I made this image using a long lens and long exposure - the latter necessary to simplify the sea to allow all the focus to be on the apparently abandoned pram.
#2 add water : ashness jetty
A misty morning on Derwentwater in the English Lake District, UK.
This is a much photographed jetty at Ashness.
#3 add water : "steamer"
Another image from the English Lakes, UK. The shot is taken from Hallin Fell adjacent to lake Ullswater, and captures the incredible patterns that can be caused by the tourist "steamer" boats on the water, when the surface is otherwise flat calm as it was on this day.
# add water : going under
At the edge of the same lake as the previous image, Ullswater in the English Lakes, UK, adjacent to Howtown.
Alas this pier has since been replaced, and no longer offers the same photo opportunity to capture the pier when the lake swells to its capacity and the water level rises dramatically.
Again a long exposure was important here, to smooth the water therefore creating the stillness required to allow focus on the structure dipping under the water
#5 : red post
Now down to the Dorset coast in England, UK. The water and sky colour that preceded the incoming storm was magical, so all i needed was a bright red post to add a focal point.
The posing bird could otherwise be referred to as the icing on the cake!
#6 add water : cruising loch ness
#1 another place
#2 another place
#3 another place
#4 another place
#1 blue hour 1 : selfridges
The Selfridges building at the Bullring in Birmingham is clad in hundreds of large metallic disks. This image is shot from the street, looking up and across one of the facades. I was trying to create a space age look.
#2 blue hour 1 : bridge blink
Taken on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne looking towards Newcastle in England, UK. This is an iconic pedestrian bridge conceived and built as a turn of the Millennium project.
The bridge deck tilts upwards to allow boats sufficient clearance to pass underneath. This doesn't happen very often as there is now little traffic on this stretch of the river - it's mostly turned in the summer months as a bit of a tourist attraction.
It takes about four minutes for the bridge to tilt from closed to open and vice versa. This is a series of overlaid images including a long exposure that captures the movement, and therefore i think the true essence and unique nature of the bridge.
#3 blue hour 1 : six fifty three
I don't think the subject needs an introduction, so i won't!
A long exposure of a few seconds, timed correctly, can capture the lights of the passing traffic, in this case including a double decker bus.
#4 blue hour 1 : emley moor mast
I have wanted to capture this image for most of my adult life.
Emley Moor Mast is situated near Huddersfield in England, UK, and was built on high ground overlooking the surrounding valleys of West Yorkshire to serve as a transmitter.
I can see this mast from my childhood home, and whilst visiting my parents one new year the light was just right and I had the opportunity to grab a few images with my dad.
The mast was completed in 1971 to replace the previous mast which was subject to a spectacular collapse in winter weather.
To give an idea of scale for the image, the mast is a massive 330m tall. So yes it’s a big sky.
#5 blue hour 1 : spanish city
The Spanish City was a permanent funfair in Whitley Bay, a seaside town in North Tyneside, England, UK. Erected as a smaller version of Blackpool's Pleasure Beach, it opened in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tearoom. A ballroom was added in 1920, and later the funfair.
Located near the seafront, the Spanish City has a 180 ft-long (54.8 m) Renaissance-style frontage and became known for its distinctive dome, now a Grade II listed building.
The lighting projected onto the facade was part of a temporary art installation celebrating the funfair history of the building. Its normally plain old white in colour.
#6 blue hour 1 : london skyline
#7 blue hour 1 : manhattan from DUMBO
A popular photo spot in New York City, USA.
Since this image was taken post 9/11, the new Freedom Tower is towards the right hand edge of the image.
My over-riding memory of making this image was the temperature - well well below zero, and a lot of hanging around was required to wait for the right light.
#8 blue hour 1 : tyneside traffic tango
Taken above the Central Motorway in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK, this image is created from a stacked series to capture the traffic trails on the roads at twilight.
Alas some of the structures in this scene have since been demolished, including most of the walkway on the right hand side.
