To Like or Not to Like, that is the question..

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Every now and again someone will ask me “where did you take that picture?”  It’s usually easy for me to tell them,  as I can remember most locations.  However, sometimes I’m asked “WHY did you take that picture?”

The image above generated this second question.  It was taken on the beach, close to West Kirby, and the chap had been wind surfing.  The dog had been bounding around on the beach, and this was the greeting the owner got when he sat down.  I was just taken by the moment shared between man and dog.

What’s interesting, is that the next person to look at this shot might say that it doesn’t do anything for them.  They may not like the composition, or the colours, or the expression….

This is the point – there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way – it’s all to do with how the viewer has been educated by books, art, and photography.  It’s about how they have been ‘judged’ in the past on their own work.  It is also to do with how much influence an individual has had in their photographic journey.

If you are constantly told that the photographic rules have to be followed, and that deviation means it’s wrong – then it’s possible that the photographer will not be as creative.

You need to know the basic rules, yes, but you also need to be aware that it is OK to break them when YOU want to.

Your own views will be constantly changing, provided you are open to change. And the truth of the matter is that you have only one person to please that really matters……. YOURSELF.

 

Peak District Magic

I live on the borders of the Peak District – and have done for many years – but it seems that only in the last 3 or 4 of those years, have I actually started to look around more.  Why is it that you don’t look on your own doorstep so much, but feel you have to travel to another County, or even another Country to get those spectacular images.

The Peak District has been photographed to death, to the point where I reckon there are tripod holes in the ‘best’ places.  Having said that, it’s not been photographed by ME, and so I’ve been making every effort to get out there and shoot, and this at stupid times of day, but when the light is at its best.

So – one morning towards the end of July – we arose from bed at 2.45 in the morning – having seen what looked like a reasonable weather forecast – it had been cool overnight, but dry, and the morning was set fair….   mist was intermittent as we headed off – and by the time we arrived at Calver, and Curbar village, the fog was really thick – we started the climb to Curbar Edge, and climbed out of the cloud inversion – what we saw was incredible…

I have never seen such a sight in the Peaks for a long time – Sometimes you have to forget the images, and just enjoy the view… Once we turned around though, we saw what was happening on Froggat Edge


The sun was just starting to come up – sunrise scheduled for 5.10am, with a hint of pink in the sky, it was just amazing.

The last shot for this blog is one I took of my better half, with the dog, shooting into the sun along the back of the edge…. a truly amazing morning.


I’m still working on the new blog layout – not had much time this month, but I’ll battle on… keep watching.

Mother Cap

Just above Millstone Edge, on Hathersage Moor, in the Peak District lies Mother Cap.  It’s a place I visited in the winter with a couple of photography friends, and I had an image in mind ever since.  Today, I woke up early, and with an unmitigated amount of enthusiasm.  It was 2.45am….

My other half, stuffy with sleep, actually agreed to come out with me, but when I said “well, lets go then”, I though he was going to just turn over and ignore me.  However, by 3am, we were up and about, with a confused dog, who wondered why breakfast was coming in the middle of the night – by 3.20 we were on the road, and by 4am we arrived at the Surprise View Car Park (gosh, I wonder why we were the only car there……?)  The hike up to Mother Cap was easy, and although it wasn’t cold, there was a stiff breeze.  Dawn was timed for 4.50 – but it was actually 5.05 before the light got over the hills, and onto the rocks.

Mother Cap at Dawn
Millstones on the Edge
Silhouette before Dawn
Poppy on the Rocks

It was so good to be out and about so early – not another soul in sight – and although we know the day is setting out to be another hot one – we had the coolest time, the greatest light, and a second breakfast when we got home.

Time for a nap me-thinks…..

Basil 1997 – 2011

You came to us at nine weeks old, dragged away from mum and all your brothers and sisters, but it was OK, because there was another dog already here, and there was masses of love and affection for you.  You pestered the other dog mercilessly, running between his legs till his patience snapped and you got truly told off.  But then it was Autumn, and there were leaves to chase.

Later, you were a stroppy teenage delinquent, everything you had learned forgotten. You dragged us everywhere, leaping, loping, running. Through hedges, fields, mud, rivers – you regularly came home any colour but the gorgeous chocolate that you were – and smelling of fox – what a joy.  And still you pestered the older dog, who, more tolerant of you now merely growled a warning, and you took notice.

Our walks in times later, were more sedate, we tramped for miles and then sat and looked at views.  Still energetic, you chased  leaves, sticks, balls, other dogs, and rolled in long wet grass with a joy unbounded.  You walked with me though, and showed me the small things – snails, conkers, sweet chestnuts, pebbles, and of course you brought me presents of twigs.  And then it was Autumn again, and there were still leaves to chase.

As you got older, the walks got shorter – and less frequent, but the tail never stopped its wagging – you never had a cross thought in your head.  The older dog passed away, and we all mourned together, but you had learned from him, and you were wiser.  You wagged your way through the time that followed, acting your age more and more, the leaves turned yellow once more, but this time, there was no chasing, just patient watching.

We had you with us for 14 years.  You were a superstar, and we will remember you always.