1. Award

    Winners have been announced, and I am very pleased to say that for the second time I have won the Botanical Britain category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Taken on the north Kent coast, this image of kelp was captured at dawn on a receding tide. I initially went there to photograph an entirely different scene but the weather didn’t cooperate and so, with an open mind, went searching for alternatives. I was immediately struck by the water moving back and forth along the kelp-bed channels, and how by using a slow shutter-speed a soft, ethereal effect could be created. Very much looking forward to the awards ceremony, tomorrow, and meeting other winning and commended photographers. Congratulations to all.

    Nikon D810, 20mm, ISO 100, 2.5 secs, f/16, Lee 0.6 hard-edge grad filter, Benbo tripod.

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  2. Craft centre display

    Last Tuesday I put up my display of framed and mounted prints at Oad Street Food and Crafts near Sittingbourne. It’s a great setting with not too many featured artists so no-one’s work looks squeezed in amongst numerous others, an issue I was confronted with a while ago, elsewhere, and refused to show my work as a result. This has a much better feel, and with an adjoining restaurant/cafe, combining your visit with lunch, or simply coffee and cake would make for a very pleasant morning or afternoon.

    If you look to the right of this image you will notice a bio of myself. I felt this was important so that whoever was looking at the display knew something about the photographer, and more importantly, recognises that I am a local photograher and not someone from the other side of the country!

    Both mounted and framed prints are done so professionally using high-grade archival materials. I’m a photographer and I leave it to the experts to do this part of the job.
    All in all, I’m very happy with how it looks. Even if you’ve no intention whatsoever of purchasing, do pop along and let me know, on here, what you think. I hope that you enjoy it.

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  3. Favourite images of 2013

    Well, another year has passed and it’s only when I look back at those images I have taken over the last 12 months that I realise it’s been quite a productive one! As always, the vast majority of my work is undertaken within 20 miles of my home, here, in north Kent and so, not surprisingly, 10 out of the 12 are “local”. These are my personal favourites (though in honesty I could have included more) and so I don’t expect everyone to like my choice but then that’s photography where, like any other art form, it’s purely subjective. Wouldn’t it be terribly boring if everyone liked the same images?! I hope 2014 will be equally productive and I can see no reason why not considering the various trips and projects that I have planned but, who knows, mother nature may have different ideas.

    Lesser redpoll I was sitting in my hide on the marshes where I had a feeding station when all of a sudden this little chap appeared and began feeding just 4m away! I tentatively took a few shots to gauge it's reaction whereby it flew off but then returned, immediately, and stayed for the next few minutes. They are incredibly quick and the willowherb seed-head it was feeding on was swaying a bit so I was more than happy that quite a few came out sharp. I sacrificed depth of field for speed to ensure I stopped any movement and to render the background completely out of focus. Nikon D300, 200-400, iso 800, 1/1600 sec. f5.6.

    Lesser redpoll
    I was sitting in my hide on the marshes where I had a feeding station when all of a sudden this little chap appeared and began feeding just 4m away! I tentatively took a few shots to gauge it’s reaction whereby it flew off but then returned, immediately, and stayed for the next few minutes. They are incredibly quick and the willowherb seed-head it was feeding on was swaying a bit so I was more than happy that quite a few came out sharp. I sacrificed depth of field for speed to ensure I stopped any movement and to render the background completely out of focus.
    Nikon D300, 200-400, iso 800, 1/1600 sec. f5.6.

    European bison walking in heavy snowfall. Bialowieza, Poland.  Taken while co-leading a tour to photograph Europe's largest land mammal. I took a number of "clear" images as it stood in the meadow and was looking for something different. And so I stepped into the forest and composed this image through branches, to give the impression of peering into the world of the bison.

    European bison walking in heavy snowfall. Bialowieza, Poland.
    Taken while co-leading a tour to photograph Europe’s largest land mammal. I took a number of “clear” images as it stood in the meadow and was looking for something different. And so I stepped into the forest and composed this image through branches, to give the impression of peering into the world of the bison.
    Nikon D300, 200-400mm @200mm, iso 400, 1/160th sec. f4.5.

