The end of another year

It has been a busy year photographically for me with a lot of trips away from my home in Norfolk.  Scotland has been visited a lot and as always, never fails to please and inspire.  However the media coverage and promotion of the North coast route 500 has bought many  visitors and their cars to race around the route in a weekend.  Places  that were once real wildernesses are no longer. Lets hope in 2018 that all visitors will spend time within the landscape appreciating its beauty and its power.

Assynt is one of those places that always puts on a show! Either rain, more rain and then more rain or glorious weather fronts bringing  in changing and dramatic light. The Fuji xt2 is now my second body with three lenses and I have found it excellent to grab and shoot just when one of these weather fronts appears.

Golden rain
Golden rain

I have spent more time in Cumbria’s Lake District and found myself exploring places that are slightly off the beaten track but yet accessible.  The aftermath of the floods is still evident and the people continue to rebuild their homes, hotels and the road network. It takes some tenacity!

Density
Density

Itchen woods in Hampshire was a first for me too. Beautiful beech wood full of flowering bluebells in May.  Many many shots were taken and a few made the grade.

Strong and tall
Strong and tall

I was also lucky to visit a friend and her husband who are now living in the beautiful and understated area of France known as Correz.  Few cars and few people make this area a joy to explore. Perfect French markets towns are surrounded by large areas of countryside and farmland.  It was a change to shoot photos in shorts and a t- shirt, but one that was a welcome change!

Mists in Loubressac
Mists in Loubressac

It was also my first trip to Donegal, Ireland and I was lucky to explore parts of the wild atlantic way including the Dunfanaghy area and Malin.  I loved it and will be back again and again. Beaches were wild and empty and again weather fronts rolled in and out making for exciting weather conditions. I still have many images to process which I really look forward to. Looking back on a trip some months afterwards often inspires me to ‘look again’ at shots and consider how to process.

Ballyhillin blast
Ballyhillin blast

I made another trip to Harris in the outer Hebrides. This time I was staying for 2 weeks and this proved to be a good choice.  I could revisit places in different lights, look again at locations and experiment with different techniques.  It also meant I could rest and enjoy the island without a camera in my hand. I could literally  spend months on Harris and I feel that the short days in the winter months have a lot to offer.  Perhaps my third trip will be in December or February?!  The colours of Harris are spectacular and it is this that for me makes the island so addictive.  I could return again and again and always find something  new to photograph.

Looking forward to a new year of photography, I have decided to concentrate on my home turf of Norfolk and Suffolk more .   We miss landscapes that are literally on our door steps.  We sometimes fail to look at what surrounds us on a day to day basis, often looking for the new and the inaccessible.  I also intend to concentrate on taking photos that are good landscape photos not always fashionable or with an obscure bent, but good landscape photographs.   So on that note, Happy Christmas and lets hope 2018 is a year of creativity for all and a year that builds bridges within the divisions that exist.