Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Chester walks

Walking around Chester next to the river Dee is a peaceful experience, especially on a Sunday morning when the tourists tend to be fewer! During the summer months this area can be extremely busy at times.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Top Lock House

A different view of Top Lock House in Marple Cheshire. The house, now with a For Sale sign attached, sits next to a Marina full of canal boats.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Roman Lakes Leisure Park

The boat lies silent, waiting for its first use of the season, or perhaps its being repaired? It provides a reminder that the lake will see activity in the months ahead!

Roman Lakes Leisure Park lies close to Marple in Cheshire.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dunham Massey

Don't you just love it when the sky is blue, you have a quiet lake to sit by and just let time drift by, its your day off work, and you don’t have anywhere else you should be. Roll on summer!

Dunham Massey country park in Cheshire.

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office in Wildboarclough is a small part of the now demolished Crag Mill. I say now demolished, but that makes it sound like its a recent event, in fact the mill buildings were mostly demolished by 1957 with only the Mill House and this Old Post Office building the only parts which substantially remain.

Wildboarclough lies in the Peak District not too far from Macclesfield Forest, and a haven for walkers.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Quiet moments in Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey is set in a magnificent 300-acre deer park in Cheshire.  The lonely park bench now covered in ice and snow, waits for the first signs of spring. Spring is the time of year when lovers come to sit and ponder their future together, others to reflect on their past.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Colwyn Bay Pier

Seems like history is hanging on by a thread at Colwyn Bay. The beautiful old pier, which until a few years ago was privately owned but due to a long running battle with the local council now stands almost derelict. What a pity. I bet fun days were had there in its heyday.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Rowen - Picture postcard village

The small hamlet of Rowen, with its white washed cottages has got to be one of the prettiest villages in North Wales.


Friday, 17 February 2012

Photo Walk

I am gearing up to go on a trip to North Wales early March. I have some great locations to scout out and can’t wait to get there, its gonna be a doozy! Looks like I may meet up with a great local photographer Joe Cagus for a photo walk over on Anglesey so looking forward to him showing me some more hidden gems.

This image is from one of my last visits to Wales and shows Conwy castle and the suspension bridge over the river conwy.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

St Marys Church

Founded in 1876, and now a lively Church of England church, situated in Haughton Green, Denton.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Chadkirk Chapel is surrounded on three sides by woodlands and sits next to the river Goyt. The first documented evidence of Chadkirk chapel appears in the early 16th century when it was referred to as a Chantry Chapel.

Changing light on the landscape

If you have never taken time to study the changing light on the landscape I would like to encourage you to do so. Don't simply lift the camera to your eye, press the shutter button and walk away. If you haven't already previsualised the image you want then you should at least take the time to look at the possibilities presented by the changing conditions before moving on. It is all part of the critique process that you can undertake yourself both at the scene and later in post processing.

Take the situation I found myself in on a visit to Hawes in Wensleydale part of the beautiful and scenic Yorkshire Dales. The weather was very changeable with quickly moving clouds presenting lots of possibilities for an image.

In this first image the front barn, whilst still a dominant element in the image, is shown as part of an overall landscape and although picturesque I felt it lost much of its impact as the main focus of the scene. In addition, the light has also lit the top of the tree immediately behind the front barn and this detracts from the barn forming an untidy element to the barn itself.

The second image was taken only 30secs after the first shot.

Look how the barn in the far field is now only partly lit, with the light picking out both barns. This seems to give an added dimension to the image, showing more of the relationship of the main barn to its surroundings without losing its dominance in the scene. In addition the leading lines of the grass now have somewhere for the eyes to follow. Also the shadow has now obscured from the top of the tree immediately behind the front barn.

Now look at the final image and notice the difference to the first shot. Here the front barn is the dominant element in the image allowing the viewer to focus on the relationship between the barn and the mowed field without any conflicting elements. As Rick Sammon says "light illuminates, shadows define".

Which image do I prefer? Personally I prefer the second image but that is purely subjective and your choice may vary. The main thing to take from this series is not which is the better image, but rather how spending a little extra time at a scene can provide you with further opportunities to make an image. Don't miss them!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Teggsnose reservoir

Rambling around Langley on the lower slopes of Teggs Nose country Park in Derbyshire, the clouds barely parted all day. There is still a winter feeling in the air despite there being not much snow on the ground to show for it!

Google+ hash tags

Photo Critique
I was asked the other day how to find people on Google+ who would critique an image.  The simple answer is to make use of one of the special hash tags within the body of the G+ post and share the post to Public.

