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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Iceland - T-minus 3 days

So, the countdown has well and truly begun!
In 3 days time myself and four friends will be flying out to Iceland for a photographic tour.

5 grown men and all their luggage and photographic gear in one car.
4 nights in different accommodation each night.
Approximately 950 miles to cover in unpredictable weather!
Loads of photo locations along the way, and every sunrise and sunset in between.
And, of course, hopefully we'll be able to capture the Northern Lights...fingers crossed for clear skies!

Our wish list of locations:
Blue Lagoon
Gullfoss waterfall
Faxafoss waterfall
Mt Hekla
Seljalandfoss waterfall
Skogafoss waterfall
Solheimajokull glacier
The town of Vik
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
The Iceberg beach
The abandoned DC-3 airplane on the black beach

Thats a lot of locations and not a lot of time to squeeze them in!
I think we will all be very very tired by the time we get back.

I shall be updating this blog and my Facebook page each day while we are out there, so please keep your eyes open for the latest upload.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Iceland - it's all packed!!!!

That was far too easy!
I must have forgotten something!
What have I forgotten?!?

Managed to find a bag that all my clothes AND my tripod would fit in. And it's still within SleazyJet weight limits!

I've even got the roofbox on the car so myself and the four others can travel to Luton Airport without being squashed in like sardines!

I'm hating that feeling that I've forgotten something :-/

Iceland - packing begins

Today is when I try and pack everything I need for my trip to Iceland into the smallest bag possible. 
There are 5 of us going and we are staying in different hostels and digs every night. Because of that we need to think of comfort for all of us in the car, so if I get everything into a small bag then there'll be more room for us passengers. 

My dilemma? My tripod. 
I have a carbon fibre Manfrotto tripod and although it doesn't weigh much I need to fit it in the bag as well as I'm already taking my camera gear on the flight as hand luggage...and I'm sure EasyJet wouldn't really fancy letting me on the plane with it in case they think it's an offensive weapon or something. 

Could be time for some imaginative packing :-/

Really blummin excited though :-)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

It's been a while!

I've been neglecting this blog for a while! Oops! Really sorry about that! Must try harder. 
The reason...I haven't been out with my camera in a while. Plain and simple. 

However, there's going to be a few posts with new photos coming in the next few weeks as I'm off to Iceland on 2nd November for a week with 4 photography friends. So expect photos of the Blue Lagoon, Kirkjufell mountain, Skogafoss waterfall, glaciers and more. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

It's been a while!

Apologies! It's been a while since I posted anything here. 
I especially have to apologise to one person in particular - you know who you are! 

2014 so far has been a year that won't be forgotten. 
At the start of the year I had to say goodbye to my little furry friend of 14 years. My dog Charlie reached the end and the bet thing for him was to send him of peacefully. 
Some of you may remember that I had been struging with damaged nerves in my shoulder for a while. Well it turned out that was because of severely prolapsed discs in my neck causing damage to the nerves...and threatening to pull my spinal cord apart. Once the problem was diagnosed I went in for urgent surgery to stop me from being paralysed from the neck down. 
On top of that I was informed by my wife that she was leaving me. Breaking that news to my two sons was one of the hardest things I've ever done!
My house is now sold and I am hoping to hear good news on offers I have made on a couple of houses nearby, which will mean I can stay close to the area and have my kids stay half the time. 

So, it's been a weird year. Yes it certainly has! But...something amazing has happened as well. 

I've met someone who has shown me the true meaning to happiness, that there is always a bright light shining, that some things were meant to happen. 
Looking back on past years I have realised that my marriage should've ended years ago, that it was just a matter of routine and that there was no joy or happiness in life anymore. 

I have met the most amazing person imaginable, who has shown me what my life should have been for many many years. There is now a real reason to be happy, to look forward to finishing workfor  the day, to look forward to weekends. 

It may take a little while for my two boys to get into a new routine of living in two different houses, and when they are with either parent they will be treasured and looked after as much a they have always been, but they will be happy. Many many people have told me recently that kids are extremely resilient and they actually orivide a lot of support to parents when going through a break-up...I really do believe that to be true now. My two boys have been absolutely amazing. 

