a little bit about me and my photography

I've always enjoyed being out in the local countryside since being a kid and in school holidays I often just used to go and explore all day with friends. The process of creating an image doesn't often start with me thinking that I must get a shot of a particular location though. I just go and explore and end up getting absorbed in things I notice along the way. Some of the locations on this site are well know and some are less so, but all are places that have caught my attention.

When I do visit popular places, I try hard to avoid the well-known shots and look instead for new angles, conditions or interpretations of the scene. I enjoy the night shots in particular, not only for the technical challenge they bring but also for their ability to show a side to the landscape that's rarely seen.

Often I find a place worth re-visiting a number of times, sometimes with the aim of getting the right light for a particular composition and at other times just exploring the scene and taking shots from different angles. Some locations I seem to be able to visit endlessly and find something totally new each time. These three shots of the same tree on the limestone pavement at Twisleton Scar in the Yorkshire Dales make a good example - all taken within a few metres of each other, but from different viewpoints under different conditions:

Limestone Sunset Limestone Pavement to Ingleborough Dusk at Twisleton Scar

In contrast, sometimes I find a subject or composition that I like but it can take many visits, sometimes literally years, for the conditions to do the scene justice.

In 2006, I submitted a shot to the 'low light' round of Practical Photography magazine's Photographer of the Year, won that round and three rounds later went on to finish second in the overall competition, with two shots of simple scenes from my local countryside around Darlington getting me to second place. I currently split my working week between photography and providing software and web development services via Actuance Consulting. It makes for a busy week at times but I like it that way.

I'm not afraid to experiment, try new things and to be prepared to have some 'wasted' opportunities in between the successes along the way which never make it as far as a web site or print. That's all part of the process for me. With all my shots though, I try hard to be true to the subject I'm capturing, rather than thinking I can some how create something better than nature. Even when I re-tone the shots, it's in an attempt to emphasise or isolate something that's naturally there but would maybe not naturally be noticed, whether that's the powerful presence of ancient woodland, or simply the shapes in a line of weathered stones across a moor.

I've recently added a photography blog to the site, so take a look there for updates on the latest things I've been finding both in the virtual world of the web and the real thing.

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