From Photographs to Paintings

Some two years ago – I met a lady called Diane Huxley.  I was out with the dog, and my camera, and we fell to talking, as you do.  She told me that she was a local artist, who painted animals – mostly pets, and was looking to paint more birds; but was having some small difficulty getting good images to paint from.

After some further talk, I said that I would send her some of my bird images for her to look at, which I did – and then – to my embarrassment, forgot all about it…..

Fast forward those 24 odd months, and she sent me an email to say that two pictures had been completed.  I’ve been trying to track down the original photo files, and have only found one (though I’ve not looked on my backup drives  yet to be honest)

Here’s the first, of a heron, taken at Reddish Vale Country Park

And below, is a copy of her painting of the same bird

I did also send her a photograph of a white tailed fish eagle, taken at our local bird of prey centre – and whilst I have photographed this particular bird on a number of occasions, I can’t quite track down the original file – I’ll post it when I can – but in the meantime here is her wonderful painting.

Diane has her own website –

The detail is amazing, and the paintings attest to her great talent.  Have a look at her site – she comes highly recommended.

The Harvest Mouse

Despite the fact that these are known as the Harvest Mouse (or Micromys minutus), they are likely to be found in hedgerows and gardens all year round.

It is the smallest rodent in Britain, weighing in at just around 6g, and came to be called the Harvest Mouse, as it was most commonly seen around the time that fields were harvested.

The mice generally live around field edges, in hedgerows, and in the crops – but they do not cause any damage – they are so small, and eat so little – that the farmer should not notice.

The Harvest Mouse has a prehensile tail, which is about the same length as its own body. It can be used to hold onto things like the stems of corn or oats –

They don’t live long – about 18 months, but in that time they reproduce frequently.  The female is pregnant for only about 17 days, and gives birth to anything up to 8 young – and they can do this 7 or 8 times in a breeding cycle.  The babies leave the nest within a few days, and become independent.

They are the most beautiful mammals – and I hope to get back and photograph them again sometime soon.

Lytham Proms 2012

Over the last weekend, I was able to shoot the Lytham Proms, held each year on Lytham Green, just outside Blackpool.  It was a fantastic experience to be able to shoot such giants as Alfie Boe, Olly Murs and Diana Vickers, as well as the Lytham Community Choir.

The weather on Saturday night was mixed, but even as the rain hurled down, the voice of Alfie Boe made you forget the water running down the back of your neck.

You can just about make out the rain to the bottom left of the shot.  Despite all that, the sun shone, and though I’ve not got a photo of it, there was a wonderful rainbow, that arced from the sea, over the Lytham Windmill, and onwards.  Alfie remarked that it was a great light show, that had been set up..

Next night was Olly Murs, and the whole demographic of the evening changed.  Lots of  young people, all screaming their heads off for Olly.  He was a true professional, with so much energy – and lots of time for his young fans.

The full set of images can be found by clicking HERE