1. Marsh and Coast workshop

    I’ve just added a new workshop to the website, titled Marsh and Coast. This full-day workshop held in South Kent and East Sussex will incorporate three very different locations that I have been photographing for a number of years – Romney Marsh, Dungeness and Camber Sands.

    Monday 3rd December 2018

    Set in the middle of a marsh, a church, in one form or another, has stood here since around 1200 AD, and has to be one of the most picturesque scenes for a church in England.
    I certainly never tire of photographing it. There are water-filled, reed-lined ditches and footbridges that provide more than enough subject matter to satisfy any photographer. At a cost of £165 and a maximum group size of just 5, you can be sure of as much personal tuition as you would like, or need.

    Details here

    From here, and prior to lunch, we head to Dungeness, This famous location requires very little introduction. An other-worldly place, Dungeness presents many challenges to the photographer, while at the same time offering highly unique and individualistic compositions. Abandoned fishing boats, dilapidated huts, rail-tracks disappearing into the distance and close-ups of the rotting hulls await.

    Following lunch, we head to Camber Sands, a journey of just 15 minutes. Arriving in plenty of time you will have ample opportunity to capture the exposed beach in the warm afternoon light, through to dusk.

    I just love it here! There are just so many possibilities. Even though at first it may look flat and featureless, the more time you spend there the more it reveals itself to you. The date of this workshop has been timed to coincide low tide with sunset, and as we walk, channels become visible, producing sweeping arcs.

    Intentional camera movement techniques also work particularly well here, and I am always keen to suggest alternative ways of capturing a familiar scene.

    The date and time need to be precise when planning this workshop (tide and sunset) and since I am overseas so often these days I only hold this workshop 2 or 3 times a year. Therefore, if this piques your interest please don’t hesitate to book a place. You never know when the next opportunity might occur!

    Details here

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  2. Yorkshire Dales

    For some time I have wanted to visit the Yorkshire Dales in early summer and last week I did just that. A few days were first spent with my partner in Harrogate with a visit to York and while she caught the train back home to the southeast I travelled an hour north to Askrigg where I stayed for a further 5 days. As well as photographing for my own personal work I intend to lead a workshop to the region the same time next year and as always I did a lot of research and purchased maps to help me along. Ultimately, however, no matter how much preparation you do (always remembering the 5 Ps!) you still have to get out there, drive distances, get out early, stay out late and, of course, walk!

    The weather wasn’t great, it has to be said, and compared to the south it was pretty cold. In fact, what struck me most was how advanced trees and, indeed, the countryside as a whole was 290 miles further south. Ramsons, herb Robert and some early purple orchids were still in flower whereas in Kent they had long since gone over. That said, it was wonderful to see the fresh, lime green vegetation again and it really is a beautiful part of this isle of ours. The weather was inclement throughout. Mostly cloudy with showers and some sunshine, albeit fleeting. Thankfully, when the sun did pop out I was out also, and in position. There were no great sunrises or sunsets to speak of but, as is always the case, you simply get on and keep an open mind to other possibilities. My time was divided between the northern section: Wensleydale and Swaledale and the southwest: Ribblesdale and Dentdale.

    yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_001I always enjoy looking for patterns, whether close-up or in the landscape and the Dales suited this side to my photography very well indeed.

    yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_002yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_003The fields were full of buttercups and other wildflowers and were not far from being mowed as was evident as I drove and so I was eager to secure images incorporating barns and stone walls set in the landscape as quickly as possible.

    Four images stitched in Lightroom 6. A great new feature to this version which produces a RAW file instead of a Tiff. Worth the money just for this feature alone I think.

    Four images stitched in Lightroom 6. A great new feature in this version which produces a RAW file instead of a Tiff. Worth the money just for this feature alone I think.

    As is so often the case when I visit somewhere new, I tend to spend the first couple of days madly dashing around getting what I can. It’s only when I am happy that I have secured a number of reasonable images that I begin to settle down and seek out more interesting and thoughtful compositions.

    Buttercup meadow. Double exposure.

