This year continues to be all about waves. I am delighted to have won the Sunday Times Magazine’s award in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 with my image, Maelstrom, taken during Storm Imogen in February.
I had 5 images shortlisted so I knew I was in with a chance of getting one into the book but the congratulatory email on Friday came as something of a surprise, a rather nice surprise. Yesterday was slightly surreal as Maelstrom occupied a double-page spread in the magazine but I wasn’t allowed to share the news myself until the official results were out this morning. I can now also share that I received a Highly Commended award and a judge’s choice for another Storm Imogen photo, Poseidon Rising, and a Commended award for a third, Leviathan.
All three images will be in the LPotY Portfolio 10 book, on sale from today, and Maelstrom will also feature in an exhibition at London Waterloo from 21st November.
You can see many of the other successful images here. Many, many thanks to the Sunday Times Magazine for choosing my picture.
Earlier this month, the annual Round the Island yacht race took place. 1,533 boats set off from Cowes to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight.
It’s a spectacular sight, literally a sea of sails. Rather excitingly, I had the opportunity to shoot the race from the air, from a helicopter owned by Phoenix Helicopters, Goodwood.
It wasn’t my first time shooting from a helicopter without doors so I wasn’t phased when we took off and headed out over the Solent. I love flying in helicopters!
Phoenix had obtained a low fly permit for me so we were able to fly fairly close to the yachts, although there are of course limits and I was glad to have my 70-200mm zoom with me.
Using two cameras, the other one with my 24-70mm lens, enabled me to capture wider views as well.
I had particularly wanted to photograph the yachts rounding The Needles, arguably the Island’s most iconic landmark and certainly one that looms large in my memories from a childhood spent sailing the Solent.
In addition to the big ‘race’ shots, I hoped to capture some closer pictures that would work in black and white for a more timeless feel.
In addition to all the many yachts on the sea, the RNLI lifeboats were kept busy attending to boats struggling in the challenging conditions on the day.
It was an exhilarating experience, and one I hope to repeat. Many thanks to Max from Phoenix for his excellent piloting.
I had a great time at Patchings Art Festival earlier this month. I had been asked by Outdoor Photography Magazine to give a talk. The Festival clashed with my prior commitment to Surrey Artists Open Studios so I could only make the last day, but I am glad I made the effort. It was a lovely event, despite the relentless rain (where has summer gone?). I wasn’t nervous about talking as I am accustomed to giving presentations but I did wonder if anyone would bother to attend. I needn’t have worried – it was standing room only! I have now published the introductory slideshow from my talk on YouTube and it can be viewed below or here.
I would like to thank Crywolf for giving me permission to use his epic music and Outdoor Photography Magazine for inviting me to talk.
After all the excitement of Surrey Artists Open Studios and my talk at Patchings Festival last weekend, it’s been good to get back to the normal business of fulfilling print orders, organising workshops and, last but most definitely not least, a couple of much-needed coastal trips. The light wasn’t especially awesome this week, certainly nothing as dramatic as I had on my last trip before Open Studios (above) but, as I said at my talk on Sunday, even if you come home with nothing very special on your memory card, a day by the sea is never wasted. Psychological batteries recharged.
Below are a couple of pictures of our studio in action.
It’s been a while since my last blog post, but I haven’t been idle. Among the many projects on the go, this coming week sees me participating in Surrey Artists’ Open Studios for the first time. Together with my friend, Jenifer Bunnett, I am opening my studio to the public. The Open Studios project offers the public access to artists and makers by visiting studios, meeting artists and makers, browsing completed works and learning about their method and work in progress. Our first open day is tomorrow, Sunday 5th June, and our studio is ready and waiting. In addition to sharing our printed work, there’s a slideshow of other photographs, a demonstration of the on-camera filter system we both use, and drinks and homemade cake served in my courtyard garden (weather permitting!). If you are able to make it, you will be very welcome. Dates and opening times in the flyer below.
Last month I published a collection of ‘wave monsters’. I have been down to the South Coast almost every week all through the winter, working mainly on fast-shutter captures of high seas. That’s a round trip of 140 miles at least once every week, usually getting down there in time for dawn. Often, my efforts have been rewarded with poor light or even driving rain. But it has still been one of my most exhilarating projects so far. Finally, my patience paid off, when Storm Imogen hit the coast earlier this month. Epic surf met great light, and I was one very happy, wave-obsessed photographer. So, I hope you will forgive me for one more surf-orientated post. If, like me, you are addicted to seascapes, there are more on my website.