I’m finding, with my landscape photography, that I’m increasingly drawn to a minimalist approach. Sometimes to the point of abstraction. It’s not necessarily about simplicity. Some images can be very busy. It’s more about honing in on one thing. Landscape photography is not just about the grand vistas and dramatic scenery. That has its place, for sure. But if you have a dramatic scene in front of you, then getting a dramatic picture takes very little skill or effort. What […]
The title of this post might sound like an expensive new shade of paint from Farrow & Ball. What it’s actually about is finding beauty in even the apparently dullest light. It’s hardly a surprise to be met with overcast skies in Brittany in November. But there is a richness in that light, too. Ignore those people who tell you that landscape photography is all about shooting during ‘Golden Hour’. Flat, grey light has a stillness that can be, at […]
This island is a strange place. It hugs the base of cliffs on the Crozon peninsula in Finistère, Brittany. This particular part of the Crozon is a narrow finger of land pointing to nearby Brest. And the proximity of that port town is significant. Brest has been strategically important to France for centuries. And this explains why the Crozon peninsula, which overlooks the approaches to the port, is heavily militarised. It is littered with fortifications, most dating from the 19th […]
On occasion, a camera captures a little too much. Its ability to freeze time creates detail of a somewhat arbitrary nature – waves stilled at the moment of breaking, for example, or the leaves of trees being blown by the wind rendered with exquisite precision that doesn’t necessarily match the mood of the scene or the emotion you’re trying to convey. The technique of using long exposure times to allow moving subjects to blur has a long pedigree in the […]
This is a shot taken on a recent trip to Brittany. I’m pleased with it – which is just as well because it took me nine years to get it. These are the remains of a pier or jetty sticking out into the Rade de Brest – the confluence of several rivers where they meet the Atlantic. It’s shot from the shore of the Crozon peninsula, a beautifully rugged part of Finistère. I was attracted to these pillars because of […]
Having put a roll of film through my much-loved Canon FTb, it was time to drag out another old classic, the Nikon F3. I still think of this as one of the best cameras I’ve ever owned. I converted to Nikon in 1985 (and if that sounds like a religious experience, well it was), after having been an Olympus OM-2 aficionado for many years. But then all my Olympus gear was stolen in New York and it was time to […]
It would grieve me to find that someone has mistaken me for a hipster. But I realise I’m running that risk writing this post. Because, you see, I’m shooting on film again. Not much. Just the odd roll now and then. I can handle it. This is not about nostalgia. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? This is entirely about nostalgia. I’m at an age where I’m entitled to gaze back at that ‘foreign country’ that is the past […]
It was a weird June. First cold. Then torrential rain. Then blazing heat. And now, as we slide into July, blazing heat with torrential rain. The other night we had a thunderstorm the likes of which I’ve never experienced outside of the tropics. It wasn’t the thunder and lightning so much, although there was plenty of both. It was the rain. It felt like the house was underwater. By the time I came to give the dog his last walk […]
Back in the days when I used to participate in forums on RedBubble (hint: don’t bother) there were two phrases that cropped up a lot and that I came to loathe – ‘nice capture’ and ‘great bokeh’. Now, I’m not suggesting that the use of these phrases with no attempt to mitigate them through irony should be grounds for instant execution. That’s for other people to decide. And I might even concede that the term ‘bokeh’, referring to how out-of-focus […]
Sometimes you have an idea for an image in your head. But when your subject matter is the landscape, nature doesn’t always cooperate.
I’m pleased to say that two of my pictures are now on display at La Toque aux Vins, a very fine restaurant on the outskirts of Avranches, Normandy. One of the images – of riders at Le Bec d’Andaine with a view of Mont St Michel (above) – is now hanging in the reception area. The other, of a poplar wood near the village of St Cyr, is in the main dining room. Both images have connections with the restaurant. […]
Today is the 178th birthday of photography. Give or take. On 19 August 1839, scientist and politician François Arago made an announcement to a joint meeting of the Académie des Sciences and the Académie des Bueaux Arts at the Institut de France. It concerned a process recently bought by the state from showman Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre and inevitably dubbed the Daguerrotype (or Daguerrotypie in French). This was the first official recognition of the invention of photography, and it created a sensation, […]
This is something you don’t see every day – your neighbour’s field on fire. Although it turns out that this is more common than you’d think.
Sometimes boredom is a useful thing. It makes you start looking around, searching for some stimulation.
At the vernissage of my exhibition with sculptor Sue Riley, L’Esprit Insolite, I was momentarily left speechless by an unexpected request.