    Wood anemone at twilight Taken to form part of continuing, self-assigned project shooting plants at twilight. That period between sunset and dusk that lasts for, approximately, 45 minutes. It presents many challenges, not least subject movement and focussing issues as well as having to view plant photography in a new way as few "conventional" compositions work in such conditions.

    Wood anemone at twilight
    Taken to form part of a continuing, self-assigned, project shooting plants at twilight. That period between sunset and dusk and dawn and sunrise that lasts for, approximately, 45 minutes. It presents many challenges, not least subject movement and focussing issues as well as having to view plant photography in an entirely new way as few “conventional” compositions work in such conditions.
    Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 280, 1 sec. f4.

    Bluebell Having photographed bluebells many hundreds of times over the years, I was looking at producing more than just record shot and so as the sun rose and illuminated the background, I made a multiple exposure – one sharp and the other, out of focus.

    Bluebell
    Having photographed bluebells many hundreds of times over the years, I was looking at producing more than just a record shot and so as the sun rose and illuminated the background, I made a double exposure – one sharp and the other, out of focus.
    Nikon D300, 105mm Micro, iso 200, 1/15th sec. f4.

    Red campion Taken during a period of windy, sunny days, any flower photography I undertook was being carried out at dawn and sunset. This was captured as the sun set.

    Red campion at sunset

    Last rays of the day

    Last rays of the day

    Poppy field at sunrise

    Poppy field at sunrise

    Lizard orchid.  A tip-off from a warden friend of mine led me to this wonderful plant which had flowered for the first time in 20 years at this reserve. Situated just a few metres from a seldom used footpath and keen not to give away it’s location, I would leave the path 20 or so metres before-hand so as not to leave a “path” leading directly to it that might otherwise have drawn attention to certain members of the public! In addition I would shoot, only, at sunrise and sunset when no-one was around. Very covert! I had a window of just 10 minutes when the sun appeared between trees producing this golden light.  Nikon D300, 200-400 @ 360mm, iso 200, 1/200 sec. f5.

    Lizard orchid.
    A tip-off from a warden friend of mine led me to this wonderful plant which had flowered for the first time in 20 years at this reserve. Situated just a few metres from a seldom used footpath and keen not to give away it’s location, I would leave the path 20 or so metres before-hand so as not to leave a “path” leading directly to it that might otherwise have drawn attention to certain members of the public! In addition I would shoot, only, at sunrise and sunset when no-one was around. Very covert! I had a window of just 10 minutes when the sun appeared between trees producing this golden light.
    Nikon D300, 200-400 @ 360mm, iso 200, 1/200 sec. f5.

    Common darter dragonfly clinging to sea club-rush at sunrise. Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 200, 1/250 sec. f8.

    Common darter dragonfly clinging to sea club-rush at sunrise.
    Nikon D300, 200mm Micro, iso 200, 1/250 sec. f8.

    Rabbit at sunset

    Rabbit at sunset

    Fishing boat at sunset, Dungeness.

    Fishing boat at sunset, Dungeness.

     

    Canoes and northern lights The image was made on the first night of the Northern Lights and Autumn Colours of Lapland photo-tour that I lead every year with photographer and guide, Antti Pietikäinen. It was the most incredible display that I have, personally, witnessed that lasted for close on 3 hours with curtains of green and violet moving and swirling in the night sky. As a result, it gave us the opportunity to move to different locations and shoot a variety of compositions. After a long day of travelling and shooting through the night, everyone went to bed exhausted but exhilarated. The best feeling a photographer can have – I think! This image went on to win The Telegraph’s Travel – The Big Picture photography competition. Nikon D600, 20mm f2.8, iso 3200, 20 secs. F2.8.

    Canoes and northern lights
    This image was made on the first night of the Northern Lights and Autumn Colours of Lapland photo-tour that I lead every year with photographer and guide, Antti Pietikäinen. It was the most incredible display that I have, personally, witnessed that lasted for close on 3 hours with curtains of green and violet moving and swirling in the night sky. As a result, it gave us the opportunity to move to different locations and shoot a variety of compositions. After a long day of travelling and shooting through the night, everyone went to bed exhausted but exhilarated. The best feeling a photographer can have – I think! This image went on to win The Telegraph’s Travel – The Big Picture photography competition.
    Nikon D600, 20mm f2.8, iso 3200, 20 secs. F2.8.

     

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