Saturday, 31 December 2011


We arrived in Colorado on Thursday night from Washington a bit later than planned.

Most of the snow that fell last week has gone or turned to ice here in Boulder. It's mild and windy.

Just had treatment on my back and neck by Amanda to loosen it before we start our road trip tomorrow.

Walked in the foothills of the Rockies yesterday with good views of the Flatirons and surrounding peaks. Didn't go far, just 6 miles, as I picked up a chest infection on the flight over on Tuesday and combined with the 5200 feet of altitude and my asthma breathing is a little tricky.

Stopped at the Southern Sun on way back for a Java Porter, one of my all-time favourite beers.

I changed my HTC Chacha for a Samsung Galaxy S2 last week. The old phone ran out of internal memory and no easy fix so Vodafone did a swap to get me going again.

Just discovered it has an 8mp camera so tried it out on walk with pictures of Flatirons and surrounding peaks. Also photographed my first pint in Boulder!

Tomorrow we drive to Laramie en route to Grand Tetons. Before that I have a New Years Eve party to go to with our friends Rob and Annie!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Washington DC Photos and Breweries

Just waiting at hotel for shuttle to airport.

Have taken 12 rolls / 120 negatives in Washington DC. Managed to avoid arrest taking photos of the White House but stopped from using tripod. Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and several other monuments and statues. The reflecting pool was a building site.

Cold and windy yesterday, my main day for photographs. The flags were impressive in such strong wind.

Also walked around Georgetown, very stylish old buildings and an old canal.

Quite a few night shots, they also hid the mess from lots of building works going on. Reminded me of London!

As luck would have it we also found 2 brew pubs. The Capital City Brewing Co. had a very tasty porter but the food could have been better.

The Chophouse Brewery had 2 good Stouts, an oatmeal and a bourbon one. I stuck to the oatmeal one so that I was capable of walking back to the hotel. The food was good here.

Fly to Denver for the ski and snowshoe part in a couple of hours. Looking forward to seeing our best friends Rob and Annie again in Boulder. Hope they have built up to spending 3 weeks with us!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Heathrow Virgin

We are sitting in the Virgin lounge at Heathrow waiting for our flight to Washington DC. This is the first leg of our photo trip to the USA. About 30 minutes until we board. Photos in Washington DC later. Hope it's brighter than here. Night shots later too.

As usual Heathrow refused to do hand search on my film so had to put through x-ray machine. Hope the US airports give hand searches as the effects are cumulative and we pass 4 scanners in total. I have seen x-ray damage to my films after just 3 passes in the past.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Travels Begin

That's it, my last Christmas order for framed photos has been delivered at a rendezvous with customer at the A50 services south of Derby. Now driving down M1 to spend Christmas with Jan's family in Harpenden.

Tuesday we fly from London Heathrow to Washington DC. The first stop on this years winter photo trip. Colorado, Wyoming and Utah follow for skiing and snowshoeing. Really looking forward to the break, it's been pretty full on through last 3 months. Lots of photography planned too, as you would expect, as well as the odd visit to a brew pub or two!

Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to one and all.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Berwick upon Tweed in Winter

We came up to Berwick yesterday in the snow and ice. Took 6 hours instead of 4 because of difficulty getting out of Peak District (snow storms and sheet ice on roads), big detour and traffic jams.

We are here planning the landscape photography course that we are running here in April 2012. It will be 1 day around Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh castles, 1 day in Berwick, Eyemouth and St Abbs, and 1 day in the Cheviot or Lammermuir hills.

Good day today, cold and clear. Big waves on the coast at Eyemouth and St Abbs, good for pics. Light went early though, by 3.30pm it was the start of night photography! Main bridge in Berwick looks great with Christmas lights and It's a full mooooon.

Tomorrow we're in the hills, hopefully. They are snow covered so should be good if clear. Will return home via Newcastle for some night shots; I have had a few requests at recent shows for shots from here.

As luck would have it, we found a Wetherspoons pub in Berwick. Just finished dinner and on to 2nd pint. Ruddles bitter and this one, Goodwill Bitter, were both cloudy but tasted fine. Looks like they're rushing them through!

Off to take more night shots soon then back to Travelodge on the north side of Berwick. Jan dozing after large Merlot, will have to wake her carefully!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

First Snowy Walk this Winter

I walked to the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton this morning. Good covering of snow everywhere, up to 6 inches on the tops but mostly just 2 or 3 inches of wet snow. Bit of a blizzard on the most exposed section, typical!

Jolly quiet in the Gallery today. I wonder why?

Didn't bring the camera as Pauline, who should be helping this morning, is ill. Can't sneak out as on my own. Nice light now and snow plastered on the tree trunks. Am sure it won't last, they forecast gales and more snow for later.

The snow will make it a bit lighter walking home tonight in the dark, should be home by 7pm, maybe earlier if Pavilion Gardens closes early because of the weather.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Artist & Designer's Fair, Buxton

We are doing our 15th and last show of 2011 this weekend. This is the Artist & Designer's Fair in Buxton Pavilion Gardens, 10am to 4.30pm, free entry.

We have lots of original prints at half-price as well as posters from £5, books at £5 plus lots of other prints from £15 to £180.

If you are interested in a course for next year why not come along for a chat about our new locations in Northumberland (April) and Glen Coe (September) as well as the old favourites of the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales around Grassington.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

At Last - a Newsletter!

It's been a long time coming but finally I have produced another newsletter; the first since July and the 3rd for 2011. Apologies if you've been holding your breath waiting for it!

It outlines next years shows, the 2012 courses (new locations of Northumberland and Glen Coe as well as the old favourites of the Peaks, Lakes and Yorkshire Dales), new pictures, a few seasonal photo tips, news of past and future photo trips, and lots of other items.

Hope it was worth the wait. One of these days I will get organised and set a routine that lets me do one a month, as I originally thought I would, but for now just consider them as limited editions!

Here is the link again.

Christmas Contemporary Crafts and Design Fair at RHS Wisley

We are doing a 5 day Contemporary Crafts and Design Fair at RHS Wisley with Craft in Focus.

It started on Thursday 24th and runs until Monday 28th November. It's open 9am to 5pm for the next 3 days. Our stand is near the entrance to the show, stand 10. Jan is doing it on her own this time to save wear and tear on my bad back. It's been a good one so far. Pictures, books and posters are all selling well. It seems to be a busy show for all too, with 130 of the highest quality exhibitors for visitors to get round.

Our stand is a similar size to the one we had in Glasgow except that 2 sides are open. This usually works best for us these days. Lots of pictures, maybe 300-odd, on display. This includes several at 1m x 0.5m. So if you have a large space that needs filling with a picture this may be the place to find something, especially as prices for pictures start at just £5 for some of the 0.5 x 0.5m prints!

Jan looks forward to seeing you there!

New Images - Frankfurt

There are 4 new images of Frankfurt on the web, all taken at night. Lots more to come but no time to sort and scan them yet. Maybe soon.

Frankfurt skyline from underneath the Holbeinsteg footbridge over the River Main

The DZ Bank Tower at night reflected in the glass of the building on the other side of the street.

The others are on the web:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Crafts for Christmas 1st Day, NEC

We are doing the Crafts for Christmas show at Birmingham NEC for the first time. Second of 4 days tomorrow, Friday. Busy day today. Included sales of 2 framed copies of St Paul's from Millennium Bridge at Night (1m x 0.5m), one here at show and one at Buxton Gallery in the Gardens. Nice coincidence! Open 9.30am to 5.30pm, Hall 19, stand B09. Hope to see you here sometime.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Crafts For Christmas Glasgow

We returned home from the Glasgow Crafts for Christmas show and unloaded by midnight last night. It was a reasonable first show in Glasgow for us. I expect we will do it again next year, all being well.

Here is a picture of the stand to give you an idea of what our 4-day gallery looked like.

We have another similar show coming up. The stand will be the same size but will look a bit different at the English version of the show, which we set up this Wednesday.

It's still called Crafts for Christmas but is held at the Birmingham NEC from Thursday to Sunday. It's bigger and was more expensive for the stand but there should be more visitors to help us compensate.

