Wind and Wuthering. A special announcement too....

I have recently been affected by wind.

I know theres humour in everything but trying to take photographs in howling gales can be nye on impossible at times. You get down low, hook up the bag to the tripod and huddle behind some kind of protection. A wall would be good but I often use my bulky frame. Not always successful and recently that proved the case. Trouble is, even though you attain somewhere, some way of reducing the movement, that position may not be the best for the shot and so you try and compromise. Thats never the same. Whilst high ISO and shutter speeds can overcome this, it limits your creativity in camera.

A glorious evening on Birker Fell but what you don't experience here in their iPhone image is the strength of the wind.

A glorious evening on Birker Fell but what you don't experience here in their iPhone image is the strength of the wind.

I was on Birker Fell a couple of weeks back and you could hardly stand up. I was literally being battered by very strong winds. Had I had hair it would have been a mess....

There is virtually no protection either. Whilst I did manage to shoot, the end results were not what I was after and so it was a wasted evening photographiocally. Just to rub it in, the sunset was a good one.

Undaunted, I went back the following night and although there was still a stiff breeze around, I was able to control what I was doing. Enough to allow me to shoot several miles across to Bow Fell with a large zoom lens attached to the X pro 2. The two images now sit here in my online shop.

I am very pleased with the photographs but I teach patience and perseverence on my workshops and though they may have taken 24 hours to attain, it proved the point.

Sean above Wast Water on a glorious day

Sean above Wast Water on a glorious day

Iain by Rydal Water

Iain by Rydal Water

It is always a pleasure to meet new people and my workshops do that for me. The past few weeks have seen me continue to make new aquaintences. I don't always hold my workshops around Wast Water as I also like to try out new locations or those that are more testing. I was able to do that too. This way it keeps me on my mettle and I find it better to look for shots that don't appear natural at first and let people see how the ordinary can become so extraordinary. Therefore worthy of their time and understanding of their kit and surroundings. Many people who attend are visiting areas they love and I am usually a day or two they have allocated whilst on their holiday. However, it is particularly gratifying to show local people whats in their own 'back yard' so to speak and have them see it in an entirely different way.  paul Fletcher who lives in Eskdale Green has lived in the area for over 20 years now and is a good photographer. i set out to show him how poor or bad weather days can still be rewarding. Fortunately the wind didn't come into that....

What weather.....Paul Fletcher and myself on Harter Fell. Photograph courtesy of Vicki Proctor

What weather.....Paul Fletcher and myself on Harter Fell. Photograph courtesy of Vicki Proctor

I haven't met a person yet who comes on the workshops that doesn't appreciate the countryside and to let them loose in an area they have known for so long and become friends with, enriches their perception of the place too.

Paul and I at Devoke Water. Photo courtesy of Vicki Proctor

Paul and I at Devoke Water. Photo courtesy of Vicki Proctor

I honestly share in that pleasure and enjoyment they get.

Workshops apart, I delivered my last talk of the winter season to Mold Photographic society and was grateful for the warm, rapturous welcome I received. Thank you all so much. I look forward to coming back to you in the future.

I am proud to be supported by Berghaus and was delighted when they asked me to provide images for their online calendar. I am now known in the house as 'Mr April' ha ha.

As we get older, we change. I know that may sound a bit cliched but it is true. Not only in the way we look at things and ourselves but in what and how we do things. Around five years ago, I read about the pre release of a new camera. The Fuji X Pro 1.

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have one. It looked like a 'real' camera. Although a product of the digital era, it's retro appearance and feel took me back to my original film days and so I dived in and bought one to work alongside my full frame gear.

I quickly began to use it more and more and it was the only camera I took on my abroad trips for the airlines. Not only was it lighter but I found it hard to tell that I was NOT using a full frame camera. The results where fantastic.

Clients never minded that I was using a crop sensor and they used my images on covers and as well as double page spreads in magazines. I even ran a blog that asked people to tell the difference between the two kits I was using. Not one person guessed correctly.

Gradually it became my 'go to' camera. My work was regularly published and I was aware that the good people of FUJI had taken note of my photographs and I had received one or two pleasing emails from them.

I am now honoured to announce that I have accepted an invitation from them to become one of their official FUJI X PHOTOGRAPHERS and my gallery sits on their world wide website.

It is a very proud moment for me and I am thrilled to have been asked.

I am now working with their marketing team and will be announcing various projects with them  when formulated. Watch this space.

Travel has been something I never tire of. I don't mind the drives or the airports and regularly comment how small the world has become.  We have just returned from Northern Ireland and the Giants Causeway coastline. The trip was presented to me by the VISITBRITAIN team as a result of winning the #OMGB Award in the Sunday Times Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, ( the exhibition is currently running at Piccadilly Railway Station in Manchester till the 22nd April.)

My wife and I went as tourists to NI and what a fabulous place it is.

My intention was to photograph as much as I could but the weather was not too kind sadly. However, I have to say that it was nigh on impossible to acquire 'serious' photographs as tourism at Easter gets in the way but it did not spoil our enjoyment of the trip one bit.

The National Trust visitor centre at The Giants Causeway. Fantastic place.

The National Trust visitor centre at The Giants Causeway. Fantastic place.

'Giant' crowds on the Giants Causeway......

'Giant' crowds on the Giants Causeway......

The causeway is everything you would expect and more. Oh yes and did I mention wind....if I thought Birker was bad this was a nightmare.

It was gale force. I mean a true gale force battering. several of the attractions were closed due to the winds being so fierce. Bright, blue sky on saturday lifted the mood and they say that the 'windy gap' at the causeway has the strongest gusts in Northern Ireland. I would not disagree.

I did try. Thats not just a diffused haze in the background but spray and spume that was everywhere in the atmosphere due to the high winds blowing at us off the Atlantic. 

I did try. Thats not just a diffused haze in the background but spray and spume that was everywhere in the atmosphere due to the high winds blowing at us off the Atlantic. 

I managed to find a spot that allowed me to take a couple of images but honestly there were thousands of people adorning the 'basalt' and so my attempts at trying to take a 'proper' shot were further thwarted so I decided to just enjoy the location.

For the duration of the four days, we were accommodated at the BUSHMILLS INN, Bushmills and we must give thanks to the staff their who could not do enough for us.

Just prior to departing, I received an email from the Federation of European Professional Photographers and one of my images was a Merited finalist in the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. It put a smile on my face as it is always nice to recognised by your fellow professionals.

Merited image by the FEP.

Merited image by the FEP.

We don't take photographs to win awards. We do it because it gives us pleasure. If we can capture that moment that we see in a way that makes other people appreciate what you have done, thats all that matters.

On that note, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time and trouble to appreciate my work.

I really am honoured and often humbled by the warm responses that I receive.

Enjoy your photography. Its a great way to engage in and capture the fabulous world we live in.