Inspiration day

photography convention

 

I’ve had a super day at the Telegraph Outdoor and Adventure Travel show. I could have spent the whole time just listening to the inspirational talks in the Outdoor Photography theatre.  This image is David Baker telling us about his atmospheric seascapes.  If you don’t know David’s work, I recommend his book, Sea Fever.  The show is on again tomorrow, if you fancy a visit.

Afterwards, I found time to take a look at the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition at Waterloo.  Beautiful. photography exhibition

 

Meanwhile, my 365 redux project continues. Taken on this day in 2010, this image was captured on a wintery morning at Cissbury Ring, an ancient hill fort near Worthing in West Sussex.

Sussex landscape

365/45

I am getting ahead of myself a little here as I will be busy tomorrow, so here’s my 365/46 too.  This image was taken on 15th February last year, on the first evening of a brief but wonderful trip to the Gironde Estuary.  I have attempted a more experimental edit for my 365 project.  The jury’s still out on this one, but it’s good to try new things.

Gironde estuary

365/46

Lonely sea

black and white

Outdoor Photography is my favourite photography magazine. In December, I plucked up the courage to send them a selection of my black and white images. I was surprised and delighted when they contacted me to say one of my images (above) had been accepted. It has just been published, with the following blurb:

“This was taken at Fistral Beach in Newquay. While my family surfed, I had a very happy couple of hours pottering about the shore with tripod and filters. This is a blend of two exposures, two minutes to smooth out the water and create space, and a faster one for the yacht. I wanted to capture a sense of the tiny yacht being dwarfed by Nature.”

My first 365/42 is from 11th February 2010. I had gone to the RHS gardens at Wisley to photograph the butterflies in the glasshouse but it was this cheeky little robin, encountered as I walked towards the glasshouse, who ended up capturing my fancy.

bird

365/42

Strangely enough, I discovered that on 11th February 2013, I was at Wisley photographing the butterflies again! Here’s one from that day, actually of a butterfly this time.

insect macro

365/42

My 365/43 is from 12th February 2009. Although last year’s floods were extreme, there is often winter flooding on the Thames. In 2009, it was strong enough to beak this boat from its moorings and cast it up onto the banks of Desborough Island.

river thames

354/43

Finally, it’s back to the 2014 floods for my 365/44: Walton Bridge with its feet in water.

walton bridge

365/44

 

 

 

 

Inundation

Surrey floods 2014

 

This time last year, my local area was affected by unusually heavy flooding. The Thames burst its banks on a scale we hadn’t seen since 1947. I captured as much of it as I could, fascinated by the changed landscape. My 365/40 and 41 are images not previously shared here, of Walton Quay (41) and the Thames towpath between Molesey and Hampton Court (40).

Surrey floods

365/41

Flooding at Hampton Court

365/40

Surrey floods 2014

365/40

I had to include one more picture, even though it has appeared on Focused Moments before. This last image, snapped as the flood water came rushing in, was the closest I have come to having an image go ‘viral’ on social media. It was shared 450 times on Facebook alone with views well into 5 figures. The view seems innocuous enough but to people who know the area, it was a unique sight.

Surrey floods 2014

Surf’s up

waves and breakwater

f/11, .5″, ISO 100, 200mm

On Friday, Jenifer and I found time to head down to the coast.  Despite the bitter cold, we had loads of fun capturing the surf at Climping Beach.  A longer post from this shoot is in the pipeline, all about shutter speeds and waves.

Time to catch up with my 365 redux.  365/37 and 39 are from 2009.  Neither awfully good, but it seems I don’t take many pictures on 6th and 8th February in any year except for the year of my original project 365.  In keeping with my ‘rules’, I have attempted a better edit at least.  365/38 is from 2014.  I enjoy flipping reflections and cropping out the ‘original’.

Walton on Thames

365/37

London

365/38

surrey

365/39

Birch and pine

Surrey landscape

I thought I’d share some more pictures from my walk in our short-lived snow, on Tuesday morning.

Surrey landscape

No canoeing today!

