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.


Snow day

Snow landscape


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.



‘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


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


Felicitous Friday

Graveyard and view

f/11, 1/30, 33mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad, circ. polariser

Last year, Jenifer Bunnett and I went out ‘shooting’ together most weeks and Tuesday eventually became our regular day.  This year, we have added a second day, Friday.  So far, our Fridays have proved felicitous and we have been blessed with interesting light. Today was no exception.  An early morning hike up St. Martha’s Hill brought some glancing rays and the remains of the previous night’s snowfall. The evening’s sunset at Newlands Corner yielded an interesting cloud formation over distant St. Martha’s Hill, where we had been in the morning.  As with last Friday, I have a lot of images to process and will share some more over the next few days.

Landscape after sunset

f/11, 0.8sec, 24mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad

Catching up on my 365 redux project, 365/30 is a shot from this day in 2011, seeds of the wild clematis, also known as Old Man’s Beard or Traveller’s Joy. 365/29 is from 2009; the colour version was one of the first images I licensed with Getty and it has done well for me over the years.

wild clematis seeds


grave stone


Weather repeats itself

Send water meadows


Today we have had dramatic skies, glancing light and scattered showers, the sort of changeable weather that landscape photographers love. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go out and capture it. But, on this day last year, we had exactly the same weather, and I was lucky enough to be out in it then. Here are three pictures from that very enjoyable day out in the water meadows and on the Wey Navigation towpath near Send, Surrey.

Surrey landscape


Surrey landscape


My 365/27 is also in black and white, a picture of the orchard at RHS Wisley, taken on an unusually sunny 27th January 2009.

RHS wisley


The morning that just keeps giving

Wey Navigation

I am still going through my files from Friday’s epic dawn shoot. I have enough to keep me going for quite a while. I hope this top one conveys something of the post-dawn tranquility I experienced on the banks of the Wey Navigation between Newark and Ripley.

Surrey landscape

This second image was actually taken much later in the same day, nearer to sunset. The frost was mostly gone but there was a subtle hint of mist in the distance. I was attracted to the way the grass was catching the light; the crow on the fence was the icing on the cake. I just had time for one exposure before it flew away.

By complete contrast, my 365/26 is from this day in 2009. I had gone into Guildford with a friend, to do some shopping. My camera was an encumbrance I could have done without but the demands of 365 made me bring it, albeit reluctantly. I snapped these tulips, and it really is a snap. But, when I shared it on Flickr, it caught Getty’s eye and became one of the first images in my stock portfolio.



As I promised only to post images never before shared, or to re-edit old ones, I have added a light vignette to this and some extra clarity. Cheating? Maybe, but it’s the only file I could find!



Deer in frost

wey navigation

Another picture from Friday’s fantastic, frosty day out.  As I was taking a landscape shot,  two deer took flight across the meadow.  Of course, my wide lens hadn’t a hope of catching them, but I quickly changed to my 70-200mm lens and hoped I’d find more.  Luckily, I did.

wey navigation

Yesterday, I shared the colour version of this shot, also from Friday but I rather like this tinted black and white edit too.   And it is a handy segue from frost to black and white to my 365/25, from this day in 2009: