Seal Beach

Lately I have found myself busier at work, which has resulted in spending less time behind the camera and writing blog updates. When I have been able to spend behind the camera, I’ve not quite managed to find the time to sort out any photos that I have taken.

Last month we finally managed to travel North of the border to Scotland to visit family and friends for the first time since the COVID pandemic. As well as catching up with family and friends we always try to go out and explore some of the natural beauty of the North-East of Scotland and this time was no exception.

One of our favourite places in Aberdeenshire to visit has always been Newburgh Beach (aka Seals Beach). We usually stroll along the beach and watch on the seals on the other side of the bay and in the sea. But on this particular occasion we were lucky enough to have a seal venture onto the same side of the beach as us, only feet away from where we were walking, and happily posed for us as we snapped away. It was one of those situations where you wanted to get closer, but also wanted to keep your distance as to not spook the seal. Although I don’t think he would have cared much even if we had we sat right next to him. He seemed quite relaxed just lazing on the sand almost oblivious to people strolling along the beach. I’m pretty sure we were all more interested in him than he was in us.

Bulrushes

At the start of Spring this year we visited Shire Brook Valley Nature Reserve, which is about a 20mins drive from us. From what I recall it wasn’t the best weather conditions for a nature walk. It had been raining the day before so a lot of the reserve was quite wet and muddy and it was typically cold for early Spring. Nevertheless we managed to find some photographic inspiration, for me that was these Bulrushes.

I love how the Bulrushes look almost like cotton wool or candy floss on sticks of. Watching the soft cotton like reeds dance in the Spring breeze is quite relaxing. The soft golden hues of the Bulrushes at this time of year when they are in their cotton like state really creates a sense of calm, which we all definitely need at the moment.

I had not visited this nature reserve before, even though we live so close by. I shall definitely return again, it’s a perfect landscape for nature photography.

Bumblebee on Cosmos

A lot of patience is usually required when photographing bees (any winged insect for that matter) just as you have focused on them they are off to their next plant or flower. I love watching them as the busy themselves collecting nectar and pollen from the plants that they visit.

I captured these shots while photographing some Cosmos flowers (aka Mexican Aster) where the soft pink of the blooms caught my eye, clearly I was not the only one they caught the attention of.

Woodland Feast

A slightly overdue post due to not having been out exploring much with the camera lately. So another collection from my archives.

Anyone who is a regular follower of my photography will know that squirrels are my favourite woodland animal. These particular shots were taken during last Autumn. Although Summer is my favourite season of the year, I love the colours of Autumn, especially when exploring woodland. Being able to capture some shots of this little fellow in the splendour of the Autumn golds and browns was magnificent. His own colours complement and blend well with the Autumn hues.

Hopefully as Summer approaches and the world returns to a resemblance of “normal” times I will be able to find more time and motivation for photographic expeditions.

Flower of Scotland

I’m sure that I am being stereotypically Scottish by saying that Thistles are one of my favourite flowers, but it’s true they are. These in particular are quite special as they are home grown. We have been growing Thistles in our garden for a few years now and they never fail to disappoint. Apart from being beautiful flowers to photograph they attract insects such as bees and butterflies (doing our bit for the pollinators), I’m not one to waste a photographic opportunity when these insect visitors come calling.

I love the colour of these Thistles, the radiant purple spikey flower heads that always look bright come rain or shine. As well as helping bring wildlife into our garden and giving me another source of photographic inspiration, growing these Thistles is like having a little bit of Scotland in our Yorkshire garden.

Dark Frost

As we say goodbye to Winter and welcome back Spring I thought I would share a last glimpse of Winter for another year. Dark Frost is a set that I actually created last Winter (2019). After these photographs sat dormant in my archive it felt the right time to share them now.

I wanted to try something a little different with these shots, which resulted in a more heavily edited set than my usual work. I normally prefer to apply soft editing techniques such as tweaking histogram levels, saturation, etc. Trying to leave the captured image as natural as possible. This time though I felt the urge to be a little more creative, a little more artistic. So after playing around creating various different effects I finally came up with “Dark Frost”, which in my opinion really brings out the feeling of how cold it was when I first took these shots. I wanted to create something darker than my normal work, which I think it’s safe to say I have achieved that. Sometimes it’s good to go dark, as long as you come back to the light.

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