Just arranged to meet up with good friends Peter and Sally on Saturday and it coincides with a fireworks display at Kenilworth castle. Jolly exciting!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Glasgow Photographs

I now have 14 rolls (140 shots) of Glasgow photos. Included are George Square, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow Green, Peoples Palace, Merchant City, Squinty Bridge, Clyde Arc bridge, Bells Bridge, Glasgow Tower, Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow University, Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow College of Art, Italian Square area and more. It will be a few weeks until they appear on the web but keep an eye out for them if you're interested.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Crafts for Christmas in Glasgow

We are half-way through the Crafts for Christmas show at the Glasgow SECC. A bit slow so far but okay!

I had no photos of Glasgow so have spent last 2 nights and part of yesterday and today during show-time taking photographs, about 9 rolls so far.

Lots of interest in our courses, especially Lakes and Northumberland.

Just finishing meal in one of the many Wetherspoons pubs in Glasgow. No camera tonight as back is aching so took night off. Will try another pint on medicinal grounds!

With luck we may be home by midnight Sunday then it's down to Birmingham NEC on Wednesday morning to set up for similar show down there.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sevenoaks Art & Craft Fair

Last day of the Craft in Focus art & craft fair in Sevenoaks Sunday 23rd October.

It's been a bit quieter than we hoped. Pretty much all shows this year have been hard work to make sales but most have worked in the end. Will keep fingers crossed this one works out too in the end.

Local bakery is closed tomorrow so no bacon roll for breakfast. Jolly disappointing!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Great Peak District Fair

It's the annual Great Peak District Fair in Buxton this weekend. We will have our usual stand in the Octagon in Pavilion Gardens, along with 16 other members of the local art organisation Peak District Artisans. If you come you will be able to browse through several hundred of my photos in sizes from 25 x 20 up to 100 x 50 cm. There will be posters too at prices starting from just £10. All 3 of my books will be on sale too, plus 2012 courses.

The show is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October. Over 100 exhibitors from the Peak District including photography, art, craft, farmers market and beer festival. Free entry. What more could you ask for!

If you are interested I also have a permanent exhibition in Pavilion Gardens in the Gallery in the Gardens, just a few yards from the Octagon in the same building. I am also a member of High Peak Artists who run this gallery as an artists co-operative of 39 artists and craft workers.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Rain Again

It's raining again in the Peak District, some of it heavy. Reservoirs will be rapidly filling up. Fortunately it started after we ran our last photo course of 2011.

Yesterday's post did finally appear on Facebook, about 19 hours after I posted here on Blogger instead of the usual 5 or 6 - so my changes slowed it down. So I still haven't stopped my posts automatically being picked up there. I removed the final links to Facebook from this main blog page, maybe that was where it was getting my id from, can't find it anywhere else on my Google account.

The reason is the Facebook policy on use of pictures posted there. I will continue to post new pictures here but don't want them on Facebook. I don't put pictures on Twitter anyway, the 140 character limit makes it a much more immediate thing so I will just drop links in to this when I have new pictures. Much quicker.

Jan is still doing the Craft in Focus show at Richmond on Thames. Hope the weather is better down there, it usually is!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Richmond Craft in Focus Event

We have a stand at the Art and Contemporary Designer Craft Fair run by Craft in Focus at the Queen Charlotte Hall in Richmond on Thames, near London. If you need the sat nav to find it use TW9 2RE. It's open from 10am until 5pm from Friday 7th October (today!), Saturday and Sunday. Jan is running our stand on her own as my back is still a bit painful and I can try and catch up on a few other things at home.

There are a couple of large new prints, 1 metre by 0.5 metre, framed. One is of snow with aspen tree trunks and their shadows, jolly difficult to get to as the snow was deeper than it looked and I didn't bother putting my snowshoes on, big mistake, it was way over my waist. I ended up lying on the surface and crawling into position to take the shot to stop me sinking in as far. The other new large shot is St Paul's Cathedral from the Millennium Footbridge in London at night. I have printed it small before but it looks spectacular at this large size. Both were printed by Ilford Lab Direct from a digital file of the scanned negative as this is larger than I can hand print in my darkroom (I print up to 60 x 50cm).

There are lots of new small prints too from £15 to £270 and some of the posters are reduced to just £10 for this show.

If you can get down there could be a good one. Oh, and nearly forgot, there are another 70 exhibitors there too and lots of parking behind the hall, so no excuses!

Next weekend is the Great Peak District Fair in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. There will be lots there too with over 100 exhibitors. Our stand should be in the usual place near the entrance to the Octagon. The fair is a mixture of art, craft, farmers market and beer festival (so best to come early if you want any sense out of me!); all from the Peak District. Make a note now, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October, 10am to 5pm, free entry.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lake District Photography Course - Day 1

We had a day of 2 halves, as they say. Quite a lively bunch for this course we spent the first day in Eskdale with dull weather in the morning; perfect for water shots. The rain here in the last week had provided plenty of water for photographs. From the 60 foot waterfall to smaller falls and rapids, they were all in good form.

After a short lunch break at the Brook House Inn in Boot we drove over the Hardknott Pass where it was brightening up as the minutes passed. Then down to the old Roman Fort where we had some really good light off and on. The best was yet to come at a little tarn on the moors.

Now off to dinner at the Woolpack Inn and possibly the odd pint.

Forecast is good for next 2 days. Always easier to run courses in nice weather.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Strasbourg to Folkestone

What a great morning in Strasbourg. Sunny and warm-ish. Revisited several locations that I photographed last night; it was better light for some of them. Brighter reflections in the river in the old town.

Could have spent all day taking photos but Jan made sure we kept on schedule; the drive to Calais is about 6.5 hours.

Getting out of Strasbourg was the biggest problem, lots of roadworks had us going round in circles. We eventually escaped but I slept through most of the trip to Calais, knocked out by the drugs I took for my painful back.

Eurotunnel put us on an earlier train then it was a short drive to the hotel in Folkestone and a meal and couple of proper beers.

Home tomorrow. Just 94 rolls of FP4 for Ilford to process for me and lots of net scanning so that peoplee can see what I have been doing these last 3 weeks.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Last Stop Strasbourg

We left Villars in rain, then had snow as we drove over 2 passes on way to Gstaad. Then it was rain again on and off for much of the day.

Had a morning break for a wander around Zweisimmen in the rain. Then Jan drove us to Strasbourg avoiding Bern and most of Basel. We arrived here at 4.30pm just in time for more rain.

My bad back has been painful with all the time sitting in the car the last few days. Worried about it going into spasm so am taking all 3 drugs that doc has given me. Makes me feel a bit spaced out.

We wandered around the old town about 6pm as the rain had stopped and the light was pretty good for photos. Not many people about, reflections in the river and old black and white buildings, ideal for black and white photos!

After a meal it was dark and time for some night shots. I wandered around for about 3 hours taking photos in the old town, including the enormous cathedral and the river.

Time for lights out now, long drive to Calais for Eurotunnel tomorrow. Hopefully some more photos around Strasbourg in sunshine tomorrow before we leave.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

No Last Mountain Day from Villars

After the thunderstorm during the night we woke to heavy rain and low cloud. Not a good day to hike the mountains and no big views to photograph.

Google weather showed it better in the valley around Lake Geneva and best for Lausanne, which was where we headed for the day.

We arrived in Lausanne to heavy rain, same as Villars except no low cloud. Decided to sit it out from the comfort of our car. An hour or so later it stopped and we headed off, both with cameras in hand in case it brightened.

We wandered along the shore of the lake and up to the old town where it started to brighten, then the sun came out between 2 and 3pm. Lots of photos around cathedral as well as old narrow streets and lots of hanging signs. Then down to the town and lastly to the harbour and marina. A total of 6 rolls of Ilford FP4 (60 exposures) on what looked like a bad day. Really nice light and clouds in many of them.

No views from Villars on our return: the clouds stayed low all day. That meant that our last mountain walk was actually in Misurina since we didn't get onto the hills today.

Tomorrow we head for Strasbourg. Hoping for better weather than the last time I was there on Ilford business in the late 90's.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

First Rain for 12 Days

Jan drove us from Menaggio on Lake Como to Villars in Switzerland (in mountains at east end of Lake Geneva).

Overcast, warm day. Not so good for photos as very hazy. Lots of traffic around Lugano and Locarno but quiet on minor roads to Simplon. The only photos were of a spectacular, enormous church in the tiny Italian village of Re. Not just a Swiss Re building in London but an Italian Re as well!

