Tag Archives: Autumn

Rush, rush, rush and no time to stare

Sometimes you just have to rush to catch the light. This was a rush shot. Rushing from the car park (leaving the family in the car ‘cos they’re all too lazy to shift themselves), rushing down the squelching slope, rushing to get the tripod up, and the right lens on – a tilt shift 24mm in this case, and then rushing to whack a grad ND filter on the front. Focus, tilt, focus again, test shot, check focus, adjust, make final image, breathe sigh of relief that something’s in the bag… One day I will be there in good time, and not have to rush…
Blea Tarn v3


Even this was a rush – in this case because I was up early, but knew I had limited time to get back for breakfast and not incur the wrath of the family who were at that precise moment snoring away in blissful ignorance. Ah, but what did they miss! All this lovely light and colour. Sleeping is for later in life.



Now for this one below at least I had the family up, out and stretching their legs on the path. Mind you, they were of course 400 yards ahead of me because I’d stopped to make this image. So I had to rush to catch them up. It never stops.



Rushing here, rushing there. I’m sure there are some photographers out there who manage to take their shots with a calm serenity. But that’s not me. How do you learn to slow down? I wish I could, I’m sure it would improve my images. Never mind, at least I have made the effort, and whatever ends up in the camera, I have the experiences that go with the shots.

Blea Tarn v2


Got to rush – Match of the Day about to start…

(Images from the Lake District: Blea Tarn, Stockghyll Force just outside Ambleside, Rydal Water and back to Blea Tarn)

The Blazing Forest

Wake Valley Pond_press

I have to admit, I’m a teeny weeny bit nervous. Today I’m hanging the pictures for my first exhibition, and I’m wondering if anyone is going to come along to see it, and if they’ll like the images! It’s not as if it’s a big exhibition, it’s not in a prestigious Bond Street gallery (I wish), but it’s 30 of my pictures, & I’m an exhibition virgin, so I’ve come over all shy and apprehensive…





My theme is Epping Forest in the autumn – the Blazing Forest. The tiny world around Epping will vibrate with exquisite colour. The leaves are turning right now. In 4 weeks the forest will be shimmering yellow and burnished gold.  Morning mists, sharp frosts, still ponds, twirling leaves. Come November a storm will hit, the trees are stripped and winter will have arrived.

Wake Valley Pond mist_press



The show is on until 30th October at The View, 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH. If you’re around, come and have a look and make sure my pictures don’t go unseen. If you’re not around, get a plane, train or automobile and come over (joking…). The private view is on Sunday 4th, 2-4pm, and you are all invited. Come, say hi, and have a glass of wine. And enjoy the forest…

Loughton Meanders_press





Dancing in Death

The French call them natures mortes, but I don’t see them as dead. And we call them still lives, but, to be honest, I don’t think they look still either. I think they’re dancing…


Slide to the right...

Swaying to the right…


Slide to the left...

Groove to the left…


My hostas are going over – it’s the time of year – but their skeletons are full of movement. A last hurrah before the cold comes in. Beautiful, right to the end.

Waves and folds

Waves and folds


and a final twirl...

and a final twirl…

Fog, Royal Sandringham and Wet Feet….

I may have mentioned in a previous post that the Peck clan is regularly hauled off to visit places of interest. There is a particular pattern to these events. A chorus of groans from the kids, some muted resignation in the back of the car – always ignored in the front. Arrival at wherever usually marks an upswing in mood. The visit takes place and we generally agree that the place of interest is, in fact, quite interesting. Then home, tea, and the PlayStation can take over again. 

Such it was with our visit to Sandringham, quite the most exquisite Royal house that I’ve been to.

Foggy view across the lake

Foggy view across the lake

We had picked a foggy day for our visit in late October. But it leant a moody quietness to the day, very atmospheric…

Beautiful Sandringham

Beautiful Sandringham

The entrance - never quite sure if this is the 'front' or the 'back'...

The entrance – never quite sure if this is the ‘front’ or the ‘back’…?

Immy takes possession

Immy takes possession

This is of course where the Royals spend Christmas. So they will all be there right now. Wonder if they have turkey or goose?

