasing her first three books, we will be publishing her books ourselves in future under the name of "Little Bear Books".

 Julie Heslington aka Jessica Redland

Julie Heslington aka Jessica Redland

 My beautiful daughter, Ashleigh, with the bear she has been photographed with every year since her birth ten years ago.

My beautiful daughter, Ashleigh, with the bear she has been photographed with every year since her birth ten years ago.

 Mummy and baby

Mummy and baby

Neglect!

Having set this blog up in 2016 it was soon neglected. I didn't get out with the camera half as much as I would have liked so had nothing to write. This is all going to change in 2017.

My photography related New Years Resolutions are as follows:

  1. Dedicate one day a week to getting out with the camera and practice my photography skills. The only way to improve as a photographer is to get out there and shoot. Trial and error is the only way to learn. Even if you head out with the camera and return without at least one good shot its all experience.
  2. Last Christmas I decided that I was going to work on a book. Sadly, that never happened and I didn't get out enough to capture the necessary images. This year will be different, I am already planning the locations I want to shoot and working on the best times of year to shoot them. I will keep you all updated as this project takes shape throughout the year via my blog.

I ended the year by capturing a few frosty scenes in the areas local to me but will be venturing further afield in the New Year.

Happy New Year to you all and I wish you all health and happiness for 2017!

    Frosted Hedgerow

   Frosted Hedgerow

Focus Stacked Macro Photography

On those days where the weather isn't the best for a photographer there is always something to practice. Today, for me, I decided to blow the dust off my macro lens and try a spot of focus stacking.

Focus stacking is a technique whereby a close-up image can be capture with plenty of detail while keeping the blurred background.

If anyone is wanting help with this technique then just get in touch. Always happy to help if I can!

 Bellis

Bellis

 Bellis Perennis

Bellis Perennis

The Challenge of Weather!

The main challenge that faces a landscape photographer is the weather. The key ingredient with all photography is light and that can come from many different sources. 

On a clear sunny day the sun provides a hard light that produces harsh shadows and lots of contrast. This can make for great black and white image but does not suit all types of photography. A cloudy day can provide soft light that wraps around your subject. The best light can usually be found around sunrise and sunset. This is the time we get soft light and fantastic colour in our images.

Whatever the weather, the fun of photography is working with what we have available and trying to create beautiful images. This is not something that is always possible and there are many times that I don't even get my camera out of the bag. Learning all the different techniques involved with photography means you have more options to try.

This shot was taken on a wet, overcast, windy day and options were limited. In the end I decided that the shot I wanted to capture was of the waves flowing over the steps leading down to the beach. I could have used a fast shutter speed and frozen the action but by using a longer exposure I could capture the movement and hopefully produce a more dramatic shot. This technique involves the use of filters, a technique that many photographers don't use. For many photographers they feel that they can recreate any effect using Photoshop. Sadly, this is not the case and the only way to achieve this type of shot is to use more traditional photographic techniques.

First Sunrise Shoot of the Year

This morning was the first real opportunity of the year to get out and shoot a sunrise. At this time of year the sun rises well to the south so Flamborough was my destination.

Any comments or location suggestions then feel free to tell me using the comments box below.

Photography and Winter Sun!

Having just returned from spending half term in the Canary Islands I was pleased to be able to combine time with the family with a spot of landscape photography. They are truly a fantastic location for seascape photographers.

This image was captured in Corralejo on the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa these beautiful islands offer a fantastic location to enjoy the winter sun. This view was looking towards the island of Lanzarote which can be seen on the horizon. Due to the full moon there were particularly high tides producing huge waves. For this shot I was positioned on the beach and my kit was well away from the water. Without warning I was caught by a particularly large wave and in no time at all was up to my knees in water, As I grabbed the camera I turned to see my kit being washed along the beach. Thankfully everything was fine and my bag kept everything dry. It could so easily have been a different outcome but at least I got the shot I wanted.

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A portrait shoot with a beautiful little boy

Earlier this year I was asked by good friends of ours if I would do a portrait shoot with their beautiful little boy Matthew. This is not something that I have done before as I'm not strictly a portrait photographer. Anyway, I agreed to the shoot and it turned out pretty well. The day started off with an uncooperative little boy but as time passed he cheered up and I managed to capture some lovely images. A few of the final images are shown below. I would be interested to hear any comments that you might have on this work.

I'm watching you!

Who needs toys when you have feet!

Beautiful Blue Eyes

A Weekend in the Lakes!

I spent last weekend in the Lake District with my wife Julie celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We seem to visit the area once a year, usually for a just a weekend. Its a fantastic part of the country to visit and I wish I knew it better.

Whenever we visit we always visit the areas we know and it would be great to explore more. Last weekend we explored a couple of new areas, Wray Castle was great and we will certainly take our little girl there when we next visit. Its not a real castle having been built in 1840 but it is a beautiful house and a great place for kids to explore. After visiting the castle we had a lovely walk along the shores of Windermere to the Hawkshead ferry, about 4 miles in all. It is nice to be able to walk along the shore of the lake and get away from all the hotels and boat moorings.

The following shot was one I captured on this walk.