Came over Simplon Pass and had heavy rain, first since 5th Sept in Garmisch, the day we visited Oberammergauer and Neuschwanstein. Back to chilly weather too. Temp down to 12℃ in Villars (we had 37℃ a couple of days ago around Italian Lakes). We prefer it cooler than hot.

Good sunset and clouds on nearby hills (the ones just south of Lake Geneva). Tomorrow we walk the local hills and need clear views for photos, I've had several requests for photos from Villars. Fingers crossed all is well.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Ferry Day

We spent the day on and beside Lake Como. Very easy using ferries, we just bought tickets that let you jump on and off where you wish.

From Menaggio we went across to Varenna on the eastern shore. After a couple of hours exploring, and the odd beer, it was on to Bellagio. Looked a bit more up-market than the other two. Of the 3 we probably prefer Menaggio, lots of waterfront and bit more feeling of space. Will wait to see which gives the best photos.

Feels like I have switched from mountains to nautical landscapes.

Quite a few photos (70, in fact). Clear morning then very hazy as temps reached a mere 27C, a full 10C cooler than the other day.

Tomorrow we drive to Villars for another couple of nights in the mountains. Sunday is a day for walking the mountains. Fingers crossed the weather is kind.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Comatose in Como

No only joking! Not comatose and not in Como, other than that it's a true statement.

Yesterday's blog didn't happen, I fell asleep after few beers and sharing a bottle of wine with Jan. So our last day around Lake Garda was spent circumnavigating the lake in our car. A distance of just under 100 miles. The roads were really busy, it took ages. Photo stops were at Sirmione, Bardolino and Torri del Benaco. A mix of castles, piazza's and harbours. Quite graphic as well as colourful, for anyone wanting to work in colour (I'm sure there must be someone!).

I ran off 6 rolls of 10 photos and have some good ones despite the number of people around (especially at Sirmione). That makes 68 rolls of Ilford FP4 for the trip, so far.
Today we left Lake Garda and headed west for Lake Como. We are now on the homeward stretch. The roads were really busy, it took over 6 hours instead of 4 or so.

We are staying in Menaggio, a good mix of old and new.tomorrow we use the ferries to explore Bellagio and Varenna. Hope weather stays clear but temps drop. Yesterday was 37C, today 31C. That's hot, we never see those temps in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Beer rubbish and very fizzy. Looking forward to a decent pint but when?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

In Verona with George Michael

We had a day of 2 halves but both hot and humid. It started with walking around Malcesine taking shots with morning light. Some of which didn't work yesterday afternoon because they needed light from the other direction.

Then it was back to the hotel to load up the car with cameras and head to Verona, a bit over an hour away from here. I was taking photos again by 2pm, bridges, old building's, narrow streets; the usual mix.

A young couple from Israel asked if I would take their photo with the Verona Roman arena in the background and mentioned that George Michael was playing the arena tonight. What a coincidence, both of us doing Verona on the same day! That explained why Verona was so busy; I knew it couldn't just be for Jan and I.

I finished my day-time shots and we went to a bar for a beer or two and some food, then waited for dusk.
Unfortunately, my planned dusk shot was of the arena and there were thousands of GM fans in queues and generally milling around. There were also lots of police and army vehicles as well as several large lorries. A challenging set of conditions!

We waited over 1.5 hours as dusk turned to night but the crowds stayed. The concert started at 9.15pm but there were still lots of folks about. Unusually for me I'm unsure what night shots I have (of the arena). It was so difficult to have a clear spell for up to 1 minute exposures. I took several photos with people walking in all directions as well as the odd cyclist. I'm hoping the long exposures of 20 to 60 seconds have blurred them considerably so that they don't catch the eye. I need to see the contacts before I will know for sure.

We left the arena area, took a few more night shots then headed back to Malcesine, arriving a bit before midnight.

Tomorrow we spend the day around Lake Garda.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Hot Lake

We drove from Misurina to Malcesine on Lake Garda in northern Italy. Just 18C increase in temp to 30C. It's too hot for me and have remembered why have so many trips to cold climes. My bad back feels better though and guess it's less likely to go into spasm when warm.

Malcesine is on eastern shore of Lake Garda and has lots of narrow streets and some old buildings, including a castle. Took pictures during day and a few at night. Not well lit so used long exposures (guessed; meter as useless as ever at night).

Tomorrow we may go to Verona, just an hour or so from here. Want some morning shots in Malcesine first though. Hoping cooler than 30C tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Busy Mountains - Diversion

Today we planned to climb 3 passes near Misurina in the Dolomites.

All started well with a chair lift ride up from Misurina and walk to the top of the first pass. There were cables but they weren't needed. The descent however was really slow. We were in a queue going down at the speed of the slowest person, which was very slow! There were a few cables but again they were barely needed.

By the time we reached the bottom after the first pass I had had enough. A quick look at the map and we diverted over a different pass, the Forcella de Neve. Lots of big spiky rocks but no people!

We dropped down, skirted around and climbed to another minor pass. This was by far the best place for photos so far. Pointy peaks, nice clouds, as well as graphic lines from the scree runs and boulder fields.

More good photos followed after a quick descent, quickly changing clouds over very shapely peaks. All the shots here were with the camera pointed skywards as well as with an orange filter to keep the drama.

The diversion gave us a good day. I would have been very frustrated following the hordes over the other passes. Only 2 rolls of Ilford FP4 film but I'm sure I have some crackers.

Time for a well-earned beer before showering and going down to Cortina for some night photography.

Tomorrow we leave the Dolomites and head to Lake Garda. We have never been there before so really looking forward to it.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Sunny Dolomites

Fortunately the forecast for a wet day was seriously wrong. It was a cracking day in the Dolomites with sunshine, clouds and visibility for many miles.

We circumnavigated the spiky peak called Croda da Lago, just south of Cortina, including a couple of passes, the highest being  at almost 2500 metres.

Lots of trees lower down so few photo opportunities until above the trees and above the hut. Clear views from both cols and good clouds. I took quite a few with peaks, mountains as well as clouds. Used the orange filter quite a bit to give high contrast and darken the blue sky. I didn't go mad though, taking 47 shots in all today, all on Ilford FP4 120.

One of the best was of 3 shapely mountains, reasonably spaced left to right, each with its own clouds. I think this will be great as a 2:1 panorama.

My bad back has not been good for most of trip so have limited myself to using 1 camera (Mamiya 7 mk 2) and 1 lens (43mm). This limits a few shots but overall I just look for the shots that work with the kit I'm carrying. For the hill days I have used the smaller of my 2 Gitzo carbon fibre tripods and the lower height has not been much of a problem.

I also have some new ultra-lightweight carbon fibre trekking poles which have saved weight and work really well. I don't always use poles because of the weight but with these new ones I can't use that excuse any more. They cause my posture to become more upright so my back is less likely to go into spasm, so I should use them all the time.

Wonder what we'll do tomorrow?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Musical Mountain

Today we hiked up Monte Piano from Misurina, just north of Cortina in the Italian Dolomites.

It was warm and sunny all day with a cool breeze. Lots of shapely clouds in the blue sky to make for some striking photos.

Monte Piano wasn't musical at all, in fact it was quite sombre in some respects; over 14,500 soldiers died on this one small mountain in the 1st world war. There are lots of tunnels, trenches and memorials on the highest parts, even a railway line coming out of cliffs near the summit. Difficult to believe anyone would fight over such a hill.

Lots of new shots. Just used the very wide angle 43mm lens on my Mamiya 7 camera with Ilford FP4 120 film. Used a mixture of my favourite dark yellow filter as well as orange and yellow/green. The first two for mountains with blue skies, the latter for views with lots of green trees.

We finished the day with a drink at our hotel with Ulli, our amiable host.

Tomorrow rain is forecast so unsure what we will do. Possibly a Cortina photo day.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Innsbruck, Brixen and Dolomites Photos

We woke to heavy rain in Innsbruck instead of the forecast sunshine. Time for a leisurely breakfast!

Spent an hour or so taking photos around Innsbruck Altstadt in dull weather before heading south over the Brenner Pass into Italy.

Next we headed for the beautiful small town of Brixen. Lots of photos here in the sunshine. Stopped for a spot of lunch, mine was liquid, jans was ice cream!

Then back to the car for the final leg to Misurina. Stopped a few miles short at Lago do Landro to take another set of pictures to compare to those from 4 years ago.

