I recently completed one of my Bucket List trips on a cruise between Vancouver and Seward (Anchorage) to enable me to visit some of the remote places in Alaska. Cruising is not my holiday of choice but it gave me the opportunity to visit some amazing places which were way beyond my expectations.
On my recent trip to the Rockies I expected to see quite a few glaciers in the area around Lake Louise and along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. However, nothing prepared me for the scale and magnificence of the icefield of Glacier Bay, Alaska.
A few people have asked me about the process of applying for the LRPS Distinction and my motivation for doing so. Whilst I had some experience of editing photographs in digital software I was a complete novice when it came to printing and preparing prints for exhibition. I joined York Photographic Society to learn from other members through discussion and feedback via project nights, competitions and exhibitions.
I woke up at 4.30am and looked out of the window towards Walla Crag and noticed that there was some mist which was obviously hovering over Derwent Water and the sky was just beginning to get light. There wasn't a moment to lose so I flung on the previous day's clothing, grabbed a pair of socks along with my camera bag and rushed out of the cottage. At the same time I was trying to think where to go.
At first glance the famous scree slopes on the south side of Wastwater look like they are just composed of loose rock which stretch approximately 2,000 feet, from top to base. I took a series of photographs of the gulllies, trees and rock faces which are quite abstract in nature but which together provide a powerful impression of the magnitude of the screes.
Last week I went on a small group workshop with Lizzie Shepherd to explore Nidderdale (near Blubberhouses) and to photograph details, trees and the Washburn Valley. I really enjoyed my day in the valley focusing on images that are out of my comfort zone and that didn't involve sand, the sea and waves.
As the current President of York Photographic Society I have one evening scheduled for me to give a presentation. Whilst I have given short talks about my photography I've never spoken for an hour and a half about my 'work'.
I have been enjoying different aspects of coastal photography and I've been inspired by Rachel Talibarts 'sirens' photographs of waves. In addition to photographing sand, big skies and piers etc I thought I would like to try photographing breaking waves. There is so much power in the water and I love the point at which the wave develops a sharp edge just before it breaks up into spray.
My original plan was to drive to Saltwick Bay for photography closely followed by fish and chips. However the low tide was an eye watering and wellie flooding 2.4m so that was a non starter. After a lot of investigation on google and OS maps I decided that I would visit a little beach south of Bridlington called Fraisthorpe.
After we had all survived the Beast from The East at the start of March i set off for a springlike week in the Peak District. I enjoyed a balmy afternoon at Ladybower Reservoir but then the snow and gales set in. By Sunday morning Tideswell was swamped by a foot of snow and I was going nowhere in my car.
In December readers of Outdoor Photography Magazine were asked to submit photographs taken in the challenging conditions of stormy weather. As these are the conditions I like best there was no problem in me submitting a few of my favourite images.
As President of York Photographic Society I am scheduled to give a presentation of my work to the membership. I decided to base my evening on 'Yorkshire' and 'coastal Photography' and I have been chipping away at the content for a while.
Someone told me about the lovely Roker Pier which features a long curve and as I want to show some piers and lighthouses in my presentation I drove up to Wearside.
The Old Gang smeltmill complex is considered to be one of the best preserved lead smelt mills, and the most structurally complex, in the North Pennines. It is situated just over a mile from the Feetham to Langthwaite Road on the Old Gang Beck.
On the last afternoon of my week's holiday in Whiby I decided to pay another visit to Saltwick Bay to photograph some rock pool abstracts for a talk I'm preparing and perhaps catch a bit of sunset. When I got to the top of the cliff I stopped in my tracks as not only was the sky as grey as ditchwater but the sea was still well established on the shale platform. It didn't look particularly encouraging or safe. Low tide was only an hour away so it should have been well clear of the platform but it obviously wasn't.
One of my favourite walks is from Sandsend to Whitby along the beach during low tide. It is especially lovely in the winter when there is usually a metallic orange or blue glow in the sky most of the day. I find looking out to sea and watching and listening to the waves rolling into shore incredibly relaxing and there is always something different to see and photograph.
In the past couple of months I have visited Skipwith common a few times. My original intention was to take some autumnal photographs but there is such an abundance and variety of trees that I have returned to explore further. The Common is one of the last remaining areas of northern lowland heath in England and there are 270ha of open heath, ponds and marshland. Skipwith Common’s heathland has stayed almost the same for thousands of years – with evidence of its use by man for at least 4000 years.
On Monday my friend John Ilingworth and Mark Littlejohn went on an exploration of the River Eden Valley which lies between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. The start of the day was bitterly cold but dry and the forecast was for a sunny day so we first headed down the valley to Coombs Wood near Armathwaite
Whenever I have driven across the Pennines on the A66 I have passed signs to High Force waterfall but I've always carried on driving to the other side of the Pennines. On this occasion the North Pennine waterfalls were my destination.
Whilst at a YPS meeting a couple of weeks ago our speaker had a few photo books on display which contained photographs from the previous years. They were printed by Saal Digital, a company that produces a wide range of photographic products
The Northumberland coast is a wonderful place to visit and explore and since it was 2 years since my last visit another trip was long overdue. I was based in Amble and during my week I visited some of my old favourites but also discovered some fabulous new locations.