Towards the end of my previous Blog I alluded to an image I had entered in to a competition and subsequently it has been short-listed. Well I am very pleased to say that the image above is the one. It just missed out on one of the top three awards in 2017 International Garden Photographer of the Year (Black & White section) but it did receive a Finalist Award. It is especially pleasing to know that my image will be included in to book of the competition but will have to wait until publication early next year.
Of the total 14 making up Winners, Finalists & Highly Commended 4 are from UK, 2 each from Brazil & Denmark and 1 each from China, New Zealand, Hungary, Croatia & Italy. Really is international.
Anyway if anyone is interested I am limiting this print to a maximum of 50 and the first one will be on view and for sale at the Barleylands Artisan Spring Fair on Sunday 7th May. Alternatively please get in touch directly via my contact page should you wish to discuss placing an order.
For the last 4 days Elaine and I have been at Essex Craft & Design Show at RHS Hyde Hall, it was so nice to see so many customers who took the time to come and say hello as well as increase their collection of my prints. Not only that but grateful thanks to those who purchased one for the first time. It is very gratifying to know that people feel my work is good enough to grace their homes. Thank you.
Pleased by the positive response to my book - A Photographer's Walk, Canvey Island to Shoeburyness. To order your copy please use the contact page .
Other than the event at Barleylands on Sunday I have no plans at the moment to show before December although that can always change. Nevertheless my work remains on sale so please fell free to contact me if you want to own a piece or pieces of my work.
Two Blogs in about a fortnight is probably enough for you so I will wish you well and sign off.
It is said that the older one gets the quiicker time passes thus it seems like only 5 minutes since we were last at RHS Hyde Hall with Essex Craft & Design last November.
Delighted to be returning in just over a week from 28th April until 1st May, 1000 - 1700 each day. From what I can see the gardens are looking very good after all the dry and sunny weather we have been enjoying. Whatever the weather The Essex Craft & Design Show and RHS Hyde Hall always ensure one of the best events of its kind in Essex.
In addition to new work in print for the first time I will have my first photobook on sale. I mentioned in my previous blog one was in the pipeline. Well the first print run has now arrived and early orders have already been dispatched. Titled 'A Photographer's Walk, Canvey to Shoeburyness' it contains 65 images I have taken during the last few months and years as I have walked virtually the whole route at different times. Other than a foreword it is about the images and not me prattling on; I hope the images speak for themselves. The soft-cover book is sized 6 1/2 inches square and contains 65 pictures, Priced at £20 the book will be on sale but is available to pre-order for collection at Hyde Hall during the show or posted in UK for an additional £1.50. Orders should be directed to email@example.com
Following on very quickly after Hyde Hall we will be at Barleylands on Sunday 7th May at their Artisan Spring Fair, open 1000 - 1700.
Still on the subject of books some of you may recall my print 'Winter' winning the Judges award in LPOTY 2014. Well the competition last year took place for the tenth year and to celebrate the best of those years the organisers, Take-a-View are releasing a special edition of the book showcasing the best of the competition to date. I am very pleased to say that 'Winter' is included in the anniversary book.
Entering photo competitions is always a lottery, not least because the quality of work from my contemporaries is outstanding and I have experienced far more disappointment than success so it is with guarded or perhaps slender optimism that a recent entry in to an international competition has been short-listed. By this it will have met all technical aspects and of course attracted judging attention. Now it is down to the subjectivity of those judges and how they view each and every image before them. Fingers crossed? No not really, just pleased to have got this far.
Well that is enough from me, I do hope to see some of you at Hyde Hall and or Barleylands but if not thank you for reading.
It has been some time since I last wrote in my Blog but I am happy to be back.
Winter or what passes for winter in these parts is coming to an end with milder weather and longer hours of daylight with new photographic opportunities around the corner.
During the last few months I have concentrated my efforts more locally through necessity as much as anything else although it is often said that one does not have to travel far from home to get good and interesting images. I want to be able to have photographs which interest people enough that they want to buy one( or more) but I think because of this I might have tried too hard to search for saleable compositions. I made a conscious decision to think more about what pleases my eye and indulge myself. This extends beyond what I shoot, I am increasingly taken towards square compositions as well as editing in a more artful way making use of various processing pre-sets I now have available.
My local wanderings during recent months have taken me along the Thames estuary from Canvey to Shoeburyness (more of this later) as well as enjoying time in various woodland settings, the most enjoyable being when there was fog and frost about. In such conditions I almost feel as if I am in photo heaven.
Not getting any younger I decided that perhaps I need not carry so much equipment on my back when I go out; always guilty of taking as much as I can 'just in case'. Now I decide what and how I will shoot and adapt and compromise if I need to. The picture below shows most of what I have and select from.
In the less busy times I occasionally look at some of my older images and see if I can process them in a better way - software and my skills have continued to progress - this image below was taken at Gordale Scar in Yorkshire some years ago, before and after.
I prefer the new version because it conveys more of what I felt and saw at the time and I think outputs the image more in keeping with the emotion I felt as I captured the scene.
