Latest News

Payment Method Update
07th May 2018
I've now added an Option to pay for purchasing 'offline' by using cheques and I've added P&P to cover the additional costs of shipments to Europe and the USA (Worldwide)
Scotland in Autumn
12th November 2017
I'm back now from a very good week long break to Scotland to photograph the October autumnal colors.
I stayed at the Moness Resort in Aberfeldy which made a very good base for visiting the Loch Lomand and The Trossachs National Park area as well the Glencoe area.
The itinerary had lots of water and woodland to visit including the waterfall at Buachaille Etive More, Glen Etive, The Birks of Aberfeldy and the Falls of Dochart.
The weather was typical for that time of the year and rain was plentiful but this added to the colour and atmosphere and as a photographer I don't mind the drizzle (as long as can wipe my lens fast enough).

Waterfall photos are in this gallery
Win Hill Sunset
30th July 2017
I headed up to Win Hill in the Dark Peaks area of the Peak District after work one summer evening. That is one of the evenings in the so called summer where it wasn't raining or generally dull. When I was a kid we had proper summers, 6 weeks holidays seemed to last 6 months and ice cream was given out free to school children by scores of successive local government initiatives. Not chocolate ice cream though as budgets could only stretch so far. Definitely no sprinkles.

So after an ice cream treat to remind me of the good old days, I headed off. I always try to arrive at any location about an hour before sunset. Or sunrise if I can, but those early starts are a bit more tricky. And there's usually no time for ice cream.

Experience has taught me that the promising light at sunset can vanish behind the annoying banks of cloud at the horizon who's sole purpose is to watch where I'm going and drift slowly towards the exact spot where the sun sets. I don't know how they do it. I'm assuming the Peak District clouds are in radio contact with the one's closer to my house so they can coordinate their evil plan of blocking out the sun at whatever location I head out to.

Clear blue skies don't do it for me photographically. The clouds know this and their other favorite trick is to not to appear at all. They lurk just out of sight and giggle between themselves, knowing they've ruined another trip out. Clouds have a very warped sense of humour. If they were human, they'd be the ones with the whoopie cushion. Kids, they'll be an app for that I expect. Life was more hands on in my day. Or ar$e on anyway.

Anyway, so when the clouds forget to charge their radio batteries and their coordinated attack on my photographic trip out to the Peaks breaks down, I'm sometimes rewarded with a gap in the clouds at sunset. This is my favorite time as the sunlight usually can cast some beautiful colours onto the clouds.

Having arrived early I thought it might be interesting to show the developing way the the light changes to the point when the sun actually sets. If you're lucky but when it happens its worth the effort.

This was the first photo of the evening and at the time I didn't think that very much was going to later on. A nice summer evening view towards Castleton.

I like sun stars or star burst which my lens makes in camera and I've used the composition ploy of just having it peak out from behind a subject on many occasions.

Oh hello, whats happens here I thought. That gap in the cloud I was hoping wouldn't disappear might actually be in the right place.

Finally, the best of both worlds and to my mind, any scene needs to have the light on the ground. I changed location to try to capture the side light along the edge of the gritstone.

The last image - a very strong afterglow which looks great and the light has now gone again from the foreground.
South Wales Day Trip
01st April 2017
For want of a change from the normal and with no home game for the promotion chasing Blades, I decided on the spur of the moment that the late March weather forecast was good (for a change) and that I fancied a trip to the coast. I've always had Nash Point in South wales on my 'to do' list so I decided that would suit me just fine.

I booked into the Brentwood Hotel in Porthcawl which was OK for the night but it had its issues. After deciding the Reception was only an elaborate prop, perhaps left over from filming an exciting documentary on Porthcawl hotel life, I thought that I'd try the bar. Success. I received my room key but alas no directions to my room or complimentary beer. Even with my poor sense of direction I did locate the room which was at the top of the building.
It was one of the few hotel I've been in where the TV only received Radio and I couldn't get the WiFi password to work (for which I had to ask an overworked barman). In looking for the customary guide to the hotel and surrounding, usually positioned in a handy location I came across a receipt for pharmaceuticals from 6 months previous. I wondered (1) why hadn't the receipt been cleared away (2) was the receipt some coded reference to the WiFi password (it wasn't) and (3) was the person better now (I'll never know).
Later on I thought that I'd turned on the radio (sorry, TV) by mistake but it was only the occupants of the next room. Luckily all they did was talk and occasionally laugh heartily. At least, I think that was all they did. Top of my list on my travel kit is earplugs and come sleepy time they did the business (maybe next door did the business as well, who knows). Breakfast was very tasty though.

