Stillness & Time

Phil Morgan and I visited the Lake District this weekend to research suitable locations for a new landscape photography workshop. The course will be based in the picturesque village of Coniston, Cumbria. The surrounding area provides numerous vantage points for the photographer to hone their skills.

Tarn Hows is approximately 2 miles northeast of Coniston and is managed by the National Trust. This beautiful tarn is fed by a number of valley and basin mires. The water drains out of the tarn via a cascading waterfall (Tom Gill) which offers some great photo opportunities.

Lake Coniston was formed by glaciation during the last ice age. It is approximately five miles long and half a mile wide and has several jetties along its shoreline. These jetties have been photographed many, many times by photographers over the years and are becoming somewhat of a cliché. I was determined not to photograph the 'obvious shot' during this visit and worked long and hard to give this old classic a new lease of life. I think I have managed to do this. By singling out a wooden post on the jetty I have tried to create a new abstract representation of this photographers favourite.

The Old Man of Coniston is the highest peak of the Coniston fells. It  is 2,634 ft. (803 m) and can be a pretty tough walk to the summit. If you're not in a rush to reach the top there are some great places to stop off during your ascent. Abandoned slate mines remain almost intact, giving an insight into the 800 year old industry.

Further up, the small tarn of Low Water provides a welcome resting place before the final push toward the summit. The images below are from a previous visit in September. Truly stunning views of the vistas below make the trek worthwhile despite the added weight of camera equipment and a bulky tripod.


Faye & Anthony's Wedding

Although much of my time is now spent running outdoor photography workshops I still manage to photograph weddings now and again.
It was a privilege to photograph Faye and Anthony's wedding on 7th October in west Lancashire. It was a joyous occasion and everyone involved had a fantastic day.

I was on photographic duty from 8am to document the Bride and Bridesmaids getting ready with the hairstylists and make up artists. The day was very relaxed from start to finish and I obtained hundreds of reportage shots that, I think, captured the atmosphere perfectly.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Murt.


Autumn Workshops

I'm currently enjoying the Indian summer we're experiencing in the U.K. Soaring temperatures remind me of the two week summer we had in late April. During the last week of September the quality of light has been magnificent, presenting some fantastic photo opportunities.

The Malvern hills, Worcestershire, is an area of outstanding natural beauty.  I have been photographing this environment for over two years now and it's still a favourite location of mine. This month I have been concentrating on late afternoon and early evening photography, the light at this time of day (in Autumn) is stunning. Just before the sun sinks into the horizon is one of the best times to photograph, in my opinion.

During my last visit I came across some Parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota Procera), at various stages of development. All of the fungi I found were undamaged and provided some great, seasonal, foreground interest to a selection of my landscape shots.

It was another form of parasol that provided me with more subject matter, this time in the form of an umbrella. I love the tranquility of the shot below as well as the sharp contrast of colours in the umbrella and the subdued haze of the background.

Photography Workshops
The photography courses I run take place throughout the UK at a number of different locations. I do, however, run workshops at locations chosen by the client. On 12th September I ran a one-to-one workshop at Clent, Worcestershire, with Ruth Stone. After a laptop presentation and a Q&A session Ruth and I took to the Clent hills and put into practice some of the photography techniques discussed.
Here's one of Ruth's favourite images from the day.

© Ruth Stone

Neil's workshop is outstanding, I would highly recommend it. If you are interested in a personal, interesting, informative day where you will achieve photos like you have never taken before, Neil is the person to contact. I learnt so much during the workshop and Neil's 'there is no such thing as silly question' attitude meant I asked every question and got an answer to all! You will have an amazing time taking photos during the workshop and learn skills you will use forever.
Ruth Stone

The Malvern Hills is a popular landscape photography workshop location. I've run several one day courses here this month and my clients have enjoyed the day and left with some great shots.
Don Rowan attended such a workshop on Sunday 25th Sept. Diabolical morning weather conditions finally gave way to an afternoon of glorious sunshine. Most of the practical workshop was spent making images near black hill reservoir. We ended the workshop on the summit of British Camp where we experimented with exposure and a range of ND grad and circular polarising filters.

Here's Don's shot of the day.

© Don Rowan

Thanks for an excellent workshop. I enjoyed the theory and have come away with great advice on how to get more from my camera - just what I wanted! Good to put the teaching into practice. I have now ordered a polarising filter.
Don Rowan