Used dark yellow filter for the sky to start but as sun lit up the conifers I switched to green to brighten foliage.

We arrived at the Sport Hotel in Misurina about 5pm and received a warm welcome from Ulli and Fiorenza despite it being 4 years since our last visit.

Then jolly nice meal at restaurant in the village before retiring to our room for blog time!

Walkies tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Waterfalls and Innsbruck

We left Garmisch and headed south towards Austria. Dull but dry day, not the rain they had forecast.

Sunshine tomorrow, allegedly, so decided to leave day-time shots in Innsbruck until then. Instead we detoured to the Pitztal for possible views of the Wildspitze, which I climbed on a ski mountaineering trip in 1994 with guides Jon de Montjoye and his wife Hilary Sharp. Bit unclear as to whether it could be seen from the head of the valley but I have the shot anyway.

Waterfalls were in full spate and they were just putting warning signs out for hikers about flash flooding.

It was a couple of miles to waterfalls and a bit of a scramble. Bit like taking photos in the shower but I dried off quickly afterwards. Had to keep lens covered while I lined up the shots then remove hand as pressed shutter button. Interesting!

We arrived in Innsbruck at 5.30pm. Our hotel is close to the old city. Did a quick recce then had an early dinner (and a couple of Dunkel beers) in the Stifts beer Keller while waiting for darkness.

Headed off to first location a bit before 8pm and carried on until 10pm. Innsbruck is not that well illuminated so had to guess long exposure times of up to 1 minute. Usually I get away with 10 seconds or so.

Tomorrow morning we spend in Innsbruck for photos then we drive down to the Sport Hotel in Misurina for 4 days in the Italian Dolomites.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Zugspitze Day

It was a cracking day today. Warm, blue sky and the odd cloud with a few clouds hanging in the valley until midday. Caught the train and cable car to the top of the Zugspitze and took some photos. Mostly used an orange filter to darken the blue sky but knew it would make shadows more difficult to print.

Then down to Glacier Station on cable car to start walking down to Garmisch 11am. Looked like a rocky desert to start with. Then it was into some greenery while following the stream to Garmisch.

Lots of trees in Partnachklamm area and for previous section so I switched to a yellow-green so that they were brighter in the picture.
I estimated 12 miles in total but turned out to be over 16 miles. Will have to buy a new map measurer! Jan not impressed.

Jolly nice meal and beer tonight. Had Hacker Pschoerr Oktoberfest beer, nice taste but very fizzy. Used my fork to whisk it to remove air.

Tomorrow we move on to Innsbruck and Dolomites on Thursday.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Wet Day in Bavaria

Yesterday was a good day for walking, warm and dry with sunny spells. Looked like it was clearing on tops so went up cable car to Zugspitze. Unfortunately, clouds didn't clear from here so went down for walk in valley around Eibsee lake and then back to Garmisch through the meadows. That was about 14 miles in total and 20 photos. Could have been better for photos.

Today is very heavy rain (as in stair-rods) with clouds low on the mountains. Not a day to go high! Forecast is better for tomorrow so planning to catch cable car up Zugspitze and then walk down. Am keeping fingers crossed for a clear day!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Frankfurt Photos

We are heading south from Frankfurt. Came off the motorway to avoid traffic jam, driving towards Bavaria, hot and sunny.

Frankfurt was good for photos, interesting buildings, the River Main, clear blue skies and hot. Ran off 120 rolls of Ilford FP4 (10 shots a roll), both day and night.

The modern skyscrapers were better lit on Thursday evening than Friday. Apparently they turn off the lights on environmental grounds for part of the week. Luckily I took my night shots on Thursday.

Had a useful meeting with Antje, an artist agent that we met 3 years ago at licensing show in New York - our stands were opposite, about working together. We have a contract to go over but we agreed to go forward and just sort fine detail. We actually bumped into Antje on the street while looking at the map on Thursday afternoon and went back to her house for a coffee and met her 2 sons.

Last night we had an nice time with Antje and husband Steffen. First they took us to a pub in Sachsenhausen for a meal and beers then along to a bar at the river.

Tonight we arrive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for 4 days in the Bavarian Alps.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Stonor Park show and Trip to Alps

Stonor was a good show for us. Friday was quiet but the other 3 days were busy. Heavy rain on Friday probably didn't help. Expect we will do again next year. We were home by 11pm Monday.

Been very busy last couple of weeks pulling calendar together for American company (Cities of the World), preparing for shows, sent order to Ilford for prints sold at Stonor as well as some others, 17 new prints and some reprints. Included a couple of 1m x 0.5m prints to show what we can offer. Was also talking to agent in America and have an agreement now. Fingers crossed it works well for both of us.

We are now on route to the Alps via Frankfurt where we have a meeting with a possible agent. Should be some good city shots there. Then down to Bavaria for a few days, followed by a night in Innsbruck. Then 4 nights in the Dolomites, several nights around lakes Yards and Como (and a side trip to Verona). Then its time to head home via Villars in Swiss Alps and Strasbourg. Hope the weather helps me out for the photos.

We left a few hours late and will not reach hotel before 1.30am. After about 3 hours sleep we get up to catch the Eurotunnel before 6am. Not the best way to start a trip but I'm sure it will calm down in a day or so.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Stonor Park - Day 3

A busier day than previous 2 days. Lots of interest and lots of sales. The good weather seemed to help too.

A pint of Bombardier at the end of the day rounded it all off. Then it was down the pub, the Kings Head at Bourne End, for something to eat. I decided to try the local beer; Rebellion Smugglers. It was a good pint so I had a second just to make sure.

Last day tomorrow. Fingers crossed we sell out so we have little to pack down! Expect to be home about midnight.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Stonor Park - Day 2

Quite a steady day at Stonor Park. More sales than yesterday. More sun than rain. Spoke to lots of nice people.

London Pride in beer tent at show reasonable but found Grouse & Ale pub in Lane End with a local bitter whose name I have forgotten and Adnams Broadside in good nick. Food was good too.

Show open between 9.30am and 5.30pm tomorrow, Sunday.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Stonor Park - day 1

It was a wet first day at the show at Stonor Park near Henley on Thames. Heavy rain showers through the day. Good turnout though and reasonable sales.

Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm if you are thinking of coming. We are stand G3 (turn right from main entrance, 2nd marquee on right).

Managing to try the odd new pub here and there. Last night was the Queens Head in Little Marlow and Fullers London Pride. Tonight was the Hare & Hounds in Marlow and Rebellion Mutiny, a local beer in fine form. Also managed a Yates Undercliff at the show. I didn't know there were 2 Yates breweries until today. This was from the Isle of Wight but the Yates beers I know are from Cumbria.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Stonor Park show - travel & setup

Just travelling down south to setup for a 4 day show near Henley on Thames. The venue is Stonor Park and it's one we haven't done before; they only let photography in for first time last year.

Quite a warm day, hope it stays dry for the weekend as we are in a marquee. Satnav says another hour and 40 minutes to go. Fingers crossed it's a good one.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Snecklifter Walk

Just finishing 13 mile walk for 2 pints of Snecklifter. Thought I'd better check it was still on fine form as it is a week since I last checked in to Shepherd's Arms pub in Whaley Bridge. I Jeremy have worried it was on fine form.

Our walk took us over Ladder Hill, Taxal Edge, Kettleshulme, Bowstones before dropping down to Whaley. It's a good day for walking too. Home soon.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Gallery Almost Finished

At long last the gallery mods are close to being finished. The main entrance hall is pretty much done but the side corridor still needs some hanging rails fitting before any pictures can be displayed there.

Today I hung 50 framed photographs in the part you see as you come to the door. Maybe room for another 20-odd pictures when remaining hanging rails are fitted. That's a total of around 100 framed pictures and another 600 in browsers in the 3 gallery areas.

Also building up stocks of small prints using Ilford Lab Direct printing onto traditional silver paper from my digital files. Now have around 70 images printed this way ready for the show season that's fast approaching. Stonor Park, near Henley on Thames, over August Bank Holiday is next.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Buxton Gallery Day

It's my last gallery day until mid-October. Dry as I walked the 6 miles here this morning but jolly heavy showers this afternoon.

Hope the walk home is dry.

Tomorrow is a computer day preparing images for a US 2013 calendar.

