I’ve been asked for quite a few images from Amateur Photographer to date, most notably with my Wild Wood Feature last October (watch out for another coming up again soon) so I was pleased to be asked to supply an image which would be used to demonstrate how to “avoid the cliches” as part of their “12 New Year Projects” feature…
December started like a winter month really should with a few sharp frosts and low temperatures, though as always the British weather usually has other ideas up its sleeve and this soon turned into a cloudy, wet, dull and windy spell bringing an end to the sort of conditions most landscape photographers revel in. A single and very short-lived small amount of snow in the latter part of the month wasn’t enough to re-create those magical conditions for me either. I’ve since been enjoying the low light/high ISO capability of the Nikon Df and this signals new possibilities for me as we turn towards 2015 but in truth I’d much rather be out in an icy dawn landscape with the Warwickshire countryside for company.
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.
Once again I’ve been fine tuning my equipment. For a long time I’ve accepted my own status quo and when I think about that it’s a bit odd really because it’s the opposite of who I am. I can’t sit still, I feel a compulsion to move on and evolve. What do I mean by that? Basically that my first choice DSLR in a Nikon D800E was the beginning and end of my requirements and my lens choices have very much followed that format. I’m not even sure how I ended up thinking like that.
November has been one of those transitional months for me. The best tree colour had departed and the weather was neither cold or mild, wet or dry. A bit hum drum really. The month was broken up for me with a sparkling trip to Paris so landscape wise I don’t seem to have got out quite so much as I might have ordinarily planned.
Only a few weeks ago I featured one of Mark Littlejohn’s wonderful atmospheric photographs on this very blog, with his image Woodland Wanders. I’ve followed Mark’s work for a very long time indeed and so it came as no surprise to me when he was announced as Take-A-View’s choice as Landscape Photographer Of The Year for 2014 with what I think is a quite wonderful photograph, aptly titled A Beginning And An End…
It gives me great pleasure to announce that for the third year running I will appear in the UK’s premier landscape photography competition awards book and print exhibition. This year I have been Highly Commended in Take-A-View’s Landscape Photographer Of The Year Awards with my image The Cotswold Way, entered in the Classic View category, and was Commended in the Your View category for Refuge. Best of all, my photograph Speak To Me has additionally been singled out for ‘Judges Choice’ by acclaimed photographer Rupert Grey.
Following up the initial success of last month’s guest photographer feature, I can see a lot of people were interested in what I find as inspirational so I feel sure this will become embedded as a regular feature on this blog. A few hundred people stopped by to give the page a read while some went to the extra length of writing a few paragraphs on what they saw for themselves in the images I selected.
Wow what a month! One of the most enjoyable periods of photography I’ve enjoyed for a long time and picking out a single image from October seems almost impossible. The colour riot of autumn has of course been in full flow and while others might have been waiting for the ‘optimum’ moment (whenever that is meant to be), I know from experience that this time of year is an ever changing conundrum so getting out there as many times as possible through the month would probably pay dividends. A mis-timed storm or prolonged period of rain can soon put pay to any plans you might have to capturing some trees with leaves on and sure enough a single significant storm came along right at the moment when the trees were reaching full colour.
Here’s another new feature that I’m going to be running on my blog, something which I’ve been meaning to get around to for some time…