 Lake Windermere, Cumbria

Lake Windermere, Cumbria

Another location that we had never visited before was Post Knott. This is an area that belongs to the National Trust. Its quite a climb from Bowness but once you reach the top the views are spectacular. We would never have known about this location if it hadn't been mentioned by one of the boat skippers. We will certainly be revisiting this spot next time we are there.

This shot was captured overlooking Lake Windermere as the sun set.

 The view overlooking Lake Windermere from Post Knott.

The view overlooking Lake Windermere from Post Knott.

If anyone reading this post has never been to the Lake District then you are missing out. Get yourselves there and you won't be disappointed.

The Big Day!

As a photographer it seems to be a common assumption that we all capture every kind of image imaginable. The reality is that generally photographers specialise in a particular area, that which interests them most. For some it is portraits, others prefer macro, wildlife or events, but for me it has always been landscape. Capturing the beauty of the world that surrounds us has always been my passion and although I have yet to venture very far I am lucky to live in North Yorkshire, a very beautiful part of the country and the world.

One of the common questions that photographers get asked is "Do you do weddings?" Up until now it has always been a question which has been answered with a very swift reply, "No!" The thought of the stress involved in capturing the big day for a happy couple was just too much. The thought of making a mistake and missing those special moments, moments that happen only once and cannot be repeated was just too much to risk.

A few months ago my sister Linda contacted me to ask if I would consider being the photographer at her best friend Alice's wedding. Alice was not going to be having an official photographer and Linda wanted to be able to give her a nice album of prints as a wedding gift. After a bit of thought I agreed, I took it as an opportunity to find out whether I could cut it as a wedding photographer.

On the 14th of August the big day arrived and surprisingly I was totally relaxed on the day. My plans went out of the window as it was a wet, foggy day and all the shots that I had in my mind were not going to be possible. The combination of having to think on my feet and a laid back bride and groom meant that the day was always going to go well. 

The result of this chance to photograph the wedding of Alice and Tony was that I have come to the conclusion that I would like to take on more weddings. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the opportunity to record the special day for posterity was a great experience. 

Run or Dye

Today an event called 'Run or Dye' was being held at Castle Howard. Julie was entered with a couple of her friends Hannah and Suzanne. Even the kids, Ashleigh and Erin, got to join in with the fun. The dye was corn starch so hopefully there will be no stained clothes. Of course all the entrants received a T-shirt so most were wearing those.

There were official photographers at the event and I was just there to record the fun for Julie and her friends. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and a great time was had by all. I'm sure that they will all be entering again next year (if it returns).

 This is how they all ended, what a state they looked!

This is how they all ended, what a state they looked!

 I'm glad that I was watching this from outside the cloud!

I'm glad that I was watching this from outside the cloud!

 There seemed to be a never ending supply of dye and great fun was had by all!

There seemed to be a never ending supply of dye and great fun was had by all!

 A never ending supply of dye!

A never ending supply of dye!

 And the winner is!

And the winner is!

 A great host!

A great host!

Countryfile Calendar Competition 2016

After being told quite a few times that I should submit some images to the Countryfile competition I have finally sorted three out to send.

I actually struggled a little with this as I recently submitted 25 images to the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition and couldn't duplicate any. One of the rules is that you can't enter images that have been entered in other national competitions.

Anyway, here are my three entries so we'll see what happens and if the judges like any of them.

 Among the Bluebells!

Among the Bluebells!

 Mind Your Backs!

Mind Your Backs!

 Ox-eye Daisies

Ox-eye Daisies

A great evening with the Rat Pack

Last night was my big chance to try event photography. A select group of us from the Photographic Society were invited to be the official photographer for the Rat Pack Show at the Scarborough Spa.

Although this is something I wanted to try the nerves were there before the show. I know that I have the photographic skills but could I apply them during a fast paced show. Below you will find a few of my images from the evening so you can judge for yourselves.

At the end of the day my experience was that I loved it, the time flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed capturing images of the show. It was a great show and although it was difficult to manage taking the photographs while the lights were constantly changing I had a fantastic time. Today has been spent in front of the computer processing my files but I am really pleased with the results.

Next month I am shooting my first wedding and after last nights experience I am really looking forward to it. Who knows this could be the start of a career in event photography!

Anyway, I'd love to hear your comments on the images I captured. Maybe you have an event coming up and are looking for a photographer!

The Rat Pack!

An exciting evening coming up as I am going to be shooting the 'Rat Pack' at Scarborough Spa on Saturday evening. The Photographic Society were invited to send along a select group of photographers to cover the event and I will be among them.

The show looks like it will be spectacular with amazing costumes and lighting so hopefully I should return with a few good shots. 

In return for photographing the event I can use the images as part of my portfolio and on my website but can't use them commercially. Still, it gives me an opportunity to try something new and who knows maybe it could lead to more work covering events.

Of course I will be posting some of my shots on Facebook and my website so hopefully you will all have a few great shots to view at the weekend!

A new friend

After a very grey day the clouds cleared this evening and the blue skies arrived. This meant an unexpected opportunity to escape with the camera for a couple of hours.

I headed off in the hope of capturing a nice sunset but being last minute I could't decide where to go. I decided to start with a visit to the bird feeding area in Forge Valley. I met a very inquisitive robin and saw a few tits. 

Everything was quite dark under the trees but you can't beat the sound of all the birds singing.