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

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

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.

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!

Bluebells Everywhere!

On Wednesday evening I headed off with my dad to meet a friend of his, a fellow photographer, that would lead us to a fantastic wood that flows with bluebells. 

For now the location will not be revealed but it was a good drive to get there. As the bluebells only flower for a couple of weeks the location had to be checked out before we set off. The report came back that the bluebells were in flower and we headed off. 

Once we eventually arrived at the wood we were not disappointed, the wood was covered in a blanket of blue, an amazing sight. The wood itself is on a west facing hillside and runs for a good couple of miles. Sadly the evening was overcast and although we hoped that the sun would break through the cloud it never quite made it. Still, we managed to capture a few nice shots and its a location that will now be marked to revisit next year.

The wood is surrounded by farmland and a couple of cows visited us while shooting in the wood. They were very inquisitive and one of them took an interest in my tripod. Luckily I had my camera with me when this particular cow came across for a look at the tripod and proceeded to push it over. The cows both had calves in the next field and they were keenly watching through the fence. I managed to capture a few shots of them but they were quite nervous. 

All in all a great evening and it was a good opportunity to get out with the camera. I will definitely be returning next year and hopefully at a time when I can capture the setting sun batching the hillside with its warm evening light.

Bluebell Wood.jpg

The adventure starts here!

Up until this point photography has always been a hobby that has been pushed into the background, something that I've always struggled to find the time for amid the day-to-day tasks associated with having a family and running a business.

Now, after 15 years of hard work I have a successful typesetting business and loyal clients. The business is streamlined and I'm finding more time to devote to my passion, photography. Sadly, I don't think that my photography will ever be a full-time job but if I can find a balance with my day job then that is a good start and I foresee interesting times ahead!