When I am not photographing weddings, I like nothing more than getting out and doing some landscape photography. Unfortunately the landscape around Cambridge tends to be a bit lacking in photographic interest for me, so I need to get further away, which tends to only happen a few times a year. I will add to this collection as time goes on, but in the meantime here are a few of my favourites from my collection.
Whitford Lighthouse – The Gower Peninsula
To photograph this fascinating abandoned iron lighthouse takes a bit of planning as it is only accessible at low tide and only for a short period of time. You will have to check the tide times and plan for a long walk to get there at exactly the right time – but it’s worth it!
Rannoch Moor – Scotland
I am so envious of Scottish based photographers who have so much wonderful scenery around them. This image was taken on the same day that i took the winning photo that won me the SWPP Landscape Photographer of the Year. I had been staying in Edinburgh and hired a car and drove up to Glen Coe. It was a wonderful early autumn day and the first time i had been there. I have since been back and long to go again sometime.
Black Rock Cottage – Glen Coe, Scotland
Also taken on that wonderful day trip to Glen Coe, this scene of Black Rock cottage is always a favourite for photographers.
Carew Castle – Pembrokeshire
I used to live in Pembrokeshire when I was in the RAF and my wife Diane is a local girl, so I regularly visit this beautiful county. It is amazing how many fantastic photo opportunities there are in such a small geographical area. It’s got coastline, mountains and rivers as well as castles. This is Carew Castle and as castles go it’s fairly stunning to photograph.
Buachaille Etive Mor – Scotland
This is the image that won me the SWPP Landscape Photographer of the Year Award 2009. It’s actually a well documented scene and most if not all photographers that visit this location will take this picture. The area that i stood is actually worn flat by viewers standing there to take pictures. What won the award was the way that i handled this familiar scene. I actually took two pictures at different exposures and blended them together in Photoshop before applying some brown toning in an overlay to achieve a more moody look. The actual winning image also had some glow applied, but in this version i have removed that as i am now bored with that effect.
Newgale Beach – Pembrokeshire
By now you should be seeing a pattern here. Most of my landscape work is either done in Scotland or Pembrokeshire. I really should make an effort to travel elsewhere! This is Newgale Beach in winter, though its actually a composite because on the day i took this the sky was one of those awful dull plain white overcast days. A photographer wants texture in the sky and normally an overcast day is a day to stay at home, but thanks to Photoshop we can replace the sky relatively easily if the scenery isn’t too complex. The sky in this scene was actually taken in Bristol. Purists would raise an eyebrow at doing this to a landscape photograph, but for those of us who can only afford fleeting visits to places of beauty, we sometimes have to improvise.
A Misty Morning on the Cleddau
We are fortunate to own a caravan on the banks of the River Cleddau in Pembrokeshire and this image was taken early one morning. The mist was rising at the start of a beautiful day and I watched Swans and Herons in perfect silence. The loudest noise was the camera shutter!
Pentre Ifan – Pembrokeshire
Pentre Ifan is an almost mystical place when you visit the ancient burial ground on your own and the sky is full of drama. This is an HDR blended image, which means that I took five images at separate exposures and put them together using the Photomatix plugin for Photoshop. The five images were taken over several seconds rather than a quick burst and that has given a sense of movement in the clouds. I have then given the image a brown tone using blended layers and finally added the tonal effect using NIK Color Efex.
The Standing Stones – Portishead
Crikey – an image that wasn’t taken in either Scotland or Pembrokehire! Yes, they do exist! This was taken at Portishead near Bristol and as I was taking it an old man asked me if I was taking it for a competition. It did later win a Gold Award in the SWPP Monthly Competition, so I guess he was right. Although I now use Nikon D700’s this was taken on a D300.
The Cottage at Glen Coe – Scotland
Back to Scotland again and back to that amazing day at Glen Coe. This is Lagangarbh Cottage with Buachaille Etive Mor behind.
The End of the Road – Pembrokeshire
I first saw these old cars years ago when I photographed them with an Olympus OM1 and I wondered if they would still be there. Sure enough they were – things move slowly in Pembrokeshire! This has been processed using NIK Silver Efex black and white film simulator software.
The Winter Sentinels – Cambridgeshire
Just to prove that I do occasionally go out and do some photography near to my home, this shot was taken on Rivey Hill just above the village of Linton in Cambridgeshire.
A Secret Place – Scotland
I was photographing this mountain stream at a location further upstream when suddenly a van pulled up and a load of kayakers got out and climbed into their kayaks right in the middle of the scene i was taking. I was a bit annoyed, but one of the kayakers came over to me and said ‘You don’t want to photograph here’. ‘Why not?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘You want to drive down the road until you see a stile, then park up and go over the stile and make your way down to the stream.’ I followed his advice and this was the scene that awaited me. Amazing.
Field of Gold – Cambridgeshire
Another local picture, this scene is just a few miles from my house.
The Bicycle – London
It’s a bike and it’s in London. What can I say!
On the Pier – Weston Super Mare
This is still one of my favourite images. When I first became interested in photography back in the 1980’s, one of my influences was the photojournalist Don McCullin who was a famous war photographer, but also an excellent social documenter. His hard hitting images from the fifties to the eighties showed real life characters, whereas nowadays publishers seem only interested in celebrities. Photojournalists who want to tell the story of peoples lives have been ousted by point and shoot paparazzi it seems. Bring back The Picture Post I say.
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