Nash Point was very nice. Smaller than I'd imagined and arriving an hour early for a recce was not really necessary. Had a pleasant chat with another photographer whilst the sun slowly dipped towards the horizon. He didn't know who may have left the receipt but at least the field has been narrowed by one.
When I finished taking photos and looked around I was amazed to see that the beach was like a busy day on the promenade. Photographer watching seemed to be the new thing. I wasn't sure whether to high five everyone on the way back. I didn't.

So here's a couple of shots from the day. Enjoy.

Sheffield After Dark Photography
17th December 2016
As we get closer to the shortest day I find that one of the drawbacks of winter is that the sun sets way before I can leave work which only leaves the weekend for photographic trips out.
A very mild winter so far with lots of cloudy evenings has meant that Peak District trips have been very unproductive so I've been revisiting the delights of Sheffield which I must admit I've been neglecting for a while. Familiarity breeding contempt I guess is the phrase.
I was motivated to revisit this by some positive comments about good old Sheffield city centre from my family on a recent trip out to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary.
I prefer night photography around 30 minutes after sunset - the so called Blue Hour. I like shooting into lights as well and find that starbursts are a favourite subject of mine - created in camera by my 16-35mm L lens which produces some very crisp stars at f16. The challenge is always the limited time available to capture shots when all the lights in the scene are nicely balanced and before it gets to dark.

Sheffield Tudor Square

Sheffield Lyceum Theater

Sheffield St Paul's Square

Sheffield Train Station

Sheffield Train Station

Sheffield Peace Gardens

Sheffield Cutting Edge off Sheaf Street
Poland September Workshop
09th October 2016
I'm back from an enjoyable week on another of Guy's workshop - this one was Poland at the end of September with Shian, John, Pat, Hilary and Maria.

We landed at Krakow airport at Sunday lunchtime which was a bonus as I'd forgotten the break started on Sunday and assumed it was the Monday. I only re-discovered this the week before so it was a bonus days holiday for me!

The first night we headed up the Krakus Mound which had some great views of the city of Krakow which we timed to coincide with sunset to make the most of the city lights as they came on. I've never seen so many wedding photos being taken in one place. All those happy memories of kids and dogs running around, tourist on bikes riding past and slightly bemused English landscape photographers looking on.
Day 2 was an early start (always early starts) to photograph a monastery at sunrise but we fell foul of 'to much mist'. Mist is usually a good thing but we couldn't get high enough to look down onto it.
After Karkow we head off to our base to the southeast which was at the Tajemniczy Ogrod hotel. From here we ventured out over the Slovakian border, into the Tatras mountains and up to Morskie Oko lake via horse and cart. Again, the lake was a popular spot for wedding photos. The brides must have especially enjoyed the one hour walk up to the lake in full white wedding dress regalia in temperatures of 21C. I didn't see one husband offer to carry his bride there. And they say romance is dead.
The food and drink at restaurants where we ate was of high quality and cheap compared with Britain. Polish petrol stations seemed to have 2 small shelves for sundries (but alas no iced coffee) but have 18 shelves of very tasty looking Polish beer. Which is a ratio of shelves I approve of (apart from the lack of iced coffee). After being awake for 6 hours and it only being 10am, iced coffee would have been very nice.
Poland photos are in this gallery. Enjoy them like I enjoyed the trip.