Fingers crossed the builders and electrician finished the gallery refurbishment today! Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Gallery Mods at Briarwood Continue

The electrician went on holiday this week so the gallery refurbishment is still not finished. Hopefully it will be done by Tuesday, assuming he comes back as promised! It will be 4 weeks on Tuesday since they started and almost 4 weeks without lights in part of the house. Not sure why they disconnected so much when they knew it would be weeks before they could reconnect them.

One of the last jobs to be done will be the new gallery hanging system (rails and cables as used in first part of refurb last year). Hanging pictures will be much easier and will give a cleaner look to the gallery.

New Images Coming Soon

Today I sent the last few images from the mega scanning session of a few months ago for loading onto my web site. Around 30 new images in total, including Colorado, Paris and Christchurch.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Storey Exhibition End

We went up to Lancaster today to take down my Lake Light exhibition. It had been up for several weeks and we made some sales. Took a lot longer to put up than take down!

Our next exhibition is the ICHF Chilterns Craft Show at Stonor Park near Henley on Thames over the August Bank Holiday.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Buxton Gallery Day

It's a cold, wet and windy day in the Peak District. More like autumn than summer.

I am in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton until 6pm. Bit quiet in spite of it being in the middle of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera festival. On with Sarah who has been driven to have several lots of cake and coffee because of the boredom. I just stick to water and a cereal bar for the day!

I marked up all of the new contact prints last night and pulled together a scan list. Lots of new images. Now just need to make the time for the scanning!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Contact Prints

I finished printing and cleared up by 4pm. I now have another 70 contact prints to work from. We are on our way south for a family bash tomorrow and I have them with me so that I can mark them up with my trusty red Chinagraph pencil. Once I have done this It's easy to pull together the scanning list.

They give me new shots of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Norwich, Norfolk Broads and Newbury. Just need to find some time to do the scanning and Photoshop editing to get them on the web site. Will try and have some as prints for next show; Stonor Park near Henley on Thames.

Darkroom Day 2

Another darkroom day today to try and print the 60-odd contact prints that have built up over the last few months. Just 45 to go now, I have reached May in the Yorkshire Sales and just printed Norwich and Norfolk Broads.

Doing in batches of 4 in big dishes to save time. Thankfully washing only takes a few minutes and my Ilford 1250 dryer gives me dry prints in about 10 seconds after taking out of the Nova washer.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Gallery Mods at Briarwood

The conversion of the hall at Briarwood into part of the gallery is going really slowly. Should have been finished last week, looks like it will now go into next week. At least the power stayed on all day while I was printing in the darkroom. Electrician may be back tomorrow though. It's now over 2 weeks without lights or power in this part of the house.

Darkroom Day

I am working in my darkroom today, printing customer orders. Yosemite prints at the moment. When I have finished these I have dozens of contact prints to do from recently exposed film. I'm a little behind, as they say.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Great Dome Art Fair 2011

After a year of waiting the Great Dome Art Fair is here. It opens at 7pm tonight. Then open 10am to 4.30pm over the weekend. Free entry, over 60 top quality artists exhibiting under the Peak District Artisans umbrella. The venue is spectacular too, the Buxton Dome, at one time the largest unsupported dome in Europe, still larger than St Pauls dome in London.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Walking Again

I am in the Gallery in the Gardens today until 6pm. The 6 mile walk this morning was good, quite sunny but cool.

Felt a bit lethargic to start with but soon into the swing of it again, just 3 days after finishing the 5 day 64 mile trek across the Lakes. Incidentally, I lost 2% body fat and gained about 1kg in weight. I put the weight gain down to building muscle rather than the 33 pints of beer or copious food intake!

Al and I were both going well at the end. Al had blisters on a toe that was painful for the first 2 days until he wrapped it in Compeed. He also needed encouragement to go high on day 4 after hearing the BBC give out a severe weather warning. He was going to get wet going high or low and always possibility of a big view if you walk the tops. He had no problem with the walking once the decision was made though. The forecast heavy rain arrived after we reached the pub anyway!

For me, my bad back was surprisingly pain free until the last day. I think the very soft bed at the White Lion in Patterdale was to blame but Voltarol (which I took 3 times a day every day) helped.

Buxton is buzzing right now. It is festival time, lots of opera, theatre and literary events for a bit over 2 weeks. Quite busy too.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Shap Beer Review and Official MPG figures for trek

What a surprise, the Greyound in Shap was a Camra real ale pub and had 8 on hand pumps. The landlord said if we drank all 8 he would give us the 9th free. A challenge too far for us, methinks!
We had a couple as soon as we arrived; it was a hot afternoon! I started with Lancaster Black before trying the Lancaster Red. The Black was a tasty pint, a cross between a black bitter and a stout. The red was quite bland with little taste.
After showering and changing it was time for dinner. I had the local Cumberland sausage (thought I should have one before leaving Cumberland), which was very nice, with Cumbria Langdale, a very tasty pint, followed by Hawkshead Windermere pale ale, a bit too hoppy for me but nice all the same. Then it was Dent Aviator, always a good pint, finishing with Hawkshead Red, freshly tapped and a good one to finish on.
Overall, that makes 33 pints of beer in 64 miles over 5 days, giving a final figure of 15.5 miles per gallon. A very creditable performance!
Watch out on my main web site for the trek photos in a few weeks time. I will try and remember to post a note here too.

St Bees to Shap Trek - Day 5

Al and I finished the 5 day, 60 mile plus trek across the Lake District. I am writing this a bit late as I fell asleep late yesterday after I started. It was either the exertions of the last 5 days or the 6 pints!
Today was the best weather, sunshine, blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Days you dream of!

We left the White Lion in Patterdale at 8.45am, heading across and then uphill to Angle Tarn. This was a good place for photos so I was running around picking out the views as the light changed.
Quite a high day, taking in Kidsty Pike before dropping down to the huge reservoir of Haweswater. Nice clouds helped a few shots. Then a few more miles saw us into the village of Shap and our lodgings at The Greyhound Hotel at 5.45pm, just 9 hours for 16 miles over the tops, including quite a few photo stops.
Overall, we had some nice weather every day, as well as rain most days.

Both of us were going well most of the time. I only had to encourage Al to do more than he wanted to on 1 day, the ridge up and over Fairfield. He was glad he decided to do it as the views were fantastic and the forecast bad weather was delayed until we were safely in the pub.

Best shots were probably around Sour Milk Gill above Seathwaite, with the backlit waterfall from below, but some of the big views should look great with the clouds. That is the bonus from changeable weather - good clouds.

Best day probably Grasmere to Patterdale taking in Fairfield and St Sunday Crag, closely followed by Ennerdale Bridge to Stonethwaite because of the descent down Gillercomb as the rains cleared.

We met lots of interesting people for chats on the trail and in the pubs. It was really nice having good company with the common goal of a specific walk. In particular I always looked forward to chats and banter with Trevor and Wendy from Letty Green, Leanne and Margaret from Australia and Brigitte from Switzerland.
Al was good company, as always and it was good to spend time together as I hadn't seen much of him in the last few years.
We are in the minibus going back to the car in St Bees, the home later. Will work out the miles per gallon (beer!) later, probably less than 20 though.

Last nights beer review to follow!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Patterdale Beer Review

Just turned in for the night at the White Lion Hotel in Patterdale. We planned a visit to the Patterdale Hotel a couple of hundred yards away. In the end we were having such a good time chatting to fellow walkers that we stayed put.
We had been spoilt at previous hostelries so just having 2 real ales on seemed a bit limiting.  There was Bass and Tirrell White Lion, both bitters. Both very palatable but not very special. That's it, beer review over! 
Not sure why but of the 10 of us we were last to leave the bar again. That's 4 nights running and we have only been going 4 days!
We walk 16 miles tomorrow and finish at Shap. Fingers crossed for good weather for good views on the tops.

