Tag Archives: “landscape photography”

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!

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.


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

mountain pass1b

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…




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…

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…

Arizonan Curves and Colour

When I was growing up I never, ever, thought I would say something like this: I love a good rock. But it’s true. Some of the most spectacular awe-inspiring things I’ve photographed are… rocks! Look, here’s a lion bursting out of the rock…
Lower antelope2_small


What happened to my rock and roll youth? It must be age (middle, I hasten to add, and only just…), a greater awareness of surroundings, context, time. And a growing appreciation of natural beauty.


Lower antelope6


Lower antelope7


These curves, swirls, and flows all come from the slot canyons near Page in Arizona. The rocks look alive, full of movement and colour. These pics aren’t tweaked – this colour is real. One of the most spectacular places on the planet – almost not of this planet: otherworldly.


upper antelop1


I loved photographing in this place so much that I’m going back there in Oct next year to lead a photographic workshop. Check it out if you’re interested: http://www.aspect2i.co.uk/intermediate-level-yosemite-national-park-photography-ID115.html  Six guests plus two workshop leaders (myself and Paul Gallagher). It’s going to be awesome!


Lower antelope5b



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)

Sunny Scotland won’t stop me taking photos!

What sort of weather do you associate with the far north of Scotland? I mean – right up the top. Not even the Hebrides…, the Outer Hebrides? It’s got to be rain, correct? Big, moody, storm filled skies. Huge rolling breakers coming in off the Atlantic all the way from Greenland. Wet! The Scots even have their own word for it, dreich: drizzly, wet, heavy, grey. That’s what I wanted for my trip last week. I wanted moody and dramatic. Storms! What did I get? Sunshine and blue sky. I can’t believe it!


A break in the sunshine, some clouds, & I got snapping!

A break in the sunshine, some clouds, & I got snapping!


OK, OK, so the first image looks a bit grey-ish. I had to work hard for that. This was perhaps a 10 minute cloud passing between almost incessant sunshine. Photographers have to seize every opportunity…


Luskentyre beach

Luskentyre beach


This was more like it. Great big blue sky reflecting off the wet sand. You’d think it was the Bahamas. In fact it was so warm it felt like the Bahamas! Mind you, one big advantage over the Bahamas – the Isle of Harris was deserted, completely!


Cotton wool wave

Cotton wool wave


Now this one could be bluer, but the long exposure filter has toned it down (to blur the wave) and I’m fond of it so it’s staying that way… Mrs P has deigned to comment that she likes this one, so I know I’m forgiven for disappearing for a week…


Empty beach. Not like the Caribbean...

Empty beach. Not like the Caribbean…


A week of empty beaches, dramatic scenery, uninterrupted photography and the odd wee dram of whisky. Heaven. Couldn’t have been better…., well, apart from the weather!


(Thanks to Aspect2i for a fantastic photography week. If you’re interested in truly inspirational photo workshops then check them out: http://www.aspect2i.co.uk )