My wife was kind and patient enough to pose looking down on the cars from the walkway, to give a focal polnt and sense of scale to the image.
Thanks Sam x
#1 blue hour 2 : south pier tynemouth
#2 blue hour 2
This image is taken in the village of Siran, in the Languedoc, southern France.
Made from a series of stacked images over the period of about an hour and a half to capture the star trails.
The image was taken late evening towards midnight, however all the light on the church is natural due to the bright moon that night.
#3 blue hour 2 : najac
An image of the chateau in Najac France, taken from a distance in the main street of the town.
#4 blue hour 2 : cudillero
Cudillero is a small village in Asturias, Spain.
Taken after a sharp up the hill climb following dinner (and cider, the local speciality) in the square adjacent to the harbour.
#5 blue hour 2 : minori
Taken from the verandah of our holiday accommodation in Minori on the Amalfi coast in Italy.
A long exposure where i was lucky enough to capture the light of a fishing boat as it meandered “smoke like” out to sea.
#6 blue hour 2 : carcassone
The magical, fairytale, disneyesque walled city of Carcassone, France.
I used a tripod to take this image so I could photobomb it and create a focal point.
The apparently unreal blue of the sky was real, honest. Just good timing at the height of the blue hour.
#7 blue hour 2 : nevis range
The Nevis Range in the highlands of Scotland, UK, reflected in the Caledonian Canal near Fort William
#1 bridging the gap : queensferry crossing
Queensferry Crossing, opened in 2017, is the latest of three principal bridges crossing the Firth of Forth north and west of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Taken looking up one of the three towers on this cable stayed bridge during construction (the crane has been subsequently removed) the white cables that support the bridge deck fanning out below.
#2 bridging the gap : forth bridges
Taken from adjacent to the south tower of the new Queensferry Crossing, this image shows the new bridge’s older siblings.
In the background is one of the most iconic engineering structures in the world, the Forth Bridge, carrying trains north of Edinburgh since its opening in 1890.
In the foreground, and appearing to hover above the rail bridge (it doesn't!) is the 1964 Forth Road Bridge, which although pictured here with HGV traffic carries public transport only following opening of the new Queensferry Crossing.
#3 bridging the gap : canal du midi
This bridge is Included here as a deliberate contrast to the form and scale of the Forth Bridges above.
Alas this is a scene that has changed radically in the last couple of years due to the removal of many of the iconic (now diseased) trees that feature here, in common with many other lengths of the Canal du Midi in the Languedoc, southern France.
This is one of my most treasured images, and not just because you can't see the scene like this anymore, but also because of the many hours I spent painstakingly removing intrusive telegraph wires, and their reflections, that originally spanned the foreground of the image.
#1 let there be light : roker pier
This image is of a popular subject, the pier and lighthouse at Roker, Sunderland, in the UK.
It’s taken at first light in the summer when the sun rises north of east, allowing the outer edge of the pier to be lit like this.
Yes it requires getting up at ouch o’clock. So early in fact that I was sharing the sea front with a few people still heading home from a good night out.
#2 let there be light : whitley bay lighthouse
Taken at the sunset end of the day in Whitley Bay, UK.
The lighthouse and associated buildings stand on a piece of land that becomes an island at high tide.
At low tide, you can walk across a short causeway which is underwater at this time on the right hand side of the image.
#3 let there be light : whitley bay
The same lighthouse as the previous image, this time well after the sun has set.
This image was taken from some distance south using a long lens, and a long exposure gives the painterly effect in the sea I was after.
#4 let there be light : south pier tyne twilight
A few kilometres further south from Whitley Bay is the coastal town of Tynemouth, UK.
Tynemouth is the gateway to the historic shipyards of Newcastle upon Tyne, which are now largely disused.
As such an important river entrance for shipping, Tynemouth has a lighthouse on each of the two sea walls that stretch from the river to the north sea.
This image is taken from the north side of the river looking south, and with this i was lucky enough to win first prize in the “Places” competition run by the Port of Tyne.