St Bees to Shap Trek - Day 4

Jolly nice day today despite BBC weather forecasting end of the world storms! It was a short day of just 9 miles so we had a leisurely breakfast and left hotel at 9.30am, in sunshine.
Straight up hillside to reach Great Rigg at 11.15am. Views back over Grasmere with a bit of light and interesting clouds. Used a dark yellow filter to helpwith tones in the clouds.
Another half hour saw us on Fairfield, one of the biggest peaks in the Lake District at just under 3000 feet. A bit too dull for photos but still good views (the first time I have seen the views in 4 visits to the top!).
Then over Cofa Pike and on to St Sunday Crag, just an hour from Fairfield, where we stopped for lunch (Eccles Cakes for me). Met Wendy and Trevor again (from Letty Green - I can remember going to parties here in my youth!) and Anne from Australia. They were all putting on waterproofs ready for the approaching rain that we could see heading our way.
Then downhill all the way to Patterdale and the White Lion Hotel. It was just 2.45pm so we decided we would have a couple of lunchtime pints: Bass and White Lion bitter.
It was dry pretty much all day, with just a few minutes of light rain. So much for weather forecasts!
Just 1 day to go to Shap where we finish.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Grasmere Beer Review

The novelty of having phone signal has prompted me to do a 2nd post today. It's mainly a beer review - Al and I had a bit of a session!
First it was into Tweedies Bar for a few beers and a meal. All were jolly nice. I started with a Cumbrian Brewery Grasmoor dark ale. Oaty and smooth and jolly nice (best of the night and probably trip too). Then on to Coniston Old Man in reasonable condition before trying the Orkney Raven summer ale, foolishly I thought being called Raven it would be a dark ale, how wrong I was. This was champion beer of Scotland but no idea why. It was very bland and could have been anything.
I finished the early session with Old Peculiar, tasty as ever but preferred the Grasmoor. Special note: Al had a Yates Bitter, normally I steer clear of Yates beers as I have had too many bad pints but he insists this one was good and deserves a mention. So there it is - probably the first and last mention of Yates beers in this blog!
Just been having dinner with Al and he reminded me of a story I forgot to recount. At the Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale Bridge Al's bed was next to the bathroom door. Every time I went to the loo in the night he woke with a start and thought there was an earthquake. It turned out to be a loose floorboard rocking the bedside cupboard! What a sensitive flower he is.
Al has just discovered the way to see emails from more than the last 2 weeks. He has just downloaded emails back to 2003. I hope Carol doesn't see the mobile phone.bill!
Met up with a couple of fellow walkers in the Red Lion to end the evening. Trevor and Wendy were from Letty Green where I used to go for parties in the '70's and Al's wife used to live. Small world.
We finished with a couple of Dent Brewery beers: Ramsbottom, followed by Kamikazi. 2 strong beers and both jolly nice. The evening went a bit hazy after this.
Patterdale tomorrow, hopefully over Fairfield.

St Bees to Shap Trek - Day 3

We made it to Grasmere from Stonethwaite. Quite a bit of heavy rain but with some sunny spells. More importantly there is a phone signal, something we haven't had for the last 3 days.
Heading off to the pub soon, probably Tweedies Bar as they had 7 or 8 real ales on when we checked it out earlier.
We left the Langstrath Hotel at 8.25am and walked up the dale beside the river, which is now a raging torrent from all the heavy rain. High up the track was under several inches of water and became a waterfall higher up.
Very boggy underfoot. Made way to start of ridge to Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag . We spent about 1.5h on the ridge from 12pm, including several photo stops, chats with other walkers and a bite to eat. The light was pretty good but changed very quickly for photos.
The path came down steeply into Grasmere and it rained again as we finished the 8 mile walk at 3.15pm. The hotel is pretty good. Not much choice when booking as few places here will take 1 night bookings but we seem to have done well.
Well, the pub is calling to us so must dash.

St Bees to Shap Trek - Day 2

A mixed day today. We left hotel at 8.25am in dull but dry weather and made it to Ennedale Water in the dry. A few photos but light was a bit flat, I may have a bit of work to do to put some life in them.
The rain started after an hour or so and continued for over 3 hours. It was stair-rods and not very enjoyable to walk in, even wearing waterproofs.  It was a bit cool too so I ended up wearing 5 layers including 2 fleeces and waterproof. Al stopped a couple of times to repair his gammy toe. Not sure it did any good! Blisters rule ok!
The plan was to climb Green Gable but the clouds were down so we gave it a miss, skirted round on the Brandreth side to the head of Gillercomb. This was our route down, straight down! Steep grass slopes and a good scree run helped us down in double quick time.
Then it was along to Sour Milk Gill and a spectacular series of waterfalls. The sun had come out and was back-lighting the top section, the best viewpoint was in the middle of the stream, as usual. Had to clear water of the lens every other exposure, I was a bit close at times.
The end of the day was great, blue sky and white fluffy clouds and clear as a bell.
Jolly steep down to Seathwaite, then along to the Borrowdale road and across to Stonethwaite and a jolly warm welcome by Vicky at the Langstrath Hotel. We were very well looked after and wound down with pints of Cocker Hoop and Thirst Fall, both on form.
Our evening meals were excellent and we tried the other 2 real ales, Black Sheep bitter and Cumberland Ale. What a jolly good way to end a day on the hills!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

St Bees to Shap Trek - Day 1

We have just finished a nice meal at the Shepherds in Ennerdale Bridge. A couple of pints too, Ennerdale Liquidator and Jennings Bitter. I preferred the Jennings.
After lunch at the Brook Inn we headed up Dent, a small peak outside Cleator. Then it was mainly downhill into Ennerdale Bridge. Very little rain until after we had reached the Shepherds Hotel.
just finishing off the day at the Fox and Hounds with a pint of Burnmoor Pale Ale, and jolly nice it is too.
Tomorrow we head to Stonethwaite via Green Gable if the weather is good.

St Bees to Shap trek - lunch in Cleator

Left St Bees b&b at 8.20am and walked the mile to the beach for a paddle before starting the walk proper. Then a breezy walk along the cliff tops before heading inland. Mostly dry and warm.
Walked past pub in Moor Row knowing there were pubs in Cleator a bit further on. Shock, horror - pub and hotel in Cleator were both closed!
Al used his initiative and asked a local for guidance to nearest pub and 10 minutes later we were in the Brook Inn, a bit further along the main road towards Cleator Moor. This was a real gem. Good real ale (Cocker Hoop was excellent) and nice fresh sandwiches. This should be a mandatory stop on the Coast to Coast walk (which is what we are doing the first 5 days of).
Bit of a grey day but did take some photos along the beach at the start and again at the top of the cliffs.
Coming to the end of our second pints so better get going to Ennerdale. More later if there's a signal.

Monday, 4 July 2011

St Bees to Shap Trek - Arrival

I am in St Bees on the west coast of England ready to start a 5 day trek with old friend Al, probably about 65 miles with a few peaks en route. Hope my bad back survives (I am on the Voltarol already and we haven't started).
The sun is shining and it's quite warm (25C). Unfortunately, the forecast is for 4 days of rain. I hope it is either wrong or we have showers not persistent rain. I thought this would be a good way to get some new Lake District photographs, especially big views from the tops.
May have to rethink what gear I carry. No point carrying tripod if little chance of a photo. We have arranged for luggage transfer between each nights lodging so that we carry light day sacs only.
Will check out the local pubs for food and real ale in a few minutes.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Lake Light Exhibition at The Storey in Lancaster

I have an exhibition at The Storey in the centre of Lancaster, in the Thomas Storey Room. This is just 200 yards from Lancaster Castle, on the city centre side, so you should be able to find it without sat nav!

A total of 25 framed photographs from 25 x 20 cm to 70 x 70 cm are on display with another 50 mounted photographs in a browser.

The exhibition was opened on Friday 1st July and ends on Wednesday 10th August (we actually take it down on 11th August 2011, so you could actually see it on the morning of the 11th if you have no other time to get in there!).

They are all black and white photographs of the Lake District across all seasons and in all weathers. lots of big views, waterfalls, lakes, trees, snow and ice, as well as the odd infra-red shot. They can all be purchased on the day, you don't have to wait until the end of the exhibition. The framed photographs are priced from £25 to £300, all very reasonable Derbyshire prices, not London ones!

Here are some images (taken by Jan on a little Panasonic Lumix camera) of the gallery and exhibition to give you a better idea. Hope you like them.

Buxton Artist & Designer's Fair

Today we are at the Artist and Designer's Fair in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. There are 46 exhibitors in all with paintings, jewellery, wood turning, felt, another 4 photographers and lots more. It is free to get in and closes at 4pm today. Jan is there all day, I will be there this afternoon, I'm just packing up for a 5 day walk across the Lake District with good friend Al from Gloucester.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Good Day for a Walk

Had a bit of work to do writing the press release for my next exhibition that opens on Friday in Lancaster, at the Storey Gallery. Then after a few odd jobs Jan and I managed to go out for a walk, eventually. I needed some exercise in preparation for walking across the Lake District in 10 days time.