Isle Of Skye Report
08th March 2016
Had a good trip up the Glencoe and the Isle of Skye with Guy, Richard (Professor Smart) and Aegis in mid-February this year.
The trip got off to a slightly delayed start as Guy's satnav packed in just before he set off to pick us up and he had to use the back up one. The one proved to be one of those satnavs that is interested in just about every route except the most direct one. It got lost a lot. Like me without a satnav.
It did give a chance to watch Dance Mums on a Saturday lunch time which sounds like some sort of speciality video which I understand might be available on the internet (Dance MILFs?). It was in fact an everyday story of mothers who like to argue with the dance instructors, their own children and other mothers whilst the dance instructors generally shout at everybody.
Cutting Dance Mums short we headed up to Glencoe via Glasgow Airport for an overnight stop with Mr Carson, Frank to his friends. Well to us anyway.
The weather forecast was good so we made the most of it by heading out early to photograph the Glencoe favourites of Buachaille Etive Mor and Black Rock cottage which hardly ever get photographed. For a week when the kids were on holiday it wasn't to busy.
After a good day around Glencoe we headed up to our base on the Isle of Skye which was on the outskirts of Portree. Next to the fire station in fact. We were very lucky to find that the fire station crew had recently installed an outside generator and they were seemed to be very proud of it. So proud were they that they played it long and loudly into the night which was not annoying in the slightest. We remarked on many morning how very annoyed we definitely weren't.
I woke on the first morning to find a Euro coin placed centrally on the bath map. All very odd as I don't recall ever wearing the clothes I had on in Euroland. Despite long hours of surveillance and a phone call to Derek Acorah, no progress was made in solving the mystery of how it arrived there.
Given the weather forecast looked like it would stay fine early in the week, we headed out early to photograph the Old Man of Storr. I knew it was a hard walk so I stripped out as much excess kit as possible. This still left enough weight that the average squaddie would have considered to be field punishment No 3.
We covered a lot a ground around the Isle of Skye in a lot a varying weather conditions. Some days were rained off and we sat in the car waiting for a brief break in the weather.
In Elgol, I waited patiently watching a lovely sunset develop behind looming storm clouds. Only at the crucial moment when the sun broke through the rain started exactly on cue and blasted straight into the lens. Impossible to take a shot. How does it know the specific direction to blow?
At Neist Point we risked an evening shoot in 50mph winds. The sea spray was blowing uphill and it was interesting to say the least. I had to spread my legs and bury my stubby 4 inches as deeply as I could into the soft yielding earth. Tripod legs and tripod spikes that it. I was pleased that the shot came out with no camera shake though.

All in all, we gave it our best shot for a week and a great time was had by all.

Scotland photos are in this gallery
Scotland Bound
09th February 2016
I'm off to Scotland soon for a photo trip around the Isle of Skye. I've no idea what to expect at the moment - I'm just wondering what the name of the storm will be. There's bound to be one that will ruin the trip. Will we be up to storm Kevin by then? Can't wait for the T's. I hope they call it Storm Trooper.

No idea if I'll see any snow. I've seen ice twice this year and one of those times was when I left the freezer door open. Hate defrosting the fridge.

I am looking forward though to a side benefit of the trip. Hot water. The old boiler has broken down (insert 1970s joke here) and I'm fed up of wallowing in half an inch of tepid water. Good job my hair isn't as thick and lustrous as in was back in my heyday as the 6th member of Bon Jovi so at least its manageable.

Back to the trip. Looking forward to getting out and about. I've had some great trips up around Skye and Glencoe and we'll get some great shots I'm sure, no matter what the weather.

Read more blogs in my Latest News section here

Not Just Me
03rd February 2016
Life satisfaction plummets between the ages of 45 and 59, according to a new survey from the Office of National Statistics that the Guardian reported today. Thank God. I'm not alone although I don't recall filling in the questionnaire. Not that I'm paranoid. People say I'm paranoid. Well OK, they don't say I'm paranoid but I know that's what they're thinking.