#1 parallels : sea and sky
This image was taken normally as far as camera technique and exposure is concerned, and is of the gentle colours of sunrise over the sea from a beach on Tyneside in the UK.
I took the image with this post processing treatment in mind, which consisted of applying some horizontal blur in order to to simplify out the distracting details, thus allowing a focus on the colours and mood of the gentle sunrise that I remember from that morning.
#2 parallels : underground lines
Anyone who is familiar with travelling on the London Underground in the UK might recognise the subject here.
In the foreground are the parallel lines of the platform edge : yellow warning line, the ridged edge of the platform, and white edging line.
Beyond the platform (mind the gap) there are the lines of the track.
And beyond the track, along the back wall of the station, are some of the multi coloured power and data wires needed to keep the trains running.
Again I shot this normally from a camera technique perspective, and again applying a horizontal blur post processing, but this time with the intention of accentuating and amplifying the lines that already naturally occur in the unprocessed exposure.
# parallels : ripples
Shot on Saltburn beach in the UK on a beautifully calm summer's day.
I was taken by the line of ripples that gently made their way through the water's edge and onto the sand.
In contrast to the two images above, here the lines were accentuated by shooting a long shutter speed and horizontally panning the camera. No post processing blur was necessary or used here, its all as captured in camera.
And in case you are think this kind of image is easy?! This is one of only a couple of successful frames from perhaps 100 or so attempts that day. Patience was the key quality required for this one.
#4 parallels : drip
And now for something different again. Whilst the location is not really important, for the record this is taken on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, UK.
In case its not apparent, the image is of the leading edge of our camper van window, opened out to a horizontal position.
I sheltered in the camper van from the rain, looking into the grey mist beyond, the only movement being the gentle track of the raindrops down the window. Every so often, a drip would form, build in size, and then drop. Patience and perfect timing was necessary for this image, and similar to the ripples image above there are many other failed shots also captured that morning.
Look carefully into the drip and you can just make out the hillsides along the sea loch I was shooting towards.
#5 parallels : canal du midi
This images depicts 7 trees at sunset along the side of the Canal du Midi in the Languedoc, southern France.
The canal was calm (so the lower part of the image consists of the tree trunks reflected in the water) and the light was magical.
Similar to the ripples image above, the blurred effect was created by using a long shutter speed, but this time with a vertical pan of the camera down the line of the trunks.
The intention of the image style using camera movement in this way was again to simplify the content and to depict the trees in a gentle, ethereal manner.
#6 parallels : rainbow wires
You could be forgiven for thinking this image is computer generated altered reality, but you'd be wrong! The image is a stacked series of images shot from a tripod : a technique commonly used to capture star trails in the night sky. So no camera movement, or blur created in post processing.
The series of frames was taken over a 15 minute or so period one evening in Whitley Bay in the UK.
The coloured rainbow lines are real - they were part of a laser light installation projected across the bay, and I chose to frame these against a redundant telegraph pole to create the illusion of coloured telegraph wires.
The white lines gently curving in the background are the star trails that happily helped add interest and suggest a little movement to the overall scene.
#7 parallels : NYC
Taken in New York City, USA, from a sightseeing boat on the East River after dark. I figured the only way to get a useable image from a moving boat after dark was to improvise, so here is another taken as a vertical pan. A good number of my images didn’t work out, but this one I think is successful as you can still make out the form of the Empire State Building in the centre of the image.
#1 reflection : derwentwater
Taken from Friar’s Crag in Keswick in the English Lake District, UK, looking across Derwentwater.
I remember this shoot very clearly, not only for the sheer perfection of the conditions, but also the -10 deg C temperature!
#2 reflection : chenonceau
The remarkable and beautiful French chateau in the Loire valley.
#3 reflection : sail boat
Taken on a flat calm day in one of the lochs near Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, UK. A few moments later the weather closed in and the scene was gone.
#4 reflection : lone tree
On the shores of Bassenthwaite in the English Lake District, UK.