The inside was Immy’s fascination. As usual she buttonholed the guide: How, she asked, does Queen Alexandra look so young in the photos, when she must be at least 50? Corsets and photographic magic, came the reply. (Goes to show photoshop merely reinvents the tricks of the 1890s!)

View to the Oak

View to the Oak

Formal garden

Formal garden

Teenager being a teenager

Teenager being a teenager

Charles was not interested in photos of old queens…. But the garages were full of posh cars!!!


Quintessential Royal Car

Quintessential Royal Car

Personally, I loved the gardens and the park.

Muted autumn colours

Muted autumn colours


Happy faces!

Happy faces!

To finish, a bracing walk on the coast – work up some appetite!

Caspar David Friedrich would paint this...

Caspar David Friedrich would paint this…

Mmm, this pathetic jump resulted in wet wife's feet and much cursing.

This pathetic jump resulted in wet wife’s feet and much cursing, directed towards me..!

Drier feet and equilibrium returns

Drier feet and equilibrium returns…

A classic Peck clan trip! Well worth dragging the kids along. They can take it out on their own kids in years to come when they do the same to the next generation. And so the wheel will turn….

The clan

The clan

Blazing Forest!


Everything is different in the forest.  Sound, sight, but above all, time. Right now, the forest is at its peak. Blazing with colour. It is holding off the drabness of winter. Time stands still. For a week or two, the forest positively glows, in defiance.

Wake Valley Pond

The colour is spectacular!

Epping Forest is still a secret. It’s on the outskirts of London – still on the tube network! And yet I took this photos this week, and the forest was empty. Not a soul. If there was movement it was deer or squirrel. Sound only from birds and wind (plus the inevitable rumble of traffic in the distance…) Time really does stand still. It’s bliss…

The Lost Pond

Quiet reflections

The Loughton Meanders

The forest is predominantly Beech, hence the yellow and orange. Not too much Ash, thank heavens! A tragedy if the disease were to wipe out the forest. Like a thin finger it stretches 10 miles long, and roughly 1-2 miles wide north/south, right into London. An east London haven and escape.

More meanders

Sentinel trees

The forest has been inhabited for ever. Legend has it that Boudicca, queen of the British and scourge of Roman invaders, was trapped and killed in Ambresbury Banks.

Iron Age fortifications

Boudicca’s resting place

Whether or not the Boudicca legend is true, it feels ancient. Time really does stand still. Breathe deeply, refresh, stop and watch the glory of the season. Then, enough, back to the hurly burly…

Ancient pathways

New growth, the cycle continues.

Falling for New England

“A screwey year”, said the walker on the shore of Walden Pond. “Normally, by now this area is swathed in red, full blood red. All very late this year. You should see it when it’s really turned…”

Walden Pond

“Thanks”, thought I, as I set up my tripod on a freezing dawn. “All the way from the UK to photograph the Fall, anxious that I’m coming too late” (can only come during the kids’ holdays…) “and this guy is telling me I’m too early!” That is what is known as Sod’s Law!

By the North Bridge, Concord

Never mind. I have done my best to capture what colour there is. And it is still very lovely, even if the leaves have only just begun to turn.

Minute Man Walk

I really love the beauty of New England. Trees, ponds, houses. It all looks just so picturesque. And the locals are clearly very proud of their history. Lots of story-telling about throwing off the yoke of the bloody Colonialists (hand on a minute… that’s us, the Brits!!!)

Preparing the musket

Forget the Minute Man, I was getting nervous about the Minute Woman. She was taking aim at an imaginary Red Coat marching back from Concord and blasting his head off. I ducked and kept quiet about my nationality…

Red Coats under fire

But the past is a foreign country, and today’s New England is an altogether more peaceful place. Pumpkins, squashes and pecan pie.

And Walden Pond is just absolutely beautiful. No wonder Thoreau dropped out and retreated to this spot. Delightful.

Walden Pond colour

Walden Pond colour

Boat House at The North Bridge

And missing that full blood red forest-scape means I will just have to come back another year…

Dawn peacefulness