The bit I recognise was that 'life doesn’t make sense in a world in which David Bowie is no longer alive and pyjamas are OK on the school run'. What is going on. I remember laughing at a story back when I was younger. Just after the war. The Boer War it feels like. Apparently a Judge back in the swinging 60s hadn't even heard of The Beatles. How could the cat be so unhip daddio I thought to myself. Just call me Judge Pricey. I watched an entire advert on the TV device for Capital radio. Lots of fresh face youngsters. It didn't dawn on me till afterward that they were all probably 'someone'. I have no idea who. Maybe Justin Bieber. Is he still alive?

So what to do. I've woken up at the bus station of life and the last bus outta town seems to have rolled out. I'll have to look in the drawers of life (not the frilly type) for any lost property I might recognise (Sony Walkmans, the 2 Ronnie's, hostess trollies) and build a makeshift shelter. I might be here for some time.
In with 2016
20th January 2016
Ok I know 2016 has been here for a few weeks - I can't believe its nearly February already.

The last few months of 2015 we're a tad driven by the weather (which was mild and rained a lot) and by work (which was busy and drained a lot). Both were bad for taking photos.

Few frosts, little snow, work deadlines and a very mild Xmas break meant that I had little opportunity or enthusiasm for heading out into the Peak District to take damp versions of the nicer photo that I had already taken.

Looking back on my previous winter photos I see frost in trees, ice in streams, icicles on buildings, snowy hillsides, chestnuts roasting on a open fire - you get the picture. Now I see that shorts are still in fashion for some hardy types despite it being mid January. Come to think of it, I don't actually remember wearing any shorts even in the summer. Just the fresh breeze wafting around my .. oh no, hang on, I do recall wearing jeans. Its all a blur, officer.

So with 2016 underway I've got a couple of photo trips planned so that is something to aim for. Hopefully work won't continue it's evil attempt to shorten my life by several years and I'll be able to make the most of opportunities that come along. I might even get my shorts out.
Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine
05th September 2015
If you'd care to venture out to WH Smith (other paper shops are available) and peruse the October edition of Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine you'll find my photo of the Church of the Assumption on Lake Bled featured in the Postcard section.

I took the photo on a great autumnal workshop in 2013 I think. It's a place that I'd always wanted to visit having been inspired by several great photographs of the Lake.

So have a look, pretend you're buying it, and check out my mugshot in print for all to see.
Photos but no photos
30th August 2015
I've been busy taking photos. But not my photos as such.

I've spent the last week on site around the east of England taking work photos which has given me 770 photos which are useful for me, but alas, non that I can claim are beautiful sunsets or rolling vistas. More like rolling stock as they have been mainly railway based.

Hard work and long days. The good news is I've only got another 2 weeks to go.

The better news is that the 2 weeks is rudely interrupted by my forthcoming photo workshop in Brittany (en France) which will be a welcome break.

Hopefully more photographs of a interesting nature will result so watch this space.

So here's a footpath from last week - I especially enjoyed being out in the monsoon rain which makes August such a wonderful time for a UK holiday. No wonder people go abroad. I assume you have to be a trained climber to get over the 8ft high, hedge covered wall that the finger-post points you over. Welcome to my world.

Lock Up
18th August 2015
Lists - good lists and bad list.

Good lists might be a Xmas list (these days mine doesn't extend much further than socks) or a holiday list (a list of things to take on holiday not a list of holidays to go on, although I guess that counts).

Bad lists - these include my list of things that could go wrong on a photo trip.

For me, this list includes such greats as 'falling over and breaking a leg', 'getting lost at night with no torch batteries', 'being mugged for my camera gear' and the old favourite 'getting locked in a car park at night'.

Well now I can scratch the last one off the list - for the first time I was actually locked into a car park when out and about photographing the Humber Bridge. Imagine my surprise when I backtracked my way out of the car park only to find the road blocked by some lovely gates.

Things I have now discovered in the 10 minutes I had to consider the situation.

The lack of a warning sign saying such useful things as 'Attention gates will be locked at 9pm' does not necessary mean that a gate won't have appeared from nowhere on your return.

Locked mean locked - funnily enough padlocks work quite well.

There are no real options at 9.30pm when you're car is locked in - if I'd made it home I'd still have to return to fetch the car.

The back seat is not as big as it looks when faced with a nights sleep in the car.