Chatley Heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is managed as a nature reserve by Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Surrey landscape

Birch and pine

In its efforts to restore Surrey’s lost heathland, important habitat for several species at risk, the Trust has to do battle with birch and scots pine, the county’s dominant trees.

Surrey landscape

They self seed freely in the sandy soil.  I have to say, however that they do look well together under a dusting of fresh snow.

Surrey landscape

I did find a few beech trees too, some still hanging onto autumn foliage.  And one or two venerable oaks.

Surrey landscape

My 365 is from this day in 2009.  I foolishly let on to my daughter’s headmistress that I took photos.  Next thing I knew I was doing all the photography for the school’s new prospectus.  It was a challenge for me, especially as at that time I had only a very entry level DSLR with lousy noise levels at ISOs above 400, no flash and little experience.  But I enjoyed every minute of it.  This image is from my first shoot at the school.

running

365/36

Snow, reflections and the English winter

Surrey landscape

f/7.1, 1/40, 35mm, ISO 400

Another shot from yesterday’s foray into the snowy landscape.  The snow is gone now; it doesn’t last long here.  Back to grey and wet today, but it was fun while it lasted.  Looking back to this day last year for my 365 redux project, I found images of golden light and blue skies.  This little island is known for its variable climate; discussing the weather is practically a national sport.  Last year we had one of the wettest winters since records began and nary a single flake of snow.

reflections in canal

365/35

 

Snow, then and now

willows and snow

Finally, some snow.  Circumstances (traffic and trains) were against me this morning and it was late before I managed to get out into the landscape.  The thaw had begun, but I made the best I could of it all.  I was attracted to the bright stems of these coppiced trees against the white.

surrey landscape

 

On this day in 2009, I was also out photographing snow.  My 365/34 was captured just 200 yards from my home.  Situated south of London and within the M25, we rarely see temperatures low enough to form icicles like these, so they were a novelty I had to snap.

365/34

Snow day

Snow landscape

365/33

My 365/33 images are from this day in 2009. Overnight, we had experienced an unusually heavy snowfall.  The children were delighted to have their first ever snow day.  I must confess, I was quite excited too.  We enjoyed a long walk, between snowball fights, and I snapped these on the River Thames towpath between Weybridge and Shepperton.  in editing, I have deliberately over-exposed the images, trading texture in the snow for a light, airy look.

365/33

365/33

‘God rays’ in a Godly place

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/125, 35mm, ISO 100

More pictures of the dramatic light we enjoyed on Friday’s photoshoot at St. Martha’s-on-the-Hill, Chilworth, Surrey.  My title is a little tongue-in-cheek as I am ambivalent about the expression ‘God rays’ which seems a simplification, with hints of dumbing-down, of the perfectly adequate term, ‘crepuscular rays’. I wrote a post about these rays and you can see it here.  As I discussed, one can understand why these spectacular rays have over the centuries been associated with a higher power.

Crepuscular rays

f/11, 1/8, 90mm, ISO 100

St. Martha’s is a lovely little church perched on the top of a hill with a panoramic view of Surrey.  A local ‘tall tale’ is associated with the spot, in which St. Martha’s church and St. Catherine’s chapel, across the River Wey valley, were built by two giants, sisters named, of course, Martha and Catherine.  According to the story, they had only one tool, a hammer, which they shared by tossing it across the valley.

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/30, 35mm, ISO 100

My 365/31 is from 2009, a detail from the interior of a local cafe, Il Siciliano, now under different ownership, name and decor. The Scarface mural didn’t last long and I speculated that perhaps they’d run foul of copyright issues and had to remove it.  While I do not condone the breach of copyright, I must confess that the mural was nice while it lasted.

Local cafe interior

365/31

My 365/32 is also from 2009.  I had a lovely Sunday walk with my camera that afternoon.  The evening was bitterly cold, and overnight we had one of the heaviest snowfalls I could remember in the South of England. Needless to day, I was obliged to go out the next day and shoot the same views all over again, transformed as they were by their fresh blanket of white.

River Thames

365/32