1. Twilight image spread

    At, approximately, the same time as I was notified of my highly commended entry in Asferico for my helleborine at twilight image, I received a request from the technique editor of Digital Camera magazine. They were looking for an alternative perspective of what must surely be our most photographed wildflower and asked whether they could licence my image of bluebells at twilight and if I wouldn’t mind saying a few words on how the image was created. The spread appears in the latest issue but should you wish to read it, I have included it below. Just click the image to open the PDF.

    DCM177

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  2. Award

    There are just a few competitions that I enter most years which include Wildlife Photographer of Year, British Wildlife Photography Awards and International Garden Photographer of the Year. This year, for the first time, I thought I would try my luck (you never know whether you will be successful or not) with the Italian competition – Asferico: International Nature Photography Competition. There are some exceptional images (the overall winner is yet to be revealed) with a strong, creative bias and amongst those awarded only 4 are represented from the UK and so I was especially happy to be awarded Highly Commended in the Plants and Fungi category with my image of a white helleborine at twilight.

    Taken as part of my Twilight project (you can view the series here) I recall, vividly, the evening I captured this image. As with most of my personal work I concentrate on those areas very close to where I live and there is a reserve not far away that each year has many white helleborines flowering in the same place. They have a wonderful structure and I was sure they would make an interesting silhouette. After some time scrambling around on all fours, in the fading light, moving from one flower to another desperately trying to seek out a gap in the trees in which I could place the flower I had all but given up hope until suddenly, there it was. Not only a window in which to frame it but one that mimicked its shape too! Those moments when it all comes together are rare but always make the effort more than worthwhile.

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    Nikon D300s, 200mm Micro, ISO 200, 0.4 sec. f/4, beanbag, cable release, mirror-lock.

     

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  3. Marbled Whites

    One of the obvious advantages to working, predominantly, close to home is that I have regular contact with my subjects and in doing so puts me in the position of visiting the location regularly and at the drop of a hat, when conditions are favourable. I was out for a stroll on a favourite part of the North Downs just 10 minutes from where I live at the end of last month. Fragrant, bee and man orchids had all gone over and, in their place, pyramidals were in abundance as were burnet moths and marbled white butterflies. It had been a long time since I photographed the latter but with so many present and so close to where I live it seemed the perfect opportunity to catch up with them.

    Photography was carried out at dawn and dusk when not only are they easier to get close to but conditions are more akin to how I wanted to portray them. Upon arrival, a low mist hugged the hills and spider’s webs festooned in dew linked grass stems and as I departed at dusk, the mist would slowly return with just the bark of a fox from a nearby copse breaking the silence.

    My "welcome" each morning.

    My “welcome” each morning.

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    marbled_white_butterfly_6 marbled_white_butterfly_7

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