Damflask Reservoir

At the moment here in England COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly. Allowing us to travel a little further to exercise, as long as we all continue to social distance. So yesterday was the first time since lockdown began in the UK (23rd March 2020) that we have ventured further than our local parks for a walk and take in some fresh air.

As I had already booked the Bank-Holiday Monday as annual leave we decided to visit Damflask Reservoir, which is situated in the Loxely valley of Sheffield.  Unlike most bank holidays we were treated to great weather (the world clearly has gone mad lol). We definitely managed to get some exercise. I think was the furthest that we have walked in one outing during lockdown so far.

Damflask is another one of these places that is practically on our doorstep that neither my wife or I have visited before. Definitely worth a return visit at some time in the future.

Considering the current social distancing and the hot weather that we had yesterday the reservoir and surrounding woods wasn’t overly busy. People were definitely doing their best to social distance unlike further down south if we are to believe the stories reported in the news.

#StaySafe

Woodland Squirrel

Taken last month during one of our lockdown walks here are some more shots of my favourite woodland squirrel. This little fellow sat for quite some time allowing me to get as close as I dared without scaring him off. He quite happily sat within touching distance for at least 20mins if not longer watching me take photos of him.

Squirrels are one of my woodland wildlife favourites, though usually they prove quite difficult to photography as they can be quite elusive. Lockdown seems to have tamed them of late, we have also been lucky enough to have a squirrel visit our back garden semi-regularly. Our quieter parks and streets are becoming more inviting to our native wildlife. I hope that nature and our native wildlife will continue to encroach in to our lives after lockdown, sadly I fear that this may not be the case. It has been lovely to witness first-hand some of the wildlife around us up close.

Photo Blogging

As a photographer who blogs to share my work (I guess that means I’m a photo blogger). The one thing that I always struggle with when publishing to my photography blog is knowing what to write. I use my website / blog as more of a portfolio of my work than an actual blog. I am sure there are no right or wrong answers to photo blogging or blogging in general for that matter. Though I always feel when I post a selection of my photography work that I should write some sort of blurb or story to go with it. Writing does not come naturally to me, which I guess is a bit odd concept for a blogger. This is partly why I started the “Behind The Lens” thread to my website, to take me out of my comfort zone from time to time to share my thoughts.

From a readers view point I enjoy photographer’s blogs more when there is more photographic content as I can enjoy their work. This is not to say that I do not enjoy or appreciate when other photographers share their tips & experiences as it helps us all learn & become better at our art.

From reading other blogs & websites by photographers I have seen various photographers blog in various different styles. Maybe your blogging style as a photographer is determined by your style of photography? This is another challenge that I have. As I find it hard to define myself to one particular style of photography (this is a story for another post), in short I photograph what I like & what captures my eye or imagination at that moment in time.

I think sometimes I fall in to the trap of comparing myself, my work, & my website to other photographers that I follow. Then judge myself & my work harshly. The over critical tendencies of a creative mind.

Lockdown Looking Out

The sixth instalment to my #LivingInLockdown series. I’ve been holding on to this post for a little while now.

Breaking away from the black & white of my previous lockdown posts. It’s not quite went the way that I had originally planned when I first imagined the concept for this one. I hadn’t planned for it to be purely in colour. Also it’s no where near my best photography, not even close. So I hesitated over even publishing this post. As part of me is of the opinion that you should only publish what you believe is your best work. Then the other part of me thought wait I’m trying to document what hopefully is a once in a lifetime situation so just go with it. Maybe that’s the difference with documentary photography, it’s facts not art. Anyway it’s done now, I’ve published it to my site.

For some of us the only view of the outside world at the moment during lockdown is through our windows. As I’ve said before I’ve been lucky to be able to venture outside for exercise etc. Side thought – Think it would be interesting to see other people’s views from their windows. What’s other people’s vantage points are. I chose to focus on the view from the rear of our house from downstairs. The garden still needs a little work but is coming back in to bloom. It’s definitely been providing me with lots of garden wildlife to photograph. Lots of inspiration for future posts.

#StaySafe

Shopping in Lockdown

My fifth instalment of #LivingInLockdown, another glimpse in to life during COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.

One of the few occasions that we’re allowed to venture out in to the big world outside of our homes…shopping!!! Where even people who would normally hate the ideal of shopping are probably rejoicing to be able to pop to the shops. I have to admit I have only been out shopping once since lockdown (as my wife has been doing our weekly shop, so no change there…lol). We needed a few bits that we didn’t get on our usual weekly shop, so nipped to one of our local shopping centres, which inspired this post.

So far from what I have seen most retailers are adhering to our governments social distancing guidelines. Retailers are becoming our fourth emergency service, keeping us all stocked up on provisions. Thankfully most of the panic buying (pasta, toilet roll, etc) appears to be over and the shops seem to be pretty well stocked again (so my wife tells me). Like I said in my last post I think lockdown is becoming the new normal (for just now at least). We are being very British and just getting on with life the best that we can.

#StaySafe

Time On Our Hands

The fourth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series and I didn’t even have to leave the house for this one. So definitely practising #StayHomeStaySafe. This one is not my best photography work I have to say. Documentary style photography isn’t my normal style of photography. Although after all these years I still don’t really know what “my style” is.

So time is something that a lot of us have at the moment. How are all spending it? My days when I’m not working from home I’m trying to spend more time on my photography, which anyone who follows my blog can tell from the drastic increase in blog posts of late. We try to go out for a walk most days so that we’re getting some form of exercise and fresh air. Apart from the not being able to venture far when we do go out, I’m rather enjoying my wife and I being able to work completely from home. I’m definitely finding working completely from home less stressful.

