1. 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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  2. Prints for Sale

    Kent, for whatever reason, has a dearth of galleries exhibiting and selling photography, but quite near to where I live, in Sittingbourne, Kent, lies a very nice craft centre set in the countryside called Oad Street Food and Crafts. 

    It’s been around for quite some time and a few years back I contacted them to see if they’d be interested in displaying/selling my work? I met with the manager of the craft department and they agreed. Upon reflection, and once I’d had time to digest the space, I declined. It was too muddled, too many items on show. Mine would be lost against the, ahem, clutter. But then I heard there was a change of ownership. The rather ‘twee’ tearoom had changed to a modern-looking restaurant, and the craft space was now occupied by just a small selection of local artists. I approached the owners, we had a meeting, and they agreed to display my work.
    This was a couple of months ago and ideally, there would be prints already hanging but due to my sheer workload of overseas tour commitments, it just wasn’t going to happen! We set a date (well, approximate), being the end of August. Images (both open and limited edition) have been selected and paper types and surfaces have been tested. So, I guess I know what I’ll be doing over the coming weeks!

    UPDATE
    Prints will not be on display until the end of September

    If you’d like to be kept up to date with my latest news and alerted of those prints that will be on display then you might like to consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter, here.

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  3. Marsh pool

    With autumn fast approaching I thought I’d share a selection of images I took over two mornings back in July.

    As I drove along a track on the North Kent Marshes I noticed a pool of water of just, approximately, 20 x 20m which was attracting a substantial number of birds. The water, it seemed, was just at the right depth for avocet, redshank and godwit amongst others. Not too deep making wading a problem yet not too shallow where it would support little or no life. About, I would say, an inch to an inch and a half.

    It was warm and we were in for a dry spell and with the threat of the pool drying up and the birds leaving to find elsewhere to feed, I scanned the area through binoculars to see where would be the best place to set up a small hide. After settling on a spot and upon obtaining the landowner’s permission, I went home and collected the hide. Activity is at its peak first thing (not to mention the light) and with good weather forecast for the next couple of days I duly set up the hide that evening.

    Under the cover of relative darkness I arrived at 3.30 the following morning and quietly made my way to the hide but before doing so gave myself a good dousing of insect repellent as mosquitoes in and around the pool become active with the rising sun. On the second morning, however, I forgot to apply it and with me settled in the hide and without thinking, liberally sprayed my ankles, forearms and tops of my hands which resulted in something akin to a fumigation tent! I dare not exit and spook the birds. I must have sounded like Dastardly from Dastardly and Muttley. I’m really showing my age now!

    Dawn from my hide

    Dawn from my hide

    I used the excellent Dome hide (standard) from Wildlife Watching Supplies and as I wanted to obtain a low angle I used the slit at the front rather than the normal opening which is a good metre off the ground. A Manfrotto 190 tripod was fitted with an Acratech Levelling Base (beautifully engineered and highly recommended which I also use for panoramas) and on top of that, a heavy duty Gitzo 3-way pan and tilt head. An angle-finder was fitted enabling me to view the image when kneeling. It’s imperative when working this way to use such a levelling base if you are to keep the water and horizon level.

    Oystercatcher

    Oystercatcher at dawn

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    Redshank

    Immature redshank

    Immature redshank

    Adult oystercatcher with juvenile

    Adult oystercatcher with juvenile

    Juvenile redshank

    Juvenile redshank

    On the second morning I repositioned the hide to look into the rising sun.

    The Nikon D300s was fitted with a 200-400mm, occasionally with a 1.4x tele-converter attached and ISO’s ranged from 200-800 depending on the circumstance. For the image of the oystercatcher at dawn below, for example, as it was stationary there seemed little point in using a high ISO so I used ISO 200 with mirror-lock to obtain as much detail as possible.

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    Black-tailed godwit

    Black-tailed godwit

    Black-headed gull

    Black-headed gull

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    Avocet

    Avocet

    This juvenile redshank had caught a dragonfly and spent quite some time ‘pondering’ over what to do with it. Interestingly, it submerged it several times which, I am guessing, made it easier to swallow and digest.

    Juvenile redshank with dragonfly

    Juvenile redshank with dragonfly

    Juvenile redshank

    Juvenile redshank at sunrise

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    Mosquitoes buzzing around a redshank at sunrise

    Mosquitoes buzzing around a redshank at sunrise

    Avocets and oystercatcher

    Avocets and oystercatcher

    Oystercatcher calling

    Oystercatcher calling

    I love working from a hide, especially is such a situation where you never know what might turn up. I would shoot from 4.30 through to 7 when the sun would become too harsh for photography but even though it was a short period it was very intense never the less with barely a moment passing when I wouldn’t be peering through the viewfinder or capturing the sounds of the marsh on my recorder.

    Once the sun had risen too high to continue I made my way back to the car and as I did so spent a few moments photographing families of redshanks chasing and calling at one another. Two days later the pool was reduced to a muddy scrape which is testament, I feel, to a saying I hold close with my photography: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today”.

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    oystercatcher-005

    oystercatcher-007

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