2021: Year of Hope

No one can deny that 2020 was a challenging for everyone in one way or another due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter 2021 were are still far from seeing the end of this pandemic that has gripped the world. That being said 2021 is being herald as the “Year of Hope”, after the last 10 months I’m sure we could all use a little hope.

With the idea of hope in mind it reminded me of some photos that I had taken back in October, of the “The Leaves of the Trees” a memorial exhibit by sculptor Peter Walker. The exhibit was created to honour those who have passed during the COVID pandemic.

When I heard about Peter Walker’s exhibit, and that it was coming to Sheffield Cathedral I wanted to be able to see it. These may not be not be my best shots but I thought it fitted perfectly with my #LivingInLockdown series. The exhibit was remarkable, I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to make all of the 5000 individual leaves of hope. It’s a simple yet thought provoking and humble memorial.

Related links: Sheffield Cathedral (The Leaves of the Trees) | Peter Walker (The Leaves of the Trees)

Bumblebee

Bees may not bee (pun very much intended) everyone’s favourite insect. However they are very important to the life-cycle of our planet, and how can you not love these little pollinators? They may not be the easiest subject to photograph (patience is definitely required to get the perfect shot) but when you get that perfect clear shot they are interesting subjects. Its not always easy to see them in full detail with the naked eye, but armed with my trusted zoom/macro lens I can capture them in all their glory.

Early Work

Feeling reminiscent so thought I would revisit and republish some of my early work, which dates back to 2005 and 2007.

It is weird revisiting my earlier work as it brings back so many memories of the moments when I first took these photos. A time and place a million miles away from the person that I am today. I think what stands out for me looking back at some of my early photographic work is the change in quality. What I remember being really proud of back then, I now look at, and in some cases cringe at the quality. I guess this is a testament to how far my photography skill has developed over the years. Do all photographers (or artists even) when they look back at earlier pieces of work become more critical of said work?

The 3 posts that I have selected above are nowhere near my standard of work today, I was initially hesitant about republishing these. There’s a phrase that I heard many years ago that has stuck with me “photographers & artists should only publish/display their best work” this has always played on my overly self-critical personality trait. But these are works that at the time I was really proud of and I guess I still am in part.

My early work I focused on skyscapes, sunsets and sunrises were may favourite subjects to photograph. I loved the colours that they created in the sky (I still do), almost surreal scenes. I could sit for what felt like hours watching the sun rise or set, I enjoyed the calm. It’s what in part started my love for photography capturing these beautiful moments above us.

4am Sunrise: One of the few times in my life that I have ever got up so early in the name of photography (or for anything to be honest). I remember waking up, looking at the clock, seeing 4am & not being able to get back to sleep. The hint of the sunrise catching my through my curtains and mustering the energy & motivation to grab my camera and venture outside for an early photographic adventure.


Burning Sunset: Sunsets used to completely captivate me, especially sunsets in Scotland. The deep firey-red summer sunsets were my favourite to photograph. This particular one I remember thinking it was like the sky was set on fire, what I’d expect to see watching the sun set over some tropical savannah not in the the North-East of Scotland.


Storm Brewing: This collection of photographs I took from my then bedroom window in my parents house when I still lived with them. I remember sitting on the windowsill of my bedroom window watching the sun trying to peak through the dark storm clouds as they rolled in. The countless hours I would sit on that windowsill and watch the sky.


It is slightly scary to think that it has been over 17 years since I started my adventures with photography, how my life has changed in that time (for the better) and hopefully my photographic eye and skill has also improved over the years. I still find it hard to tie myself down to a specific genre of photography, I have dabbled with many subjects over the years, from nature, still life, portraits to locations. I do find myself drawn more to photographing the natural world, as it calms me.

To my readers and followers, thank you for taking the time to ready my blog and I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I do.

Lockdown 2.0

So here in the UK (well in England at least) we find ourselves 12 days in to another country wide lockdown. All going well it should only last for a month, ending on the 2nd December 2020. Not to sound pessimistic but we were told that last time, and 3 months later it was still in effect. I’m not going to get all political or get in to my thoughts of what I think will or should happen next on here as its not the place for such ramblings. So moving swiftly on I’m taking each day as it comes and trying my best to look on the bright side of life. You can find the silver lining in most things if you look hard enough.

Although I am working throughout this second lockdown (so my free time will be limited), I want to try to record some of this second lockdown in a similar way to the last one with my #LivingInLockdown project. It will be interesting to see the differences as we’re now in Autumn heading in to Winter instead of Spring in to Summer.

#LivingInLockdown the story so far

As yet I’ve not had the opportunity to get out with my camera, we’ve not really been out for daily exercise like we did during the Spring Lockdown. The colder temperatures & wetter weather hasn’t really been encouraging us to venture out for walks.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, lets all stay safe.

Pink Cosmos

Summer is definitely my favourite season and although Autumn may be well have settled in here in the UK, I’m still hanging on to memories of summer. One memory of this summer are these beautiful Cosmos flowers, taken a couple of months ago now (September) on a visit to the cities botanical gardens.

Selling Prints Online

So I really want to have a go at selling prints of my photos online, preferably via my own website. I have tried this several times before and never found a platform that I’m completely happy with.

Firstly I guess it’s the question of would people be interested to buy my work? I’m trying to ignore the perfectionist in me that doubts the quality of my work and whispers to me that no one would be interested.

Secondly which platform do I use. There are so many options out there, that trying to decide what would work best for me is a nightmare. I don’t particularly want to commit to a subscription platform incase my sales don’t cover the subscription but some of the free platforms don’t really give the look & control that I’d like.

I’m currently considering SmugMug as an option (which I have considered before), as it seems to give me the control I want and I can align it to a similar look & design of my website. I guess it’s the subscription charge that’s putting me off, the worry of not being able to cover the cost and at least break even. Obviously the ideal is to make a profit.

Any other photographers reading this (first thanks for visiting my website & blog) I would really appreciate your advice? How/where do you sell your own work?

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