#5 reflection : derwentwater
Again from Friar's Crag across Derwentwater in the English Lake District. The more distant, but just as cold!, view as the earlier shot in this series.
#6 reflection : hooked pier
Taken en route early morning to another photo location, the mist on Ullswater in the English Lake District, UK and flat calm conditions were too much to resist.
Literally five minutes later the sun punched through and the scene was gone.
#7 reflection : buttermere pines
Taken at the end of Buttermere lake in the English Lake District, UK. This is a very famous view in photographic circles.
#8 reflection : spanning the tyne
The bridges across the River Tyne between Gateshead on the left and Newcastle on the right, England, UK.
There is one location on the Newcastle side of the river where it is possible to stand to frame the bridges in this symmetrical fashion. Once you've figured out where to stand, and believe me even a metre or so either side of this sweet position makes a difference, all you need to do is hope for the right conditions.
High tide, flat calm, great sunset.
Word of warning, it doesn't often look like this, so you may be in for a long wait.
#9 reflection : ben nevis and the caledonian canal
#10 reflection : kytra lock on the caledonian canal
#1 summer of sport : shimmer
Heat rising above the incredible structure that held the Olympic flame - designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
Each of the 204 copper "petals" represented a competing nation at the event. As such, at the opening ceremony each nation carried in their own petal, and they were assembled and drawn together to form this remarkable centrepiece to the stadium.
#2 summer of sport : mo farah
This shot was taken in the closing stages of the 5000m final, when Farah added to his 10,000m victory by adding gold again, roared on by the incredible and wonderfully biased home crowd. Mo ran a clever race, keeping a close eye on his key rivals before simply blowing them away in the final lap.
#3 summer of sport : mobot
Mo Farah's now iconic “Mobot” celebration after securing the gold, hIs american competitor perhaps not overly impressed.
#4 summer of sport : silver medal smile
As the title suggests, this happy shot is taken during Brigetta Barrett's lap of honour after her silver medal winning high jump.
#5 summer of sport : silver medal disappointment
Trell Kimmons and Ryan Bailey from the USA 4 x 100m relay team cannot hide their disappointment despite securing a silver medal.
The USA team missed out on gold which was secured by the Jamaican team anchored by Usain Bolt.
The Jamaican time of 36.84 seconds was a blistering new world record.
History shows that years after this image was taken the USA sprinters were stripped of their silver medal as a result of a drug test anomaly from one of the squad.
#6 summer of sport : my baton
Taken immediately after the end of the world record and gold medal winning 4 x 100m final, and just before i was sent back to my seat by the stadium stewards, this image and the next one capture the well documented moment when the officials tried to take the winning baton from Usain Bolt.
It was apparently prised away from him after a few awkward moments, but the officials are reported to have eventually relented and returned his golden souvenir.
#7 summer of sport : still my baton
… baton negotiations ongoing.
#8 summer of sport : golden bolt
Taken just after the medal ceremony.
#9 summer for sport : still burning
I grabbed this further image of the flame from below as we departed the stadium after a memorable night and memorable summer of sport.
#1 urbanad : bakery booths
I made this image whilst on a photography workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, learning about capturing a narrative. The subject I chose for my panel was Greggs the Bakers, whose head office is in the town. This series of phone booths formed my establishing shot.
#2 urbanad : hot n spicy
Taken after dark near the Hydro in Glasgow, UK, this bus stand caught my attention and raised a smile. At the time, Fifty Shades of Grey was reputed to be the hottest, spiciest film around.
#3 urbanad : beer cobbles
Naples in Italy is a fascinating place to visit. I looked down whilst crossing the street, and noticed this unintentional advert resulting from the crushing of a discarded bottle.
#4 urbanad : shonnie's place
Taken on the east coast of the Isle of Harris, Scotland, UK.
I'm not sure Shonnie will get much work advertising outside his house like this.
I was interested to see this house again more recently, and years later. Shonnie and his van were clearly long gone, but the remains of the house battle on against the elements.
