Well, what a year that was…

It’s been a horrid year in lots of ways, and I bet a lot of us will be glad to see the back of it.. I’ve tried to see the bright side, but sometimes it does get you down, and I worry very much about what 2021 will bring – at least in the first half of the year. Fingers crossed the vaccine will work, and that more will be on the way soon…..

The weather has turned a bit more wintery recently, and so getting out and about has been a bit more difficult – however, there have been some good days this month, and the colder weather has brought waders to our beaches.

Twice this week, I’ve been able to nip to the coast, and see what’s about as the tide recedes.

Dunlin


The problem, if you will, with this time of year, is that not only does it get dark early, but the light changes fast. It started off dark grey, I was focussed on the Dunlin. I kept shooting for quite some time, varying ISO and shutter speeds, and any other factors that I could. The penny slowly dropped that the light had changed completely, the sky was blue, the light was stronger, and warmer, and things were picking up …

Redshank

It looked like summer through the viewfinder……..

Bar-Tailed Godwit

The blues became incredibly intense, to the point that it didn’t seem realistic.

And, as suddenly as it came – it went……

Dunlin

It got a little later in the day – people were thinning out – fewer dogs on the beach, and just one chap with a metal detector. He was up and down the beach – moving the birds on in front of him….. waiting to be moved was a Little Egret, it hung on, and hung on, and suddenly was off, in a flurry of water and wings

Little Egret

I was just thinking to call it a day, when I spotted an Oystercatcher on the shore – there was a group of 4, and each time I got close, they either ran up the shoreline, or flew away – this time, one remained behind – and puttered around in the water…..

Oystercatcher

What made this attractive to me now, was the light, and the colour on the water…..

Fashion photographer Barbara Bordnick once said “we walk by wonders every day and don’t see them. We only stop at what shouts the loudest”.

I feel it is a photographers duty to stop and see things that don’t shout out. Everything has some beauty, even the simplest of things. We just need to learn to see them, and take time to collect the images. It’s at this time – we stop saying “but, there’s nothing here to shoot”.

I think this will be the last blog post of the year…… so I want to wish you all the Merriest Christmas you can have – take care of yourselves. Maintain that social distancing – it’s the best thing we can do for each other –

Keep shooting – stay safe…..

See you in the new year… may 2021 be a better one…..

Art or Content

Show a person who likes dogs, a picture of a dog, and they may love it – even if it’s not technically perfect, because it’s a picture they can understand, and relate to. Show them one of a subject they are not interested in, and no matter how artistic it is, they won’t necessarily like it.

It’s Christmas eve, and I was sitting here reviewing images taken over the last 12 months, and thinking how fortunate I’ve been to be able to work with some amazing people – both models and photographers.

Meeting new people, models, photographers, studio owners is always a good thing.  The more people you interact with, the more ideas you can get, and the better images you can produce.

I’ve been blessed with two particularly good shoots in the last months – both have been quite artistic, and well received in the competitions that I’ve been entering.

I did think that I might print some images off and give them as gifts, but I’m not altogether sure that friends would enjoy them in the same way that I do.

I think that as photographers – we are very much emotionally involved in our images, and that the general public often appreciate the content much more than the creativity that goes into the art we make.

Show a person who likes dogs, a picture of a dog, and they may love it – even if it’s not technically perfect, because it’s a picture they can understand, and relate to.  Show them one of a subject they are not interested in, and no matter how artistic it is, they won’t necessarily like it.

Pictures are appreciated by people more when it actually pertains to their life.  Other people’s photography generally appeals to photographers simply because we ARE photographers..  A month or two back, I went to hear a photographer speak, and although it wasn’t a genre of photography I was particularly interested in, I admired the images – so much so, that at the end of the talk, I bought his book.  Each picture is exquisite, but I’d never go out and shoot that subject; but that didn’t stop me admiring the composition, textures and story that each image told.

There is a particular image that I’ve used in a number of competitions this year – an abstract – it did the rounds locally, in camera club battles – it scored highly every time – not getting less than an 18 out of 20 – and mostly getting 20.

Thinking that I’d got a winner on my hands, I entered it into a national competition – waiting eagerly for the results, I was astounded to find that it scored the lowest mark I had ever had in a National.  So what did I do?  Well, I still loved the picture, and when the print was returned to me, I mounted it, framed it, and hung it on the wall;  …….. and here it is…….

dv7b4136

It’s a bit ‘marmite’ I understand that…..  but none the less…..

I doubt I’d offer it as a gift to anyone, but it does look great on my wall – or at least I think so.

And on that note, I’d like to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas, and an amazing, and artful 2017 – let’s make images to be proud of……….

Snow is falling

A trip into the Peak District this week showed just how cold it’s been.  No real snow where I live, but a mere few miles, and a touch of elevation, and the temperature has dropped like a stone.

First Snows
First Snows

It’s been good to get out though, after so much work on this month – and though this post is brief…. it’s made me remember why I love photography so much.  It’s the getting out and doing it.  I could never be an ‘armchair photographer’, one of those who say, “I’d love to get a shot like that” – well the answer to that is, you can….. you just have to get off your backside, and get out and shoot it….  Enjoy the weather………

Higger Tor

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

I made what I think will be my last foray to the Peak District this year – though if it does snow again, I might just venture back if I can.

With a whole week to myself, I’m looking forward to sharing some great photography with some great photo friends.  On Sunday – we ventured forth to Curbar Edge, which is in the heart of the Peak District – we arrived just before sunrise, and just before the snow flurries blew in.

Having sheltered from the snow under rocky crags, we waited for the wind to blow the cloud cover over, and were rewarded for our patience with a bit of blue sky, and tiny shafts of sunshine.  We could have shot all day, the light changed so fast, and so we stayed on the tops till nearly 11am, which was about 3 hours from sunrise, and almost 4 from when we first arrived.

Although Curbar Edge is easy to get to, and fairly easy to walk along, the high winds, snow (and some fog) can make it treacherous – so if you do venture up there – make sure you are well equipped with waterproofs, a good OS map, and a compass.  It’s easy to climb up to places, but there are 364 different ways down.  Some of them sheer drops.

We were rewarded back at the car park with hot Earl Grey Tea. And although we were wet through with the snow and very cold, it was a worthwhile treck.

More images will be uploaded to my Personal gallery/landscapes in the next day or two.

In the meantime, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year…. take care.

Competitions, Books, Magazines – A great month for Oaktree

It’s not five minutes I’m sure since this time last year……  but time flies, as they say.

I’m very pleased though to be able to announce a few nice things, that feel like early Christmas presents.. Firstly, I entered the Wildlife Extra photography competition earlier in the year – specifically in the ‘bugs’ section, and out of over 2000 entries (competition wide) I had a finalist –

This rather nice shot of a Dew Laden Damselfly taken in Derbyshire earlier this year, which will be featured in a book to be released in the Spring of 2012.

What won?  Oddly, another Damselfly, CLICK HERE to see the full results.

After that, we were pleased and delighted to learn that CBRE the world’s leading commercial property and real estate services advisers are using an image in their soon to be published coffee table book. A complimentary copy will be winging its way to me soon – can’t wait.

And as if it couldn’t get any better – we also have the front cover of a local magazine – “Inside Marple”, with a winter scene taken in January this year up in the hills….

All in all a successful start to December……  Roll on 2012