Mobile phones and 3G/4G is great if you have a signal.

So faced with all this the only option I had was to follow my tracks and investigate the other corners of the car park I'd previously not given any thought to. Having discovered I'd probably gone the wrong way (no surprise to anyone who knows me) I discovered on open gate. Hallelujah - I was saved. Like the Millennium Falcon leaving a doomed Death Star I raced for the safety of the open road. 'Don't get cocky kid' I thought but the way was clear.

Moral of the story - not sure really. Don't get locked in car parks seems a safe bet.

Lightroom Tips
09th August 2015
I've been using Photoshop CS5 for a few years and decided a few months back to upgrade to Creative Cloud which has Lightroom CC 2015 and Photoshop CC 2105.

I haven't used Lightroom since version 2 and so I've been thinking that CC was similar to camera raw adjustments in Photoshop which I'm used to.

However, I picked up a couple of big glossy magazines from WH Smiths, and 'Teach Your Lightroom' has lots of tips that I hadn't discovered yet in my workflow. Seems well worth buying so far and rather than just another one of my 'stays unopened on the coffee table' purchases I'm actually using this one.
Taking The Tablets
25th July 2015
I decided this week that I was in need of a tablet device. I've been using my phone, a long in the tooth Galaxy S3, more and more for browsing the tinterweb from the comfort of my sofa, so why not do it from a larger screen.

On that basis I decided to get a Samsung tablet, a Tab S 10.5, for a couple of reasons. 1) the excellent reviews about the quality of the screen and (2) it ought to be easy to switch from Samsung phone to tablet.

On point (1) I'm very pleased with the screen but on point (2) I'm less impressed.

Lots a niggling little differences between the phone and tablet. Maybe it's progress but the phone has never given me problems and so far after 3 days of tablet experimentations I'm 50/50 about this. I can see the benefits (literally as the screen is bigger) but I'm finding the setup and Internet browser type stuff is less than intuitive.

I shall continue and see what happens.

1 week update - like mould its growing on me slowly.

Update 7th August - still waiting for my cashback offer to materialise. 'Offer will be available from 6th August' says the Samsung website. It isn't.

Having um and ah'd for ages about whether it was worth spending £300, £350, £500 on a tablet and carefully considering the cost/benefit ratio before committing my hard earned cash, I had to take my car to the garage today. That'll be £350 please - your water pump is broken. Just like that. Why do the things we have to buy always outweigh the things we'd like to buy.
North to Yorkshire
13th July 2015
I headed up to North Yorkshire for a one day round trip in the company of my mate, Antony. Optimistically, I'd planned 10 locations to visit. We managed three I think but at least they will be there for another time. Another visit that is, not another time - like medieval England or Jurassic Yorkshire. That type of technology isn't available yet, despite the over-elaborate promises of Doc Brown in Back to The Future. I often feel like I've time travelled to a world I no longer understand when I watch TV intended for the U25's or encounter youngsters generally.

The forecast was supposed to be dull for the morning and brighter later so the order of the day was waterfalls in the dull weather and maybe landscapes later when the sun came out. As it happened, it was a pleasant summer day and I was able to make a reccy of Castle Hill near Huddlesfield as it was on the way up to North Yorkshire.

I've splashed out on an IR filter as I thought the bright summer days with the trees in full bloom (with leaves on, you know what I mean) might make a good IR subject. This turned out to be a tad more complicated than I'd anticipated as my Canon 6D has produced a lovely set of bright red images with the IR filter attached. I'd anticipated that it would be easy(ish) to process the images but I think I need to read more and have some more practice. I'm not actually sure whether my 6D is to 'good' to actually take IR. Anyway, it was fun practising.

Having lost 30 minutes to the good folk repairing the roads in Bradford this didn't quite help the agenda. Temporary traffic lights. One side (my side) had 300 cars in the queue and the other side had 30 cars. We both had the same amount of green light time. Thanks 'badly planned traffic guys'.

Neverlessless, West Burton Falls made a good location and Aysgarth Falls was nearby so I finished up there for some tricky shots as the sun was out in force by this time. Water and sunlight make tricky bedfellows for long exposure shots.