#5 urbanad : billboard 0025 02
Taken on the forecourt of a fuel filling station a couple of miles from where I live in Gateshead, UK.
Layer upon layer of adverts gloriously peeling to reveal snippets of a whole raft of ads, and strangely artistic in its own right. I couldn't resist this shot, so went home to get may camera especially to capture it.
Of course the following week, it was gone.
#1 urbanart : naples
#2 urbanart : naples
#3 urbanart : london
Chewing gum on the metal deck of a bridge over the Thames, cleverly painted.
Look down as you cross, there’s loads of these, all different!
#4 urbanart : naples
This is a Banksy. What really drew me to make this image was the reflection of the head in a small water puddle on the tarpaulin of the pickup parked in front.
Hence the opportunity to sever the head for this image.
#5 urbanart : new york
Taken from the Highline, NYC.
An image of a mural of an image (!) of a sailor and a girl taken at the end of WW2. I think in Times Square.
#6 urbanart : naples
Thanks to the guy who just happened to be walking by and was happy to lend me his dog for a minute!
#1 urbansignage : hangman
#2 urbansignage : puzzlement
#3 urbansignage : spiderman
#1 la belle france 1
Wonderful working windmill in the Languedoc, southern France.
#2 la belle france 1
Dawn overlooking the distinctive bell tower and surrounding village of La Liviniere, in the Languedoc, southern France.
#3 la belle france 1
I don’t think the subject matter needs any introduction at all, so I won’t. You can get great sunset shots from the roof terrace on the top of the Montparnasse Tower.
Look carefully beneath the Eiffel Tower, you can see the big screen showing live football from the Euro 2016 football tournament hosted by France in June/July 2016. The hosts ended up as beaten finalists to Portugal later in the month.
#4 la belle france 1
Taken on the main street in Najac, southern France. This country has many old doorways you can photograph, but it was the flower that caught my eye in this one.
#5 la belle france 1 : a night at the vineyard
The darks skies in the Languedoc, southern France, are wonderfully dark and especially good for star trails.
The question then becomes what to shoot the star trails with?! Since this region of France is renowned for its wine, a vineyard seemed a good choice, and when we are in this area i am always drawn to this old building on the edge of rows on vines.
A cold clear night is really good for this kind of photography but i did loose the last few frames from the sequence that makes of this shot when the lens fogged over in the increasingly cold temperature.
#6 la belle france 1 : sunrise splash
A fabulous momentary splash of sunrise lighting up the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m / 12,605 ft), a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif within the French Alps. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix in the valley (where this image was taken from).
Look carefully for the cable car wires. The idea for a cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was originally proposed around 1909, but did not come into operation until 1955 when it held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades.
It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1,035 m to 3842 m
#7 la belle france 1 : TGV
A grab shot taken on my iPhone, taken through the window of the TGV (or Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") travelling south between Paris and Bordeaux.
The person in silhouette joined the train in Paris with us, a typically proud and well turned out Parisian lady who thanked us profusely for helping her on and off with her vastly oversized luggage.
#1 built environment 1 : rooms with a view
Taken during the gradual demolition of the Chandless Estate tower blocks in Gateshead, UK.
Even when the rooms had been completely stripped internally and the building facade removed, traces of the decor of each flat stubbornly remained.
#2 built environment 1 : flypast
Another image of a Chandless Estate tower block in Gateshead UK, during its demolition.
Even though it looks a little superimposed, the planes were there, honest!
Its traditional to have a Red Arrows flypast during the Great North Run (half marathon) and I was planning on shooting this against the background of the Tyne Bridge. However due to the heavy clouds blue sky shot that i wanted was going to be elusive that day, so I needed an alternative shot.
To get this I had to anticipate the flightpath of the jets and point my camera at the sky hoping that my positioning. You get a couple of seconds warning and no second chances with the flypast. Luckily i got my positioning right.
#3 built environment 1 : guggenheim bilbao
Taken during a great sunrise.