Two of the main critique hashtags used within the photography community on G+ are: #BTLcritique and  #CritiquePls. There are a lot of people who are happy to give critique in a non-confrontational way and they will search for one of these hashtags, find your post, and give you critique.  Initially I would suggest you submit the image and share the post to "Public" to ensure you reach the widest audience, however there is nothing stopping you as you become more comfortable with your own images, to create your own circle of people on G+ and submit to that circle only, this way you can ensure that you get feedback from people you feel you can trust to give honest and open critique.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
One thing to note before you rush off and post your images.  Critique is very subjective, so listen to their views, take from them what you want, and improve your knowledge and understanding of what makes others go "Oooh" and "Aaah" and "Wonderful".  However, always remember that what other people think is a good image, may not be what you think is good - and that doesn't make you wrong! So don't change your style just to suit others, be yourself and enjoy making images that YOU enjoy.

Go, have fun!

Special Tags
There are also some other special tags that can be very helpful on Google+ and it might be worth listing some of the current ones for you:

#365project by Simon Kitcher - Undertake the commitment of taking a photo a day for a year.
#DailyShoot by Gerwin Sturm  - Gerwin gives you a photo assignment each day.  You could combine both #365project and #DailyShoot in one post!
#PlusPhotoExtract - Jarek Klimek - Jarek presents a daily set of TOP Google+ photographs.

Once again, to make use of any of these hashtags simply include it somewhere within the body of the post.

Through my Lens:
Rhos on Sea harbour in North Wales waiting for the tourists to arrive.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sunlight breaks through the trees at Alderley Edge in Cheshire to reveal the autumn leaves peeping through the snow.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bramall Hall

Bramall Hall is one of the best kept Tudor houses in Greater Manchester. Based in 70 acres of landscaped parkland with lakes, woodland, and gardens the house and gardens are open to the public. The hall which is owned by Stockport Council is based in the town of Bramhall, and no that's not a spelling mistake, there is an additional 'H' in the town name!

The house is a grade I listed building, and the oldest parts date from the late 14th century, with later renovations dating from the 16th and 19th centuries.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

St Lawrence by the moonlight

An almost full moon provides a glowing spot over St Lawrence church in Denton, Tameside.

Newton Hall

Newton Hall in Hyde Tameside is one of Britain's earliest cruck-framed buildings. Carbon dating placed the construction of this hall to c.1370 and it has survived thanks in part to being encased in a brick building with a blue slate roof. It has a section in the middle that is behind a perspex screen which shows how the building was constructed.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Yellow, Red, Green and Blue
Those are the colours of dreams
Where every colour tells a story
Of love, Truth, Pain and glory
Which colour is which depends on you
There is no right or wrong
And your Red may be my Blue.

Colours are like images
Your images may not suit every viewer
For your Yellow may be their Green
But no one should care, least of all you
For every image you take was taken in love
Love for the scene or the moment captured
or of a special person now gone forever.

Images are there to remember
To re-live the moments past
For your Green is Green to you
And your Red is Red and Blue is Blue
Don’t try too hard to make your colours match mine
take images that mean something to you
let your own colours shine through

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Special Friends

A lifebelt is like a special friend, always there to help when needed, but knows when to remain distant, looking on quietly from the shore. Life is full of mystery, fears, and trials, everyone needs their own special friend to cling onto when things get tough.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Ramshaw Rocks

I spent a good part of the day sifting through some old images and almost forgot I had this one. This is Ramshaw rocks on the Staffordshire and Derbyshire border. Overlooking the Staffordshire plain you can just make out the Tittesworth reservoir in the distance peeping out behind Hen Cloud which forms part of the Roaches. Looking back it was a great day out with the old box brownie, it was mighty cold but worth it to get some of the morning light hitting the rocks.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Water in motion

I don't know what it is but for me you can't beat a gentle flowing waterfall to calm my spirit.  You know, the kind that flows all over the rocks dipping this way and that rather than the loud thunder of cascading water over Niagara Falls.

Daily Photo - Fairy Falls

A small waterfall on a stream above the town of Trefiw in Conwy valley North Wales, provides a gentle study of flowing water cascading over rocks.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Green for go at Rhos on Sea

Daily Photo - Rhos on Sea

Evening lights along the promenade provide relief to the cold dark waters of the harbour at Rhos on Sea, North Wales.  The green light sets a finishing point for some at the Cayley Arms public house.