Tag Archives: trees

Lake Windermere and dogs…

We’ve decided at long last to get a dog. So, whilst on a quick trip to the Lake District, we rated every dog that we passed, with a view to working out which actual dog we want. We got some weird looks as dog walkers strolled past and we would call out “four”, seven”, “eight”, “two”… I just want a dog that likes coming with me early doors on my photography trips. Anyway, here’s a few pics from Lake Windermere, as I said, early doors.








Dog photos will no doubt follow…

The mycologist in me will out!

OK. So I know I’m pretty obsessed by all things photographic. But I must admit I always thought mushroom photography was a step too far! But no, it seems not. The mycologist in me will out. And finding this rather impressive specimen in the forest, I just had to. I am clearly turning into a weirdo…


Where is all this going? What will I end up photographing next? Buttons? Garbage? Grass clippings? Mind you I didn’t set out to photograph mushrooms. I just sort of came across them. They were there, and clearly demanding to be photographed…







I shall have to kid myself – it was a test: “See if you can make an interesting image out of some fungi!?!” Well, I’ve tried. Now I’ve even gone so far as to look them up. Golden Scalycap no less (Pholiota aurivella)! Seriously Tom, get a grip! Get back to some serious photography, portraits, landscapes, nudes, anything, but keep me away from the ‘shrooms!!!



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





Engage brain and question…

Is this image too complicated? Compositionally it’s ok – a square halved, lead in line from the top, met by branches from the bottom. But how does the mind ‘get’ this? Confusion? It is, of course, a tree at the top half, and a reflection at the bottom. But because the pond stretches back behind the tree at the top the forest is reflected in the top half too… hence a more complicated image.

Pond reflection

Pond reflection

Actually, that’s why I like it. They eye needs a few seconds more than normal to work it out. Engage the brain.

This one is easier. The post in the water gives it away, the mind recognises reflection straight away and everything falls into place. Easy. But as interesting?

An easy pond reflection

An easy pond reflection

I made this image on the same day. For me this works because the mind can wander – along the path, up out of the image… I find that quite teasing and stimulating. Mind you, I was told the other day that my pics don’t have enough of ‘me’ in them. And this  would be a classic example of that. Going to have to work on harder…

Forest Path

Forest Path

Football vs photography. No contest!

There is one good thing about an early exit from the World Cup – more time for photography!

Golding's Pond

Golding’s Pond


I managed to spend a couple of hours in the forest this morning, processed and published the pictures by the evening. The benefits of digital!

Wake Valley Pond

Wake Valley Pond

Apparently, this pond is infested with terrapins, one of which is meant to be a giant. That’s according to the angler that I chatted to. Mind you, we all know how anglers have a tendency to exaggerate, especially about size…

Sun, reflecting.

Sun, reflecting.


Perhaps he's under the lily pads?

Terrapin, lurking out there somewhere…

Photography vs football. No contest at all. The one gives pleasure, the other pain. I’ll concentrate on the picture making, and the hunt for terrapins!


(By the way, I have a series of articles being published in Black + White Photography on the why certain images create an emotional impact. Check them out and let me know what you think)




Seeking freedom and a bit of wobble!

I was told recently that my photographic style was neat, straight and classic. Well that made me sit up. Actually it made me get off my backside and into the forest to see if I could do something less neat, more wobbly and completely unclassic. Below is the result.

Birch trees in Epping Forest

Birch trees in Epping Forest

I deliberately left the tripod behind. Closed the aperture down, let the shutter speed go to 8 secs plus, and then let the camera wobble. It’s meant to be impressionistic. Pictorial. Un-photographic. Actually I quite like it!

Birch copse

Birch copse

It’s all a bit hit and miss. But fun! Makes a change from trying to get front to back sharpness and perfect exposure for land plus sky… I shall definitely take more images like this.

Dancing trees

Dancing trees

Wonder if anyone else likes these, or whether they just look like shaky camera technique. Let me know… Anyway, back to the classic style for the next post no doubt!

Metamorphosis in the Forest

I’ve swapped the wet – but hot – climate of the Caribbean for the wet and cold climate of Essex. It’s a tough exchange, but there are compensations (some…), namely that Epping Forest is ablaze with colour. Even on a dull day the forest glows.

The colours of autumn

The colours of autumn

The next 3 weeks or so are just the best. Green and yellow now, turning to gold and brown by end November. Then along comes a storm, the leaves are down, and the show is over. Got to enjoy it while it lasts.

Tree canopy

Tree canopy

I saw him before he saw me.

I saw him before he saw me…

Careful, these ones are dangerous!

Careful, these ones are dangerous!

I may even have to force the kids to go for a walk this weekend… It’ll do them good, even if they do squawk and squabble and wish they were in front of the playstation. Could even drag Mrs P along! And then a delicious steaming sausage pie with onion and madeira gravy to cheer everyone up again. Yes, autumn does have its advantages! And luckily I have some spiced rum to remind me of the Caribbean!

A Forest wander.

A Forest wander.

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.

Snow, at last!

Pond at Baldwin's Hill

At last, the snow has arrived! And with a blast. Now I know that for other parts of the world a 10 inch dump of snow is not particularly interesting, but around here, 15 miles outside of London, that’s awesome.  Epping Forest is immediately transformed into a winter wonderland, hushed and still.

The still forest

Tomorrow we will all complain about not being able to get around. The traffic will be awful and the tube won’t run. But today, we can enjoy the beauty and the transformation.

The trees are shivering

The snow seems to strip the world of colour. None of these pix have been changed into black and white – these are the straight colour shots.

tracks in the snow

And I guess that’s where the transformation really comes from. The overloading effect of colour is blanketed by the white. Just for a day or two. Magical!

Duotone tree

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