We made sure that we ended up at the Old Hall Inn in Whitehough for a meal. The food there is jolly good and there is always a good selection of 6 to 8 real ales. Tonight I was on the Moorhouses Black Cat and it was excellent; I had 3 pints to check it so I'm pretty sure of this.

Then it was a walk in the rain over Eccles Pike to finish. In total we walked about 10 miles.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New Mobile Phone Arrived

My new mobile phone arrived today to replace the faulty replacement Blackberry Curve. It's an HTC ChaCha Android phone. Jolly different to anything I have had before.

Will take a while to get used to it but this is my first blog from it and it is so easy compared to using BB!

I switched to Google from Outlook for calendar, address book and some email. That was easy too. Now I just need to sort the remaining emails and I'm sorted.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Replacement Mobile Phone Arranged!

I should up and running with a new mobile phone on Tuesday. Vodafone agreed to an early upgrade to replace the faulty replacement phone they supplied on Monday.

I have had some problems with the Blackberry browser in the last year so I am going to try an HTC Android phone. Fingers crossed it turns up on time and works as they say it will.

Blackberry Curve Died Tonight

I was just using the web browser on my replacement Blackberry Curve 8520 when the dreaded white screen returned. The only way out of this is to remove the battery. This forces a reboot each time. As the reboot finished the white screen reappeared. Having tried and failed 3 times I admitted defeat and have consigned the Blackberry to the scrap heap.

I rang Vodafone twice today to try and sort but didn't get very far. I also didn't realise it was this serious. I'm now without a mobile for phone and emails, probably until Wednesday at the earliest.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

New Colorado Snowy Images

There are quite a few new images taken in late December and January now on the web. We did a trip around several ski areas and also snowshoed around Rocky Mountain National Park and Indian Peaks Wilderness. It had been very cold with fresh powder snow, then the wind blew! There were several areas of ice footprints formed by walkers, snowshoers and skiers compressing the powder snow before the wind blew the surrounding loose snow away. This left lines of tracks standing above the snow and ice that we were walking on.

Snow Footprints on Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Ski Tracks on Lost Lake near Nederland in the Indian Peaks Wilderness

Old Tree Stump at Lost Lake near Nederland in the Indian Peaks Wilderness

View from Snowmass Ski Area near Aspen

New Images of London

There are some new images of London on the web site in the Recently Added Gallery or you can find them through the Cities - London Gallery. Just click either of these links to find them. They are mostly panoramic as this was the format requested by a London hotel that is considering my photographs to decorate their walls.

I also re-edited some other London images that were already on the web site to panoramic which may be of interest to you. I use the 2 to 1 panoramic format rather than anything more extreme. They are all sized to fit a 1 metre by 0.5 metre frame without a border but can be printed to pretty much any size up to this.

More to come!

Tower Bridge from Southwark, near HMS Belfast

Canary Wharf from Rotherhithe

Shad Thames near Tower Bridge

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Blackberry Woes

My Blackberry Curve has been using the battery at an alarming rate over the last month or so. Changing the battery for one from a previous Curve improved matters for a couple of weeks but in the last day or two it is back to eating the battery again.

Vodafone technical support agree that I have a problem, well at least with the Blackberry, and are sending a replacement. Should be here tomorrow but since we are away it will be Monday before I start using it. In the meantime I am carrying a Powermonkey in my pocket which can recharge it several times through the day so I'm never without it.

I also mentioned the problem I am having trying to blog from the Blackberry, click here to see my previous posts, and it isn't getting any easier. Since my blog is with Google and the Blackberry web browser is the main problem he suggested looking at an Android smartphone to replace the Blackberry when the contract is up for renewal in 7 weeks time. Android is partnered with Google which is why they are supposed to work so well together.

Will keep fingers crossed they offer something decent that makes my life easier, well the blogging bit of it anyway!

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Day to Remember

What a great day in the Peak District. Blue sky and white fluffy clouds, temp over 24C but a cool breeze to stop me overheating.

I worked most of last weekend (getting my books ready for accountant) and we are running landscape photography course for 5 tomorrow and a darkroom printing course on Sunday.

I had to scan some images and ship the tweaked files to Germany today but after that I was out of the door!

I started with a walk up Eccles Pike the small hill behind the house. Spectacular views and a chat with the only person I would see until almost at the end of the walk. Clear views to Kinderscout, Chinley Churn, Whaley Moor and Combs Moss.

Then down to Chapel Milton and Wash (a small hamlet, nothing to do with personal hygiene). Then along the stream and up the hill to Shireoaks. On the edge of Kinder now.

Next it was along the Pennine Bridleway and a short diversion up South Head. I stopped for a cereal bar before heading over to the neighbouring Mount Famine. Strong breeze here so I made sure my sun hat was secured properly.

Quite steep descent from here and then down the quick way to the pretty village of Hayfield. The first pub is the George and it has changed to Marstons Brewery so a good one to stop at.

I called Jan to let her know where I was (she offered to pick me up which saved an 8 mile stagger home). Then in for a pint of Cumberland followed now by a pint of Bank's.

8 miles in 3.5 hours over 3 little peaks in spectacular conditions. A day to remember!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cotswold Photography

It was a good day in the Cotswolds for photographs today.

We were lucky and our old friends Carol and Al looked after us, with Al doing the driving.

The days photography started on Painswick Beacon with good views to the Forest of Dean but poor views to Gloucester and the Malverns. From here we went down into the village of Painswick to take the Yew trees in the churchyard. Had sunshine and heavy rain showers but managed a few shots down the rows of trees in the graveyard.

Then to the pretty little village of Minchinhampton and a few shots in the centre and around the church.

We had lunch in the busy village of Tetbury, in the Snooty Fox (good beer), but no pictures;j there were too many cars and people.

From Tetbury it was on to Malmesbury and some photos around the old streets and the very impressive Abbey, part of which was in ruins.

The next stop was Castle Combe. I can't remember ever visiting this pretty village and took shots down and up the main narrow street. I also wanted views back to the village from the river. The river bank with the best view was private so I jumped down into the river bed and waded along in the shallow water until I could see the shot I wanted. Thankfully I was wearing my walking boots, not the usual trainers, and managed to keep my feet dry. Nice clouds!

Then it was back to Painswick for better light on the Yew trees and church. I hadn't been able to take any shots of the church earlier because of the grey sky and poor light. Found a pyramid memorial in the graveyard to put in the shot with the spire. Haven't sold many graveyard shots so just an interesting shot to take!

The days photography ended back on Painswick Beacon. The clouds were spectacular so I switched from the dark yellow filter to an orange one to make the sky more dramatic. The only other filter I used today was a yellow-green one while taking the yew trees.

Quite a day. A total of 8 rolls of film (10 shots to a roll). The first Cotswold images for my picture library.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Busy Day and Cotswolds Weekend

Jolly busy today. Started with scanning a few local negs and editing for printing, then across to my dentist just under an hour away in Cheshire (a dentist is for life not just for Christmas)!

Followed this by calling in at the Ilford Lab Direct facility at the Harman Technology factory a couple of miles from dentist. This is where all of the Ilford black and white films and papers are made.

I had 8 new image files to drop off for printing onto silver gelatine paper and needed some others reprinting. Neil the manager offered to try and print Monday as I'm a little behind at the moment.

From Mobberley it was home to edit a new magazine advert needed for copy deadline of Monday.

Then I was picked up and driven to a committee meeting of the High Peak Artists Association who run the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton where my work is sold. I'm the secretary of the committee.

This went on a bit longer than expected but fortunately Jan had dinner completely under control, as usual.

Thank goodness we have a relaxing weekend planned with friends in Upton St Leonards near Gloucester. Monday night I'm giving another lecture to Cotswold Monochrome who happen to hold their meetings within 200 yards of where our friends live.

Hope the weather is good. I still have almost no pictures of the Cotswolds. It should be great for black and white but you need the right light.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Surtex Image Licensing Show Over for Another Year

This was our third time that we had our own stand at Surtex. It is a show for licensing images for printing onto surfaces and textiles.

