Articals

EDP May Magazine Publication

Seeing my images in publications is still a novelty and gives me a sense of achievement. Taken last year in Wayland Wood is just outside of Watton which is where I live and naturally is one of my most visited locations simply because I can walk to it.

In 2014 I made the effort to explore Wayland Wood to capture the Bluebells on a number of occasions as they progress throughout the season visiting at different times of the day. Going into woodland at the beginning or end of the day when the sun is at a low angle will produce images with interesting side light and shadows from trees which adds depth to images, the image used was taken around 8am. 

Because cameras do not currently capture what they human eye sees I use a technique called HDR or High Dynamic Range to capture enough detail to create a picture I would be happy with. Most of my landscape images are taken using the HDR technique, watch this YouTube video for HDR is action. 

 

Bluebells are now coming to an end for the 2015 showing and I shall be moving onto butterflies in the coming weeks building on last years experience, hopefully my newly acquired 80-200 lens will do a better job. Next year will be a challenge as I need to try something new with bluebells to avoid taking the same image over and over.

 

Chinese New Year in London

At Christmas it was suggested that the family should meetup in London to see the Chinese New Year event and would be a good opportunity to capture some street life.

As I was traveling into London by myself I decided to leave early. Looking at the weather forecast Sunday afternoon was to be wet so any exploring had to be done in the morning while it was still dry. 

Chinese New Year in Chinatown

The alarm was set for 5am with the idea to leave about 6. It was a cold night and the car was frozen which needed removing. Before setting off the passenger side light bulb had blown as it was turned it on which took a good 20 minutes to replace, most of which was trying to find the tools I needed. 

After much research I decided to travel to Epping which is the closest underground station from Norfolk and is the start of the Central Line. Parking is £1.50 on a Sunday and estimated the underground fee to be around £7 round trip. 

Other options would have been to park at Ely and take the overground in Kings Cross or Downham Market if it were not closed to engineering works. The train fare would have been £22 which isn't bad. But there wasn't too much of a cost difference between these options when factoring in the petrol. I felt Epping would give me more flexibility with the more frequent trains.

Walkie-Talkie (Left) Cheesegrater (Tall Middle Building) Gherkin (Right)

Arriving at the underground around 8am, this was to be the start of my day. In the case of a couple of people who stumbled into the same train carriage theirs had just ended and quickly went to sleep. I found it amusing when they got off at Stratford as both sides of the carriage were open and they must have walked through the train a couple of times figuring out which side of the platform they wanted.

I pre planned my route to exit the underground at Bank to walk across Tower Bridge to explore the South Bank area as I researched where the Sun would be at that time of day. As soon as I emerged from the underground I was inspired by all the old and new architecture surrounding me with the Walkie-Talkie being the nearest landmark.

The equipment I brought along was both my Fuji X-E1 using the 35mm lens and Nikon D7100 with the 18-105mm and 35mm lenses. As I only have the one lens for the Fuji I would be limited in what images I could take and I knew a wide angle lens would be very useful. The D7100 is also weather sealed where the Fuji is not and with the threat of rain I wanted the option to take images if it were to get very wet. 

I spent about 3 hours walking along the South Bank absorbing the London skyline through the viewfinder seeing such landmarks as Tower Bridge, The Walkie-Talkie, Shard, Gherkin and City Hall to name a few. 

Saw a few of these along the Golden Jubilee Bridge

My exploring was peaceful and relaxing until I entered Trafalgar Square where it was packed with people celebrating Chinese New Year and it was a struggle getting through to the meeting point at the M&M store at Leicester Square. I should have gotten here much earlier if have had a chance to see any of the event. With so many people in front it was hopeless to get any images of the dragon (or sheep?) acrobatics. I could only see the large screens which isn't too interesting.

We soon went into Pizza Express in ChinaTown and by the time we finished it started to rain which signalled the end of the trip to London and made my way to the busy underground to start the journey home. 

Thoroughly enjoyed the day out with all the architecture to photograph. I have some time off at the end of March and intent to revisit for night photography. My wishlist for equipment is a wider angle lens for the Fuji to cut down on the weight and a Gorillapod to attach along the bridges and walls to eliminate the need for a bulky and heavy tripod. 

2014 Highlights

2014 has been a busy year for me, I try to go out most weekends, usually to nature reserves around Norfolk. Simply because they are easy to travel to and there is plenty within a 30 minute drive. 

This year I have been using social media more and sharing my work in an attempt to promote my work. I'm currently still working on increasing my following on Twitter and Facebook not an easy task.

One way which is having an effect is sharing my work with the organisations that own and manage the places that I visit. In the case of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (@SupportNWT) they used one of my images taken in Wayland Wood for their nature reserve handbook and more of my images have been printed in their "Tern" a newspaper sent out to the members a few time a year.

What I find interesting is how people see my images differently to how I see them. Some people say they have a mood, story to them or a feeling. I am not an emotional person and I don't connect on that level. Most of the time I just see the technical aspect to an image. I can easily dismiss an image because of a flaw that no one else would even think to look for. Maybe I am too critical of my images. 

The above gallery are images that I consider to be my best images taken during 2014, Tried to keep it to a few but I do like quite a few of them and could have easily included more.

2015 ... What do I want to achieve this year? I think building on 2014 would be a good start by exploring other nature reserves that I have yet to visit. The only downside is that it would require more travel which is why I have yet to visit these or only been to once such as Foxley Wood and Lower Wood Ashwellthorpe.  

Portraiture is an area that I would like to build on, what has been limiting me on this type of photography is not knowing enough people or more to the point, not having to confidence to ask for their time to build up my skill in taking portraits. Building up my social skills is the biggest challenge and character flaw to overcome.

Since joining the Facebook group Norfolk Countryside Photos a few locations in Norfolk are quite popular like Cromer Pier and Thurne where their is a windmill that I will visit this year along with exploring more of the Norfolk Broads.

With my acquisition of the Fuji X-E1 street photography and general urban exploring is more attractive with the smaller and lighter camera that makes it easier to be more mobile and less obvious. 

Currently my photography is just an activity that I enjoy doing that does not provide an income stream, This year I intend to put myself into a position where I can sell my work, not sure how I will achieve this goal.

Happy New Year !