Iceland in the Winter

There’s an awful lot of tosh spoken about Iceland in the photographic community (it’s too full of tourists, all cliché, nothing new to photograph etc etc etc). All of which is rubbish. Iceland is still one of the most dramatic places in the whole world for wonderful landscapes, and if you take your time to see the vistas on the side of the road, then it’s easy to come away with images that don’t contain a cliché view amongst them. Here are a few of mine from our Quest photography trip just before lockdown.

 

An awesome place, for awesome photographs. Can’t wait to get back there again!


Family in lockdown…

Lockdown. Weeks and weeks of it. Time to learn something new, so I’m learning flash photography. And the family is being press-ganged into posing for me, including the dog…


Oh to be in…, Paris!

A year ago I ran a lovely workshop in Paris, with my colleague Noel Baldewijns, photographing the architecture in La Défense. Modernist, curvy, architectural heaven. Can’t wait to get back there…


There is something exquisite about glass, steel and black & white fine art photography. All go very well together. These would make for excellent large prints and look very dramatic in the right location.

La Défense has still got a very French feel to it – even though it’s a financial district dedicated to the pursuit of filthy lucre. Perhaps it’s all the restaurants underneath these steel towers that give it that je ne sais quoi… Macron said the other day that restaurants and lunch were part of ‘the art of being French’. He has a point – dining out for lunch is still sacrosanct in la belle France, and as soon as lockdown is over I’m sure the resto-trade will boom again.

We will be running this tour again, possibly next year – keep an eye out for the Quest brochure when it comes out in a few months… In the meantime, here’s another pic of what Paris is famous for…

A bientôt, tout le monde!


Irish vistas…

Sunrise in Inch StrandIt’s been a while since I’ve posted, but lockdown has allowed me to process some images, and I thought it might be nice to resuscitate the blog. Last year was a good year for running workshops with Quest, and these images come from our lovely trip to the Dingle and the Burren on the west coast of Ireland. The images above & below are from the Inch Strand –  a great place for a symphony of light.

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Driving inland in the Burren we came across this view of the mountain pass with the road in the distance…

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And finally, another dawn shoot, this time at the Stone Portal on the Burren where I took the photo and waited for the Guinness/Whiskey hangover to subside…. Ah, indeed, a great trip it was!

Portal tomb


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!