    Buttercup meadow. Double exposure.

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    Nikon D610, 28-105mm @ 28mm, ISO 200, 0.8 sec. f/18.

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    Thank goodness, for the most part, that many of the roads were quiet as I found myself constantly stopping, jumping out of the car with the engine still running (yes, the light was that fleeting sometimes!) and taking photographs hand-held or frantically scanning either side of the road for a pull-in after spotting (what I thought at the time) was some incredible view. Of which, by the way, there were many!

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    A stop the car with engine running moment.

    A stop-the-car-with-engine-running moment.

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    Nikon D610, 70-200mm @ 150mm, ISO 200, 1/60 sec. f/9.

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    Abandoned smelt mine. Wheatears were verywhere as I walked towards this old mine. I've photographed them before at the nest in slate quarry in wales and this habitat must suit them very well, providing lots of nest sites and with the stream close by, plenty of food, too.

    Abandoned lead mine. Wheatears were everywhere as I walked towards this old mine. I’ve photographed them before at the nest in a slate quarry in Wales and this habitat must suit them very well, providing lots of nest sites and with the stream close by, plenty of food, too.

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    Nikon D610, 20mm, ISO 280, 10 sec. f/16.

    It pays to always have a pair of wellingtons in the car as it makes life so much easier when shooting streams and waterfalls since you’re not restricted as you would with walking boots.

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    As I returned to the car having photographed the previous scenes I saw this. It was very windy and leant itself to blurring the trees as they moved. In order to accentuate this I used a Lee ProGlass ND Standard filter which extended the exposure time to 1 minute.

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    yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_020Capturing the limestone pavements was a must and I visited three. Each had their own unique qualities and I found myself transfixed by this incredible landscape. Some were easier than others to traverse and I swear, given how sharp some were, you could easily ruin a pair of boots after just a few visits!

    yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_021yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_022yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_023 yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_024yorkshire_dales_robert_canis_025

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    Limestone pavement and hawthorn Nikon D610, 20mm, ISO 100, 0.8 sec. f/16, Lee 0.6 ND grad.

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    Rigid buckler fern

    Rigid buckler fern

     

    Limestone pavement and ash tree

    Limestone pavement and ash tree

    All in all, my time spent in North Yorkshire was both productive and very enjoyable and I’m, already, looking forward to returning next year or, perhaps, sooner!

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  3. Nature Photography workshop at Northward Hill RSPB

    Friday 13th (just 2 places remaining) and 20th July 2012

    This summer, I shall, once again, be doing a Photographing Nature workshop at Northward Hill RSPB, situated on the Isle of Grain in North Kent. As last year, a percentage shall be going to the MSEP (Medway and Swale Estuary Partnership). I have supported this organisation for a number of years now by doing photo walks during the Kent Coastal Week and supplying images for their twice yearly publication, The Mudlark. The principle behind them is to raise awareness to the importance of this region and “to address issues affecting economic, environmental and social well being of the estuary.”

    The day will be a mix of classroom presentations and in-the-field photography where I will be going through such things as those camera settings that I regularly use as a professional photographer as well as covering metering modes, exposure, iso, composition and reading the histogram. With the aid of digital presentations, I will illustrate how to get close-ups of insects and flowers as well as the landscape. I will also illustrate how to get closer to birds and mammals through using hides and stalking. Post-processing techniques will also be touched upon.

    Last years group, infront of a pop-up hide, on a very warm August afternoon.

    As we are situated on a fabulous nature reserve we shall, of course, be putting many of those techniques discussed into practise though, it has to be stressed, photography of birds and mammals will not be possible as they are both too shy and elusive! However, there will be plenty of butterflies, dragonflies and flowers to aim our lenses at throughout the day.

    A hoverfly species, superbly snapped by one of the participants, Chris Moncrieff.

    Numbers will be limited to just 6 and are on a first come first served basis. Welcome tea and coffee will be provided.

    If you would like to attend, please get in touch, either by phone, on 07939 117570 or email: rmcanis@msn.com

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