Another year has ended for me both photographically and personally and it’s been an interesting one. Lofoten in Norway was my first trip of the year in February and did not disappoint, despite much rain which is not the norm in mid February. However the climate has changed so all of us as photographers have to work with what we are given rather than huff and puff about what we want! One of the shots I really like was taken in heavy rain and turned out to be a subtle take in such a majestic landscape. There were also opportunities for intimate landscapes on the many stunning beaches. My gallery highlights my work during these 6 days.
Time in Torridon, Scotland and surrounding areas is always a wonderful experience whatever the conditions. I was lucky and had a really good mix of weather in late March and early April. This allowed me to explore a range of styles including seascapes, lochs and mountains and long exposures. The textures and colours not only change from day to day but also hour by hour. More shots in the rain were obtained using the Nikon 810 plus Gitzo tripod and a lot of hand held shots with the Fuji xt3. This camera never disappoints in so many conditions and for me the processing is not the problem others seem to moan about. The prints I have made and sold in my August exhibition in Woodbridge, Suffolk are testament to how good this little camera really is.
May In Norfolk was cold and wet but the coast is really close to me so a few days shooting some long exposures and other seascapes produced some good work. The Thornham boats and jetties shot was taken at dusk and with a high tide and nearly saw me cut off from my car. So beware of high tides and don’t become so immersed you put yourself at risk.
I have been asked by many camera clubs this year to present my work. It has been a pleasure to meet with a range of people and experience the similarities and differences in how clubs work and are managed. Thank you to Colchester, North Norfolk and Framlingham to name but a few. Next year sees me venturing further afield to Leicester and Derbyshire.
A holiday in France with the Fuji brought the hottest temperatures ever it seemed, 44 degrees. Needless to say there was not a lot of photography done. However the Correz area of France is stunning and beautifully understated and on an evening which was 38 degrees at 10 pm, I managed to capture a heat mist over the Dordogne near Beaulieu. The greens and pinks were stunning as the mist hovered over the slow moving river.
August was the month for my joint exhibition with a good friend of mine Caroline Evans, an abstract painter. We were delighted to show our work at Artspace in Woodbridge, Suffolk. The exhibition was received very positively and our sales were good despite there being another heatwave in the UK this time. I am pleased to say we will be exhibiting together again in the Aldeburgh gallery in April 2020. More to follow… I am also excited to be invited to exhibit for a month at the Moray art centre in Findhorn, Scotland so hope to see all my Scottish friends here. Again, more to follow.
Success in national competitions has also been very pleasing this year- the Black and White spider awards, ND awards and Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year. I was also delighted to make the front cover for The Portfolio Yearbook 2018 of the Scottish Nature Photography awards with my photo Autumn Birch taken in Perthshire in 2018.
A two week trip to the Isle of Harris and Lewis was as always spectacular, exciting and well worth the hundreds of miles to reach. The week on Lewis produced some stormy and changeable light weather whilst the week on Harris was like mid summer with full blue sky days and gentle waves. As said before, you have to work with what you are given. I have yet to publish my new gallery from this two week tour but have included a sample of my work in this blog.
Personally this year there have been some challenges which we all face. The world of social media is often a mask for hiding behind such issues or for some, it’s a way of sharing them. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For me, I had not been feeling great and like so many, I thought age is catching up. Months passed and I was told by my GP it was anxiety. Well, I was not convinced. I now find I have a gastric complaint which is not sinister but debilitating . Why post this here ? Well firstly, because not all in our lives is perfect and even when we love what we do, things creep up and affect you in a range of ways. I have had to work hard to get to the root of the problem and persist when I felt like giving up. This is the same with photography! Hopefully 2020 will be the end of these issues and the start of a good new year with new places to visit with no health issues. So my message is this: fight for what you believe in, take second opinions and with regards to your photography, make sure you enjoy what you do and shoot what you like not what others like. Happy Christmas to all my friends and fellow photographers.