The Gorgeous Yorkshire Dales

I’ve just got back from leading 2 back to back workshops in the Yorkshire Dales. What a fantastic place for photographers. Everything from dramatic gorges to waterfalls to quarries to dry stone wall and buttercup meadows. Truly, God’s County…

This is the birthplace of the Sublime in England (check out James Ward’s Gordale Scar from 1815). My recent picture of the same location is above. We even have example of the Industrial Sublime imposing on the landscape (below)…

But I think the Dales are probably more representative nowadays of the bucolic and Picturesque, certainly so in late May, early June. And it’s still deliciously beautiful, irrespective of the label…

 

 

 


Ruined, in Harris

Photographers can’t resist a ruin, especially one as decrepit as this on Harris. On a moody, rain-filled day, here is a place to escape the weather and get some images. Mind you, there were so many holes in the roof that the weather chased us inside…!

There is a strong sensation of ghosts in places like this. Not literally, but a feeling of lives lived here and now gone. Mouldering away, all quite eerie.

The goosebumps are certainly prickling when you spot that a sheep has wandered in, some time ago, not escaped, and left its skull as a decorative element in the kitchen…

Upstairs is empty and forlorn, silent apart from the curtain in the wind.

Whoever did live here just got up from their chair and departed. The last cup of tea left to go cold and stale on the sideboard. Ruined, in Harris.

(Ruined House found on Quest workshop trip to Harris, Lewis and Durness. 2019 brochure here)


Harris Colour

Inspired by Roy Essery’s cracking website (here) I thought it about time to upload some of my images from our recent workshop to Harris. The Outer Hebrides being so far north, and so far into the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that this is a world of contrasting weather and contrasting colours. It’s a wonderful place for black and white, but I’ll leave that for another day…

 

These colours are barely tweaked at all in PS. Vivid green, purple, blues and oranges, all very typically Scottish…, and all very photogenic!

 

 

 

 

There’s no Scotland trip planned for 2019 (check out the brochure here), but Harris pulls strongly, so we’ll be back there the following year. Now, to have a look at the monochrome images…


Empty Venice…

Venice is a photographer’s delight. Everywhere you look are potential images. The trick is to empty the city of people, and that isn’t quite so easy…

Early morning works (only photographers get up before 6am…) or shoot across the water in the misty twilight.

I love slowing the exposures down so much that everything moving – boats, people etc – just disappears…

And then it’s good to find hidden corners, bridges and canals where occasional interlopers do appear, but seem quite arbitrary.

Visit Venice in the off season and it’s easy to appreciate its beauty, and not get too flustered by its crowds. And then, get up early morning to make the most of it…

 

For more info on Quest Photographic Tours, and the workshops I’m leading next year, please click on this .


Immy likes to strike a pose…

I have an actress for a daughter, and she loves to strike a pose… Spot the onlooker!

 

Wonderful to see Immy happy again!

Photos from Rousillon, Luberon, France. Aug 2018


Galloping in the Camargue

It’s been years since we went to France on summer holiday. But the wait was worth it. Even in the canicule (41C at its peak) it was lovely. And in spite of the heat we made a trip to the Camargue so that I could photograph the horses. A fantastic evening, knee deep in the marsh, camera set up to 3200th of a second, and galloping horses, coming straight for me, very fast….


I guess photography is as much about the experience of taking the photo, as the photo itself. And this was an experience! Power and grace, and a lot of splashing. I couldn’t stop grinning…

 

 

This is gypsy land, and gypsy horses. It was fantastic to see the gardiens drive the horses through the water. Here’s gypsy Lucie, bareback, no helmet, galloping at 40mph. Definitely a sight to behold…

 

I think my favourite images are those that are slightly desaturated to reflect the ethereal experience (see first and last image). It was a great day in a great place. I can’t wait to return!

 

 


Judges’ Bait – the Blavatnik Building

Photo judges would not like these photos… Too much deep black shadow, slightly burnt out white highlights. Too empty. But so what, I rather like the atmosphere it creates, and atmosphere is what a photo should be about. So the blacks and whites stay…


Pics all from the marvellous new wing of Tate Modern, the Blavatnik Building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron. Concrete drama, all very striking!

Stairways are a fave of mine. Leading lines and suggested journeys. Up, down, travel round the corners. A sense of mystery…

Here’s to curvy stairways, emptiness and deep blacks and clear whites…

 


Iceland – just amazing…

There is a moment when you know that you’ve fallen for a place. I’ve just been co-leading a workshop in Iceland, a land which is awesome in every sense of the word. But the place that encapsulates that wonder is the beach at Jökusárlón, where the bergs get washed up on the black sand and create amazing temporary sculptures. Stunning.

Iceland is not just black beaches and icebergs. It’s glaciers, fish, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, sulphur, mud, horses and expensive hotels. Empty roads too. Route 1, the equivalent of the Icelandic M25, is empty once past Reykyavik and the glory spots of the south coast. I drove for hours only passing a few cars the whole time… 2500 kms, empty most of the way.

 

 

I can’t wait to go again. Next year, perhaps in late March when it’s a bit colder, more icy, more dramatic, more raw. If you want to come, let me know. We will be in 2 4x4s, space for 6 passengers on the photographic trip of a lifetime…


Help…., Can’t breathe.

Sometimes you just feel sorry for the animals. And that perhaps nowhere so much as in the market place. Pride and dignity gone. No escape. Dead eyes still imploring. It is all very final.

 

 

 


You can never tire of London…

“Why Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London” said Mr Johnson. And what goes for 1777 still stands for 2018. A fascinating city, even on a bitterly cold February evening outing with the camera club. The best was Tate Modern, full of vibrancy, youth, music, art and installations late into the evening. I could have spent hours there snapping away, agreeing with Mr Johnson’s dictum… “No Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…”