Since it was in Manhattan in New York and is very specifically for image licensing there was no need for picture frames and stand furniture like print browsers. Jan did the show on her own to save on costs and most of the prints on display were unmounted to save on weight and bulk such that everything would fit in a large suitcase and still meet airline weight limits. We didn't ship anything over before the show.

We had a mixture of International Graphics Walmsley GmbH posters (4 big ones at 1 metre x 0.5 metres, all of New York), 5 hand prints (printed by me, of course) and over 30 Silver Prints (printed by Ilford Lab Direct from scans of my negatives). The Silver Prints were mostly 30 x 24 cm but 2 of them were 70 x 70 cm for a bit of impact (one of Chicago in winter and a snowy scene from Colorado).

The picture here gives you an idea of what was on display.

Lots of interest for greetings cards, calendars and stationery products, as well as for wall art which is pretty much already tied up with our deal with IGW. Now the real work starts, chasing up lots of leads.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Wet Walk to Buxton Gallery in the Gardens

Another day in Buxton Pavilion Gardens Gallery. Walked here this morning in the wind and rain. It''s hardly stopped raining all day. Hope it will be dry on the return.

Visiting friends near Gloucester at weekend, I am giving a talk to Cotswold Monochrome Group on Monday and taking opportunity to catch up with old friends as well as add to my picture library for Gloucester and the Cotswolds.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Copenhagen and Windmills at Kinderdijk

Here are some more new images. I scanned these a few months ago but didn't have time to edit them. On the web there are more.

Near Rotterdam there is a World Heritage Site with 19 windmills in about 1 mile, all well maintained and many inhabited. It is called Kinderdijk. One is a working mill that the public can go around. They were built to drain the land not to mill corn.

Kinderdijk Windmill Reflections

Kinderdijk Windmill in Action

I took quite a few photographs in Copenhagen when we visited there in 2009. but have so far managed just 2 scans. Here is one of them, the old Danish Stock Exchange, sometimes called the Candy Twist Palace after the Dragon Tail Tower in the picture.

Copenhagen Old Stock Exchange

Telluride Ski Images

The latest batch of images has gone live. This time it includes a couple of photos from the Telluride ski area in Colorado. The skies were amazing on one of the 2 days we skied there. I just used a dark yellow filter to darken the skies which helps to compensate for the natural blue sensitivity of black and white film. I used a reasonably slow shutter speed for the snowboarders, 1/30 sec I think, but it could have been 1/60 sec, it wouldn't have been any slower and faster than 1/60 would have frozen the action.

View from Revelation Bowl above Wasatch Trail, Telluride

Snowboarders above Telluride Mountain Village

Sand Dunes and Tree Tops in Colorado

New photos of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Aspen tree tops have been added to the web site. Last year we arrived at the sand dunes just in time to be caught in a blizzard as we walked over to where I wanted to take my photos from. This year it was bitterly cold, even the sand was frozen so it was a bit easier to walk on, but it was sunshine and good clouds and the views were spectacular. I took several films but have so far only scanned and edited 2  photos.
Great Sand Dunes NP in winter with Mount Herard in the background
Patterns in the sand
We also drove over the McClure Pass while travelling from Telluride to Aspen. The Aspen trees at the pass were great for pictures and I mainly took up into the canopy. It was a bit tricky moving around as the snow was soft and deep and I hadn't bothered to put my snowshoes on, oops! The dark sky was from being high (2671 metres, 8763 feet) and a dark yellow or orange filter on my Mamiya 7 43mm lens. A red filter was completely unnecessary.

Aspens at McClure Pass, Colorado

Natures Snow Sculptures at Wolf Creek

Yes, even more new images on my main web site. This time some shots of the fantastic snow shapes created by the weather at the Wolf Creek ski area in southern Colorado. The trees were amazing! Last year we visited Wolf Creek and skied it in a snow storm that lasted most of the day
but this year it was spectacular. Deep snow everywhere and wall-to-wall blue sky and a bit of high cloud here and there.
Tree at Wolf Creek covered in Snow and Ice

Wolf Creek View Through the Trees
Deep Snow Drift and Trees at Wolf Creek

New Images of London

There are a few new images of London on my web site in the Recently Added (for a month) and Cities sections. I have lots more to add but no time to scan and edit at the moment so it will be a while before I add the rest that I took in March. Here are some examples.

St Paul's Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge

The Swiss Re (Gherkin) Building at Night

Leadenhall Market at Night

St Paul's Cathedral, the Thames and the Millenium Bridge

Friday, 13 May 2011

New York in Spring

Jan flew out from Manchester airport today heading for New York. We are exhibiting at the Surtex 3 day image licensing trade show from Sunday at the Jacob Javits Centre in Manhattan. Jan is running the stand alone, she is much better considering new opportunities than me! It's our 3rd time at the show after a gap of 3 years so keeping fingers crossed it works for us.

Last night was good fun, old friends Rik and Glen from Norfolk dropped by unexpectedly in their camper van and dragged us down the pub. Fortunately, we had finished all of our preparation for Surtex except packing the cases. We went to the Old Hall Inn in Whitehough, a jolly nice pub; good beer and good food. Just what we needed to relax and a good catch up of what's gone on over the last year or so since we last saw each other.

A touch wet today here in the Peaks - very heavy rain. I think the dry spell may have ended!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Landscapes, Waterfalls, Flowers, Birds and Curry

The second day of the course and the locations were spectacular. We started in the village of Conistone and walked up to the Dib through a narrow gorge. Good views as the clouds broke up to give blue skies and fantastic clouds. The limestone pavement at the top was particularly good. Who needs Malham!

From here we headed to the small Dales hamlet of Cray and the pub for lunch. The Timothy Taylor Golden was in fine form, as was my ham baguette.

After lunch it was straight over the pass and down to West Burton for the shapely falls. With the recent rain they were quite impressive and we were able to take photographs from 3 sides.

Time was marching on so we headed back to Grassington and ended the day, and the course, with Linton Falls. These looked really low and the best shots were probably just upstream of the main falls. Nice light though.

It just remained to return to Grassington centre so that we could load up cars and all travel home.

Over the 2 days we had a lot of good light and sunshine for big views. Lots of different areas of limestone pavement, both with and without trees. The rivers were low and waterfalls had a lot less water than I have seen on trips here in recent years but still gave interesting shots. The big views from the top of the limestone escarpment were as good as they get on Sunday morning.

We also saw and heard lots of different birds, including 2 sightings of a Kingfisher. It was also a good time for moorland flowers and most in the group had a go at Macro Photography of Orchids, Primrose, Violas, Bluebells and Wild Garlic, for example.

I took a few more shots for the web courses pages to show the exact locations that we use. We will hopefully have some images taken on the course too so that you can see how people interpreted the locations.

We also had a good time. David and Andrew had met on our Lakes course in March and picked up where they left off (slightly different jokes!). The other David quickly joined in with the banter and the whole weekend was very enjoyable.

The curry in Whaley Bridge was a good end to the trip but the beer (Indian lager) was very forgetable.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Photos and ice cream

First day of our Yorkshire Dales course today. All went well. Overcast but dry to start, rain during middle of day and suuny afternoon. We managed 3 locations with several areas of limestone pavement (with and without trees) above Grassington this morning.

Lunch was taken at the Black Horse in Grassington before heading out to Loup Scar a few miles away. Good falls here but we had to venture into the middle of the gorge to reach the best viewpoints.

Our last stop was the Strid. This was a walk of a bit over a mile each way and gave us photos of old stone bridges, waterfalls, bluebells and Dales views along the river. Oh and there was a brief stop at the ice cream van by the first bridge.

Overall, a good day. I even took 20 shots through the day; extra images for my introduction talk.

Looking forward to tomorrow. The forecast is for sunshine and showers which could be perfect as long as the showers don't last too long.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Yorkshire Dales Photo Course

We are in Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales ready to run course at the weekend. With weeks of dry weather needed to check out rivers and waterfalls, as well as where to park the car at each location.

It rained this evening so looks like weather has broken.

They have given us a room with a 4-poster bed, at the Black Horse. Perhaps they think we are on our honeymoon. Just 35 years late!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Gallery, Course and Walks

It's a lovely day in the Peak District today. I'm in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton Pavilion Gardens until 5pm. Looking forward to my 6 mile walk home, it was clear as a bell, but cold, walking here this morning.

Off to Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales tomorrow, checking out locations and parking for the 2 day photo course that starts at the weekend.