Although days & weeks are sort of merging in to one at the moment. I don’t think we’ve lost track of time yet, wait what day is it? I think working from home has kept us both sane. There are moments when it’s hard to get motivated, so far we are surviving. I’m a bit of a night owl so the mornings are probably the hardest for me. Also when the weather is dull & grey, even though we can’t go out as much I still prefer to see the sun shining through our windows.

I guess one of the things that lockdown is teaching us is to make the most of our free time. Spend it doing things that you enjoy, take joy from the little things in life. Time may be endless, but it also does not last forever.

#StaySafe

Community on Lockdown

The third instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series. This instalment is from the streets of the local suburb where I live.

Everywhere is on lockdown, entire countries, cities, towns, villages, right down to our local communities. We find ourselves 5 weeks in to the UK COVID-19 lockdown. Social distancing, what started as being a bit of a strange experiment has now become the new normal as most of us have settled in to lockdown. Only key workers heading out to work. While the rest of us self isolate at home. The lucky few (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) can work from home (which I count myself lucky).

The street that I live on is pretty quiet in normal times to be honest. So I haven’t seen a big change to daily life on our street with lockdown. Apart from our neighbours possibly doing more DIY. I’m sure the lockdown has affected the people in my community in various ways.

Being at home more due to lockdown has allowed me to explore more of our local community, while on our daily (sometimes not so daily) exercise walks. Before lockdown it was all to easy to get home from work & settle in for the evening, then on days off to venture out further afield to explore. We forget to explore & experience what’s on our own doorstep sometimes.

#StaySafe

City on Lockdown


It’s been a week since the first post in my #LivingInLockdown series. While I was on annual leave last week I spent some of my spare time working on ideas to continue this series. Although this particular post is actually inspired by an outing we had into town on Tuesday this week (so that my wife could attend her blood donors appointment). So here is my second entry in the series of #LivingInLockdown – “City on Lockdown“, original title I know.

This was the first time that I have been into Sheffield city centre since the UK went in to lockdown over 5 weeks ago. It might actually be longer than that as I don’t tend to go in to the city centre much these days. It was very strange to be walking around the city streets that are usually bustling with life and see them almost empty of people. I think one of the weirdest experiences was hearing the town hall clock chime and it echoing along the empty streets.

In some respects it was nice to enjoy the city centre so quiet, but in others it was a very bizarre feeling. It made the lockdown somehow more real. Being at home for the last 5 weeks (apart from going out for a walk to our local parks as part of our daily exercise) I guess we’ve been in our own little bubble. In some ways the lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has been happening around us. Being in the city centre and seeing how deserted it was, with most of the shops, and all the pubs, and restaurants closed brought a reality of sorts to this lockdown. We have been very lucky so far that apart from both my wife and I now working completely from home and obviously not seeing family and friends we’ve been relatively untouched by the lockdown.

We’re both back to work and working from home this week after our weeks annual leave. When I’m not working I have more to share as I document #LivingInLockdown.
#StaySafe

Gray Squirrel

Going out for our daily walks for exercise is giving us plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature and capture little glimpses of our wildlife along the way. This little fellow sat for ages as we watched & took photo of him during our walk the other day. In fact we gave up first and continued with our stroll as he remained sunbathing on his branch that he was clearly very comfortable on.

I have more photos of him or at least another of his friends, which I am saving for another post. Where again he posed for us for at least 20mins straight. The next series of photos we got even closer to this friendly little fellow.

It’s very rare that the squirrels are this tame here, especially since we had no food to offer them. Usually it’s a quick glimpse from a distance. Not sure if it’s because of less people milling around due to social distancing or the warm weather. It’s probably a mix of both. We have been lucky enough to spot a few of them now on our various walks, even have one that visits our own garden. Although is proving more elusive.

Until my next post… #StaySafe everyone.

Playtime Is Over

Here it is, the first in my series of #LivingInLockdown – my attempt at recording how lockdown is affecting myself & our local community.

Normally I like to go exploring for photographic inspiration. So this project shall be a little more challenging as I abide by our social distancing guidelines.

We’re now over 3 weeks in to lockdown and our streets & neighbourhoods are quieter. There is something unsettling but also calming about the lack of bustle. Even our children’s play park’s are closed. Seeing them taped off and all the swings etc being tied up with tape is a little bit sad. It makes me thing of a line from the Stereophonics song “Not Up To You” – “Swings don’t swing, the parks been dead for years“.

#StaySafe

Living In Lockdown

As of Monday 23rd March 2020 at 8:30pm GMT the UK went in to lockdown due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  As we now find ourselves in these unprecedented times of social distancing and social isolation I want to try and record the effects of lockdown in my local community, while obviously abiding by our government’s social distancing guidelines. #LivingInLockdown

#StaySafe

Spring is Upon Us

During these times of lockdown that the UK finds itself in at present due to COVID-19. As we are all self-isolating at home and self-distancing when we do have to go out, it is even more important to take a moment to enjoy the natural world around us.

Following Government Social Distancing guidelines we are currently allowed to go out for daily exercise. So we are going out for walks as part of our daily exercise outings. During these exercise outings we are trying to make the most of our walks to take a moment to connect with nature. As Spring is upon us, and It can’t be officially British Springtime until the daffodils are in full bloom. The park opposite us is always a wash with daffodils at this time of year. So during one of our recent walks I took a moment to capture these beautiful signs of Spring.

We all can take the world around us for granted from time to time, its time to take a moment and enjoy our world and mother nature.

#StaySafe

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