Talking about my walks between Canvey and Shoeburyness brings me to my book! A project I have worked on for a couple of years: at the risk of offending locals, not any intent, as a landscape photographer the coastline offers so little in the way of drama with benign tides, flat coastlines and a complete absence of cliffs of any substance. Notwithstanding the topographical limitations I set out to capture the stretch of the estuary from Canvey to Shoeburyness through my eyes. Taking pictures that the non-photographer may not even consider as well as some more usual shots.
My book 'A Photographers Walk - Canvey to Shoeburyness' contains my selection of 53 images. Other than an introduction there are no words as I would like the pictures to speak for themselves. I like to think of it as a whimsical jaunt along this popular part of the Thames with some of its idiosyncrasies. The photobook is 6 1/2 inches square with soft cover. It is available to pre-order at £20 plus £1.50 UK delivery. Please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org . It will also be available at my next event, Essex Craft & Design at RHS Hyde Hall, 28th April - 1st May, 1000 - 1700 each day.
I suppose this Blog should come with a health warning...'If you do not like trees please look away now'. Of course I hope you will not but it is only fair to warn you as I know trees send some people in to a daze of bewilderment as was once the case with Elaine although she is now starting to discern the wood from the trees.
A conscious effort on my part to shoot Autumn colour locally has seen me visit Epping Forest three times, Thorndon Woods, Hatfield Forest, Danbury Country Park, Belfairs Woods and Blakes Wood in the last few weeks. Weather conditions have varied from brilliant sunshine to mist as well as flat light and cloud. Middle of the day, before sunrise and at the end of the day. Different times of an autumn day present so many great opportunities to shoot. Not to be missed. Each a unique challenge to create something different.
When I say trees what I really mean is trees and the environment in which they thrive, the undergrowth, the natural disorder of fallen trees and tangled bracken. The colour , shape and form combine so well and create so many natural compositions. On a couple of trips I dispensed with my tripod and filters and just shot handheld using wide apertures, a complete and self-imposed change for me. It took some getting used to but it helped me look at what I saw in a different way. Will I shoot this way again? Yes. Will it become the norm for me? Probably not, although as age creeps up on me the opportunity to travel light will become more appealing but from a purely photographic standpoint me and my tripod will be rarely parted.
As a slight aside one of my images from earlier in the year, below, was shortlisted for this years Outdoor Photographer of the Year but unfortunately did not make the final.
Unless something unexpected happens photographically this will be my final blog of the year so it is opportune to thank all of those who have supported me in my endeavours by way of purchase, compliment or just encouragement. All are most graciously received, thank you very much. I am not hanging up my boots just yet (if ever) and hope to be doing some events next year, details will appear in due course. Please do remember that you can contact me if youwant to purchase a print and private viewings can be arranged.
I have so many worthy images from the last few weeks I am spoilt for choice, a good selection can be viewed on my home page but below I have included some of my favourites. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them.
This time last week we were busy setting up at RHS Hyde Hall for the weekend event, Made in Essex as part of RHS Woodfest. Little did we know what a busy and rewarding weekend was to follow. I say rewarding because not only did my work receive much positive comment but previous customers made the effort to come and say hello and indeed purchase more of my work. It is ironic that in the year appearances have been cut back I have received more positive feedback than ever. This was our final outing of the year but that does not mean I am closed, please contact me if you have an interest in purchasing. Orders for Christmas should be with me no later than 11th December to ensure delivery in time.
While at Hyde Hall I made the most of the gorgeous side-lighting and Autumn colour at each end of the day. I think these are Ash but am happy to stand corrected if there are any arborealologists (is that a word or have I just made it up?) out there!
Sparkling Autumn Since last weekend I have visited three Essex woods, Thorndon, Epping & Hatfield. Conditions in each were different. Thorndon, the sun had just broken through and the light really saturated the autumn colours. In Epping it was dull and flat, no sun, no mist but still made for interesting compositions. Finally Hatfield Forest, I wanted to see some different species of tree and their Oaks did not disappoint. Arriving at dawn the air was clear and bright but during the next hour fog arrived giving some fabulous soft lighting which I really enjoy working in.
Beech Woods Branching Out (1) Oak Of course trees are not everyones cup of tea although last weekend I did have an interesting chat with a gentleman who was a member of a tree appreciation society. So if you do not like trees how about some local pictures from Old Leigh and Chalkwell also captured in misty conditions.
As part of my commercial work I do shoot high quality interior photographs, essential when it comes to design people and estate agents wanting to ensure premises look their best for potential purchasers. This year I have been shooting for a local company culminating in shots of their new kitchen showroom.
Technique behind the camera and in front of the PC are fundamentally different from my everyday landscape work. Verticals must be exactly that, the outputted image should be bright and cheery with highlights and shadows captured dynamically. below are some examples of that work. Judge for yourself if I have achieved my objectives!
I should just add that 'Winter' my picture which won a Judges Award in 2014 LPOTY competition is to be included in a special 10th Anniversary book to be published in April 2017.
