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?

Beach Huts

The last instalment from our seaside adventure 3 weeks ago, which seems like a lifetime ago, especially now as we look like we’re about to go into another national lockdown.

Beach huts, is this just an English seaside thing? As I’ve never known of these in Scotland, least not on the east coast.

Even on a dull wet day the brightly painted huts added a cheerful splash of colour. I’m sure photos of brightly painted beach huts such as these have been photographed time & time again (and much better shots than the few that I have captured). Had the weather been better I may have stuck around longer to take some more artistic shots. I have since seen an amazing black & white shot of some beach huts similar to these by photographer Sean Mills which has inspired me for the next time I have the opportunity to photograph seaside beach huts.

North Bay

The next instalment from our trip to the seaside….

In the space of a few hours I watched Scarborough’s North Bay change from dramatic stormy silhouettes with crashing waves & rolling tides to a tranquil autumn seaside scene. The bay looked so completely different once the storm had passed. As much as I enjoyed capturing shots of the rainstorm the return of the blue skies were very much welcomed.

The Sea

Following on from my last post, here are some more shots from our recent trip to the seaside (Scarborough, North Yorkshire). The rain eventually eased off momentarily and some blue skies managed to sneak through the clouds. Even with the smallest change in natural light as the clouds started to clear and the rain stopped, it changed the look of the bay, I guess you’d say it showed it in a new light.

My first shot of the tide coming in I think is my favourite out of this small selection. I still have a few more shots of the bay after the rain cleared, which I’m holding back for another post.

Stormy Seaside

Last weekend we managed to escape to the seaside for a few days, our first proper holiday since the COVID pandemic and lockdowns hit the UK. We had hoped to heading up to Scotland to visit family with our 2 weeks off but the new COVID restrictions put paid to that. So we decided to head to the coast for a few days instead. After some careful consideration of where would be a safe travel destination we finally decided on Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast being as it was only a couple of hours drive away.

October probably isn’t the best time in the UK to be going to the seaside. Typically for the time of year it rained off and on for most of the weekend, but we didn’t let the rain stop us exploring (raincoats, and bucket & spades were at the ready). We enjoyed our stay regardless of the weather, it was a much needed break for us.

The above photos were taken of the tide coming in on North Bay during heavy rain fall, sadly I didn’t manage to capture any decent shots of the waves crashing against beach walls. It has been a little while since I have taken any seascape photographs, so these aren’t my best work as I’m a little out of practise. The visual effect of the rain storm coming in to land from the sea looked impressive and moody, which I’m not sure I did the scene justice with these shots.

Most of the photos taken during this visit to Scarborough are of the beach, I’m saving some of my other shots for another post(s)…so stay tuned.

Strawflowers

Earlier this year we planted some Strawflowers, which I have taken various photos of during the summer. Although these are the first photos that I have shared on my website so far. These flowers have intrigued me as they are unlike most flowers that I have seen as they change appearance everyday depending on the weather. So they have provided me with endless photographic inspiration since we planted them.

Today’s rain caused their bright yellow paper-like petals to conceal their orange centres, which look amazing when the flowers are in full bloom in the sun. So far they have been very hardy plants since planting them back in the Spring. I’m hoping that they survive through Winter and continue to bloom next year. I may have to keep a look out for other varieties to add to our garden.

The COVID-19 pandemic this year has definitely made me look closer to home for photographic inspiration, and I can’t get much closer to home than our own back garden. We are slowly adding interesting flowers and plants to create our own little patch of nature to relax in. The added bonus of our own little patch of nature, apart from helping wildlife, means lots of photographic inspiration for me in the form of flowers to garden wildlife.

As we have the next two weeks off on holiday, although exploring further afield may be difficult with pandemic restrictions I’m sure I will have find at least a few opportunities to get out with my camera.

Photo Walks

Last month I read the article “How to lose weight & stay in shape while photo-walking” on the Phoblographer and it got me thinking. Although I have not been trying to lose weight, my photography has definitely led me to be more physically active this year. Slightly forced by the COVID-19 pandemic & subsequent lockdown, which limited our time outside to only grocery shopping and time for daily exercise. Now as I’m not a very sporty person (I’ll be honest I’m lazy), to make the most of our daily exercise outside we would go for walks around local parks or woodland and of course our cameras had to come with us. So it was the perfect excuse to go on photo-walks.

Squirrel: spotted on one of our photo-walks

Anyone who follows my photography can tell my favourite subjects to photograph is nature & wildlife. One of the thing that this COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, especially during lockdown is to enjoy nature and the world around us more. Our photo-walks has definitely helped our wellbeing (physical & mental).

Getting back to nature exploring parks & woodland

It’s vey rare that I go out with the intention of photographing any particular subject. I normally head out with the my camera and then see what captures my attention.

Spotted on another photo-walk

I want to try and continue with photo walks going forward. This may prove more difficult as we move in to winter and looming further pandemic lockdown restrictions we may find ourselves in. It’s a simple concept which has allowed me to spend more time on my photography and be slightly more active.

A walk in the Park: parks have provided lots of floral photography inspiration

Regardless of your style of photography, whether it’s nature or street photography, photos walks can definitely be a good source of inspiration and helps to keep you active. Especially in times of pandemic, as long as we’re all staying safe & social distancing I think it’s important to get outside (ideally once a day) and breathe in the fresh air & clear our minds.

English Lavender

Most of my photography usually involves going out exploring the world around me to find that certain “something” that captures my interest. These photos were taken a little closer to home, in our own garden in fact.

Over the past three years I’ve been growing our own little lavender patch. This year our lavender looks to have really bedded in and has produced some lovely blooms. I have tried to grow lavender (French Lavender) in the past with no success. Making the choice to plant English Lavender to add to our little expanding garden has really paid off, and of course it has given me another homegrown flower to photograph.

The small intricate flowers that make up the flower heads of the English Lavender can be a challenge to photograph. I wanted to try and achieve a soft focus to match the softness of the lavender but still capture the detail flowers. I think I have achieved this in most of the shots taken.

Azure Damselfly

My first attempt at photographing a dragonfly, not my best work but I am pretty impressed with the end result nevertheless. As you can imagine they are quite difficult to photograph as they don’t stay in one place for more than a few seconds at any one time, so a lot of patience was required. They are also quite small and with how quick they move sometimes finding where it had moved to and re-focusing was a challenge in itself.

This dragonfly was a complete chance encounter while out for another one of my photo walks. Not actually sure if I have ever encountered a dragonfly before let alone try to photograph one. I believe that this specimen is a Azure Damselfly. I feel very lucky to have been able to witness this fellow so close up.

Dandelion Clocks

Dandelions we either love them or hate them, we either see them as flowers or weeds. Dandelion seed-heads (dandelion clocks) are reminiscent of childhood. How many of us have childhood memories of blowing the seed heads of dandelions, seeing how many attempts it takes before we can blow all of the seeds off while counting “One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock,…”.

While capturing these shots I love the contrast of the white seed heads against green grass, dandelion stems and foliage. They may not be everyone’s first choice of flowers to photograph, but I find the soft fluffy seed heads interesting to photograph.

Little Duckling

On one our many getting in touch with nature / photo expedition walks we spotted this little fellow. As you can see he was quite tame, coming right up on to the riverbank.

I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend more time recently getting closer to some of our native wildlife. This year has been hard in many ways, but it also has given me some simple moments of joy. The joy of reconnecting with nature.