So with more things left on the agenda another trip is on the cards and maybe this will involve autumnal leaves.

North Wales Moment Spur
01st July 2015
I must have been carrying over some good vibes from my Brecon Beacons trip as I was in a spontaneous mood last week. I decided on the spur of the moment (otherwise known as Wednesday) to take advantage of a 'not having much to do at work' type thing and headed off to North Wales for a short weekend break.

I found that Bangor University near Anglesey rented out student halls of residence rooms for a very good rate when they are empty over the summer holidays. I decided that 2 nights for £62 was a great bargain and I must say it was nice to be back at a Uni type environment. When I left University the internet hadn't been invented (music was better though) but things didn't seem to have changed too much. Still a bed, table and shelf as standard but it was nice to have an en-suite shower and toilet. All in all, pretty good.

Bangor turned out to be a good base for a North Wales trip with some big supermarkets and a town centre to look round (rather than the one-horse town B&B's I've stayed in). It was also well placed time wise to reach some of the areas more photogenic places.

I headed up hill and down dale for Friday afternoon and Saturday (early) morning before forgetting (yet again) that the rest of the world would also like to be out and about on a sunny, summer afternoon. So, with no parking spaces left in Snowdonia and with some new aches and stains calling for a rest I headed back to base for a well-earned glass (ok, bottle) of red wine and a DVD before heading back to Sheffield on Sunday morning.

I shall defiantly pencil in another trip and it looks promising to head there in the winter for some frost and ice - a 5am start and then a drive before sunrise seems achievable.

Penmon Lighthouse
Brecon Beacons Photo Trip
19th June 2015
I've had a very busy and tiring 6 weeks or so at work which has drained the old batteries but this was offset by a week in the Brecon Beacons.

Which was also tiring. But in a good way.

We were based in Llangorse in the north of the Brecon Beacons National Park and because it was summer we looked forward to blue skies, fluffy clouds and long hot summer days. As it was UK summer we got drizzle, grey skies and cold days for half the time.

This was perfect though for photographing the many splendid waterfalls of the Brecon Beacons which we knew were part of the 'must do' agenda for a photo trip to this area. The rain certainly added to the volume of water and on occasions there was to much of a good thing and the spray made life very tricky. Wiper blades needed in the new Canon lenses.

Late to bed and early to rise was the order of the day, even on dull days. Our insurance policy to arrive at the waterfalls before the rest of the madding crowds but to be honest, it was all very peaceful with very few fellow adventurers out and about.

The tricky part of the summer days tends to be mid-afternoon with the light conditions. Therefore, we spent a couple of enjoyable sessions at the Gigrin Farm Red Kite centre. I have mastered the art of photographing blurds in flight, now I just need to make them birds in flight.

Another good break with plenty of varied landscape, macro, waterfalls opportunities and some new ideas to keep me going.

Waterfall photos are in this gallery
I've got Wind
30th April 2015
Or rather, the wind has got me.

I'm sure most Peak District photographers have come to expect that the wind will whip up and over most of the gritstone edges that we tend to position ourselves next to.

Just recently though, British Springtime being what it is, I seem to have been out in some of the most biting and viscously windy conditions that I can remember for some time.

I've therefore decided to add an odd piece of kit to my camera bag - an hand held anemometer or wind gauge. A spur of the moment idea perhaps but it might be interesting to see how fast these tornados actually are. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In the meantime May is here so I'll continue to wear woolly hats, gloves, hoodies and Gore-Tex to keep warm. Who knows, in the Summer I might be able to cut back and just wear one woolly hat. And a vest.
What Happened to Gordon
16th April 2015
Gordon, General Kala? whats going on? Why is it dark!

Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary intergalactical upsets - There's got to be, what about the sun?
This mornings unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm - You're kidding, we're in trouble now!
Only Doctor Hans Zarkhov, formerly at NASA, has provided any explanation - Zarkhov, thank goodness, what's happened?

I bought a Flash this week.

It arrived within 14 hours.

Gordon was alive and the Earth was saved.