I’ll be the first to admit that I could feel all interest in my landscape photography floating away on the wind and rain of recent weeks. I’m guessing I’m not alone either – simply put Autumn has been rough and with that comes impatience and black days of artistic depression. Endless grey is stifling and all it does is darken my mood. Worse still, my failure to ignite any competition success (it’s all relative) with my landscapes led me to start really questioning what I’ve been focussing my interest on. The pinnacle came about six weeks ago in October when it seems that there was a photograph of a misty beech tree on every page of the internet, one or two photographers were even brave enough to point that out…
I’ve spent a bit of time reconnecting with some mono work lately, especially since I started shooting some night scenes with the Nikon Df. I used to spend a lot more time with black & white than I have done this year and in the process I often looked in awe at Black+White Photography magazine for inspiration. It’s a very cool and elegant title indeed, a volume of genuine distinction and quality, in my view a cut above many of the other monthlies you’ll find it nestling amongst on the shelves of WH Smith. It’s been a long held ambition of mine to get something between the covers and in truth I’d all but given up that it was going to happen.
It might seem like an odd thing to announce towards the end of 2014 but it only just came to my attention that I’ve previously been awarded five Honorable Mentions at the International Photography Awards 2012. I guess the email got lost somewhere along the way, but it was only by chance that someone pointed out this fact out to me recently.
June was a very busy month, especially for infrared work. Our English summer is in full flight and for once it’s wall to wall sunshine and blue skies. That may not be to everyone’s taste for landscape photography but for those who have invested in Infrared capability like I have then there are no better conditions. Although June was a key month for rolling fields of things like poppies there probably wasn’t a better time to produce some high impact black and white images with the right approach.
After the photographically challenging period through February where I seemed to really struggle to find something I liked for weeks, March turned into an immense month photography wise. There is no doubt that come the end of the year I would probably be able to pick half of my favourite images from the sessions I had in this month – and sometimes you only need a few hours to fill a card with a whole set of images which have impact or poise, the right drama or subtlety. I enjoyed a number of mornings where conditions just played into my hands. Being in the right place at the right time is critical to get the best images but when the weather helps you deliver then things get a little easier.
Once again a real pleasure to be contacted by one of the popular newstand magazines, this time Advanced Photographer for a special 8 page feature on Long Exposures.
I’m very pleased to say that for the third year running I have been short listed for the Take A View Landscape Photographer Of The Year, it’s the competition that every landscape photographer in the UK wants to do well in. Last year I was featured in the Awards Book and my image Departure was selected as part of the exhibition at the National Theatre, London.
As the year draws to a close, it’s inevitable that we spend time reflecting on our lives and as photographers the journey we have taken through the passing months. It’s certainly been quite a big year from my point of view with a lot of changes in approach, equipment and finally ending up by wanting to inspire others and passing on much of what I’ve learned by launching a programme of workshops.