That is all for now. Thanks again for your continued support and I hope my work gives pleasure; if on viewing an image it places you there at the time then I have succeeded in my objective.
Just back from a few days in Northumberland, one of my favourite places for all sorts of reasons. In fact it is probably my favourite place. Combination of sunny weather, then sea fret and catching up with dear friends made it a special few days.
Overnight the weather went from warm and sunny to sea fret meaning a completely different approach to my photography. It can take a leap of faith to shoot in poor visibility but the results can be excellent and certainly different but please do not take my word for it....my chosen images make up the home page of my web site.
Beadnell Harbour Beadnell Harbour shown to good effect, illuminated by the warm colour of the setting sun.
Golden Dawn Golden light flows across a field of Phacelia tanacetifolia overlooking the magnificent castle at Bamburgh
Having just come back from two days at Essex Craft & Design Show at Cressing Temple Barns I am pleased to announce that my final outing for the year will be at RHS Hyde Hall on 5th & 6th November as part of the Made in Essex Show, open 1000 - 1500 both days. Just in time to place orders for Christmas.
Just when it seemed that summer was at an end the weather starts to warm up. Seems that down here in south Essex it has been rather warm for ages. Still make the most of it while we can.
It would be nice to think or hope that the weather remains fine at least until 24th & 25th September when we will be venturing to Cressing Temple Barns near Witham for the annual Essex Craft & Design Show run as ever by the admirable Jan Simon & Dave Shields. They always go to great lengths to make their shows the best in the county. I do have a small number of complimentary entrance tickets, if you are interested please drop me an e-mail with your address and I will send them out, first-come-first-served.
For us our excursions to events have been deliberately reduced this year but we are looking forward to Cressing. Before then we will be enjoying a short break in Northumberland, no doubt my cameras will accompany us.
Have you ever thought of purchasing one of my pictures finished in Acrylic? Perhaps I should not say this myself but they look absolutely stunning when finished and I was pleased to deliver a couple to a customer in London. Choosing the right image is obviously import be it to match a colour scheme or theme but the results are so classy it is hard not to stand back and admire the finished product. Below are a couple of examples. If you are interested in purchasing one of my image please do consider Acrylic as an option.
The image below emphasises the smooth finished edge to an acrylic
Finally I have a new gallery on my web site, self indulgent, perhaps but I have always loved Boats and Planes and Trains so why not display some of my favourites with I hope more to follow. Thanks for reading.
After a hectic couple of years I decided to ease back this year especially on the Arts Market at Spitalfields, I felt it was time to take stock.
I have been photographing closer to home and over a period I have walked from Canvey to Shoeburyness along the sea front, now the title of my latest gallery. My purpose was not to take the arty shot but look if I could see everyday sights through my own eyes and perhaps take pictures others may not even consider. How have I done? Well although never satisfied I am pleased with progress to date. I will add and subtract.
Just because I have ended my time at Spitalfields does not mean I am any less keen to sell my work and I think I have mentioned previously that my work is available to view by private arrangement. It was very pleasing that someone travelled from London and spent time looking at and selecting from my work. My little RAV4 can not accommodate everything I have in print so it was beneficial to be able to have the space to display just about everything I have on offer. The less frenetic atmosphere was good for my viewers as it gave time to discuss requirements and what was possible or not possible. If you think you might like a good browse please do not hesitate to let me know.
In 2014 I was thrilled that one of my images, 'Winter' was the recipient of the award of the head Judge, Charlie Waite, in the Landscape Photographer of the Year. This year is the tenth year of the competition and to celebrate that fact a special limited edition compendium celebrating the best images of the competition will be published in October. Only 300 copies will be printed. So I was delighted to receive an e-mail telling me that 'Winter' will be included. That picture just keeps on giving! So fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time!
At most I have only two more events this year, the next will be The Essex Craft & Design Show at Cressing Temple Barns 24th & 25th September.
I contribute images to a number of picture libraries and one, Picfair, have today released an interview with me along with some comments from me about images they selected. To see these and read the interview please use the link below.
I have cut back on the number of shows I am doing this year, in particular I will not be attending the Arts Market in Spitalfields.
Elaine and I started at Spitalfields in 2013 and we have had a great experience with many ups and downs but we feel it has run its course for us. During our time there we have met lots of nice people who have shown a genuine interest in my work and many of you have kindly purchased work from me. I do know that examples of my photography have found their way to various parts of the world as a result of our time at Spitalfields. I will remain grateful to those of you, and you know who you are, who have supported me through kind words as well as parting with your cash.
My work continues to be available through my web site and by private arrangement. There is usually a small selection on display and for sale at Havens in Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff-on-Sea.
This Sunday 19th June we will be at the Blackwater Country Show, Heybridge near Maldon in Essex. Open from 1000 - 1700.
As of now I have no other events planned although I do hope to be back at RHS Hyde Hall in early November with The Essex Craft & Design Show.
Recently I have been using my macro lens to get close to some of the flowers we are growing at home. Here are a couple of my favourites.
Thanks for reading.