#4 built environment 1
Twilight image of two iconic structures on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow, UK. The “Armadillo” on the left, and the Hydro on the right.
#5 built environment 1 : meadowbank
The wonderfully faded and weathered seats at the now closed Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh, UK.
The stadium was built to host the Commonwealth Games in 1970, and it re-hosted the games in 1986.
#6 built environment 1 : street bike
Taken in New York City, USA.
#1 built environment 2 : torness
Although not apparent from this image, Torness Power Station takes up an imposing position on the coast south of Dunbar in Scotland, UK.
The inland side of the complex is surrounded by farmland, in stark contrast to the power station itself.
The freshly ploughed fields are shown in the foreground of this twilight image.
#2 built environment 2 : i have an awful feeling ...
“i have an awful feeling we’re not going to get our fees on this job” is a quote from the film Get Carter starring Michael Caine.
Another star of the film, in some people’s eyes who live in the region, is the multi storey car park in Gateshead, UK in which a classic and violent scene was filmed, with that quote coming at the end of the scene.
An iconic structure on the Gateshead skyline from its completion in 1969 to its eventual demolition in 2010, the car park is a classic example of brutalist concrete architecture, designed by Owen Luder.
#3 built environment 2 : guggenheim museum, bilbao
#4 built environment 2 : corfe castle dorset
#5 built environment 2 : grand central station nyc
#6 built environment 2 : taxi nyc
#7 built environment 2 : hydro arena glasgow
#1 bridge to nowhere
#2 bridge to nowhere
#3 bridge to nowhere
This image was taken in the very first light of the day when the tide was at its highest.
Its not artificially lit in any way, but required a 10 minute exposure or thereabouts to get enough light into the camera when essentially the scene was very dark. I had to shine a torch onto the bridge to get an initial focus lock before returning to darkness for the shot itself.
Look really carefully and you can see a padlock attached, I imagine romantically, to the bridge parapet.
#4 bridge to nowhere
#5 bridge to nowhere
#1 la belle france 2 : harvest time
Making this image took some patience!
Taken in Provence (the place to see lavender in France) I spent literally the whole day driving around the same region trying to capture the harvest in full swing.
Having noticed machines standing idle, I returned to this spot as a last ditch attempt at the end of the day, and got lucky!
My wife was less lucky however - the process of the harvest as you might imagine disturbs many thousands of bees, and yes she ended up a sting victim.
Sorry Sam, you took one for the team that day, xx
#2 la belle france 2 : azille sunrise
Taken from the bottom of my mother in law’s garden (literally) in La Liviniere, southern France.
She enjoys the most wonderful sunrises here, and today was no exception.
The view is looking south across the vineyards towards the bell tower of the village of Azille.
#3 la belle france 2 : pic du canigou
At the extreme eastern end of the Pyrenees, Canigou stands 2786m tall and forms a wonderful sunset location from the Languedoc area.
#4 la belle france 2 : arc en ciel
Most landscape photographers can’t help chasing rainbows, and I am no exception.
Whilst its not possible to accurately predict when and where rainbows will form, it is possible to maximise your chances of seeing / photographing one.
The sun needs to be behind you and low in the sky, at an angle of less than 42° above the horizon. The lower the sun in the sky the more of an arc of a rainbow you will see. And rain (or some other source of water droplets) must be in front of you.
And finally, you need luck and ideally a polarising filter on your camera.
#5 la belle france 2 : tournesol
Sunflowers absolutely carpet many areas of rural France in the summer, and they always bring a smile to my face.
#6 la belle france 2 : pic du canigou
Another shot of Pic du Canigou at the eastern end of the Pyrennes.
#7 la belle france 7 : pyrenees sunset
#8 la belle france 2 : etang de montady
This image is a small portion of the the astonishing fields of the Etang de Montady, a wetland drained by monks in the 13th century and when viewed from above is reminiscent of a bicycle wheel. The centre of the wheel is off the to the right of the image, and the boundaries between the fields form the spokes to the wheel.