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« FINISTÈRE INSOLITE »

A lavishly produced book exploring the magnificent landscapes of Finistère, France's wildest department.

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17 Nov 2021

Less is more

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 […]

16 Nov 2021

Breton grey

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 […]

15 Nov 2021

Autumn colours

Autumn isn’t just about brown leaves. I think the yellow in this shot is blackthorn. The rest is heather, bracken, ivy and more. This was taken on the Côte d’Armor in Brittany, not far from Paimpol. And slightly further along the coast was this cliff. There’s a lot of green in there, for Autumn. By the way, this post marks a new direction for the blog – using it more like a notebook or sketchbook. So expect to find images […]

24 Nov 2019

Review: Pholsy remote control and timer

There are times when you want to trip the shutter of your camera with as little trauma as possible. When using long exposure times, long lenses or shooting close-ups with macro lenses, for example, pressing the shutter button can introduce vibration that might degrade the image quality, or even ruin it altogether. The easiest way of avoiding this issue is with the humble cable release. This screws into a threaded hole in the shutter button and provides a plunger you […]

23 Nov 2019

Capturing the mood

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 […]

22 Nov 2019

Technique: Using the Lee Little Stopper and Big Stopper ND filters to create blur

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 […]

21 Nov 2019

Nine years after

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 […]

15 Feb 2019

New book: Finistère Insolite

At last, my new book is here. Finistère Insolite (Exceptional Finistère) is a collection of 133 images across 100 pages exploring the wildness, vastness and serenity of, for me, Brittany’s most spectacular department. The photographs were shot over the course of the past few years, with all of the visits having been made during Autumn – a time when Brittany is relatively empty of people and even more ruggedly beautiful. Publishing this book was an educational experience. Having spent my whole […]

05 Sep 2018

Pic of the week: Poplar plantation

There’s something about poplar plantations that appeals to me. It has to do, I think, with their monumental appearance. I took these pictures on a bike ride we took down to towpath of the Mayenne river, which snakes down through the department of the same name in the Pays de la Loire region of France. The towpath has been converted into a voie verte (greenway) for walkers and cyclists. You can read more about the ride and the river on our […]

28 Aug 2018

Pic of the week: Rouvre oak

I wasn’t expecting to get anything on this trip. Trish & I went out for the day just to explore. An hour down the road is an area known as the Suisse Normande, a hilly part of Normandy on the Orne/Calvados border that is cut into rocky ravines by a number of rivers. One of those rivers is the Rouvre and I’ve decided that I want to use it as the basis for a photography project (about which I’ll be […]