And when I introduce them, over time, to this amazing person I've met, I hope they see that I am happy as well. 

Melissa, I'm sorry to have put you through so much crap over the last few months. You are amazing. You are everything that anyone could wish for xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

Landscape Photography Perseverance (aka Corfe Castle beat me again)

Those that love landscape photography know that it really is a game of hit and miss. That you really have to persevere to get that killer shot you've been after for a while. It can take many attempts to get the right circumstances to come together.

The current score is Corfe Castle: 3 Me:0.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it is the running total in the number of times I have tried to photograph the world famous Corfe Castle at sunrise with some mist surrounding it. Ok, so I have failed to capture the mist in the three attempts I have made to get there. It's only three attempts. I know guys who've been trying for years to get that iconic shot of this location, so I know I'll be back there a lot more times before I get on the scoreboard. Keep going, keep going, keep going.

Myself and my friend Mark, from Twiglet Images, left my house in Southampton at 3:45am to get to Corfe Castle in plenty of time for sunrise. We arrived there just after 5am, which meant we had over an hour before the sun would break over the horizon. When we arrived we were greeted with the usual mist, so we were toying with the idea of setting up our gear to capture some star trails instead, but there were only small gaps in the clouds where stars could be seen. Then we decided to head to Kimmeridge Bay to see what we could capture there. Although the sky was cloudy it wasn't a total blanket, there were pockets of light beginning to seep through, so we thought that would produce some nice colour when the sun rose.

Hmmm, that was the thought process anyway. One incy wincy flaw in our plan was that we hadn't checked the tide timetable. It was high tide at Kimmeridge Bay. Kimmeridge is basically a rock ledge that slopes very gently out to sea, so when it is high tide the water comes all the way up to the cliffs at the back of the beach, there is no way to walk along the beach when it's like this. And I wasn't going to risk losing my camera gear to the sea.

So, back-up plan C came into force. We agreed to head to Old Harry Rocks near Studland Bay instead. The time was now about 5:40am, and it was a 6 or 7 mile drive there from Kimmeridge, plus we would need to walk about a mile from where the car would be parked to get to the rocks. That was cutting it far too fine to be able to get there in time, and set up our gear for sunrise. So, what do you think we did? Yep, we went back to Corfe Castle.

We were hoping that those gaps in the clouds would be kind to us and allow some lovely colours to shine through when the sun finally rose. It didn't quite work out that way. Some heavier cloud banks drifted across very slowly so we didn't see anything apart from a small area of colour off to the right. However, as we were already there, and I'm always of the belief that you make the most of any situation I changed my composition and set up to try and get a moody atmosphere coming across in my shots. I think that worked. Have a look at the image below, or on my Facebook page.

I have an idea to convert this to black and white and can see it in my mind as a dark and foreboding image, with the clouds really looking menacing. I'll work on that and post it here soon.

As usual don't forget to have a look at my website:

And I always welcome comments.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Test Valley Hampshire - a great place for landscape photography

The Test Valley in Hampshire is a great place for landscape photography. My normal route to and from work takes me through the Test Valley and I always carry my camera equipment in my car, just in case the light is right and I can grab a good photograph. The area is perfect for landscape photography, as there are so many open spaces, with interesting twists and turns.

I was driving home from work this evening and noticed a slight mist in the air. It was so faint you could almost not notice it. There were no clouds in the sky, and the sun was falling fast towards his bed. This combination made for some beautiful light, so I knew exactly where I should pull my car over and capture the light.

Just as I was setting up my gear, I could hear a dog barking and noticed a couple walking towards me with two dogs. The dogs were Beagles, and one of them sounded like it wanted to rip my head off. Now, I'm not afraid of dogs and when they came closer I simply smiled and said hello. When the barky dog got closer she came up to inspect me and have a sniff. She then put one paw on my camera bag and one on my knee and wanted a cuddle. She was gorgeous :-)

As usual this image is available as a print from my website:

I hope you like it. I'd love to hear your comments.

Speak to you soon.