I took this the other day, on a walk with Tess the Collie. Looking at it, later, I thought ‘What was that?’ I’d forgotten where I’d taken it, and I took me a minute to reconstruct where we’d been. On that basis, I thought, it would make a fine what is it? The kind of photo people used to shoot, deliberately, to be a … Read More But what is it!?
Category: Travel and Photography
It was the Christmas tree outside the Booths supermarket that triggered the thoughts… Now pale against the bright January sun and the crisp cold, its icy beauty was somehow less than the real thing, a warming image of a Christmas now gone and packed up into the storage boxes under the eaves. Ahead of me, the Kendal district of Fellside climbed up in the … Read More That early January feeling…
At first glance, it has something of the ziggurat about it. In reality it’s the final bit of Arnside’s Victorian pier, taken from a short distance back in order to include part of the famous viaduct – nearly 1600 ft – that links Arnside with Grange-over-Sands. Arnside has the kind of beaches that you’d rather photograph than paddle from. The sands around here share … Read More Arnside and Autumn Pastels
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We were spending a few days in Alnmouth, a tiny Northumberland village with one of the best beaches in the country. I rarely get to swim in the sea these days, but such things are of vital importance to our Collie dog, Tess, who loves to chase a ball down a beach and into the waves. It was early morning. I was enjoying our … Read More The Second before the Shutter of Life
We often think that seeing something ‘from above’ will result in greater clarity. It’s usually true in a situation where there is a holistic ‘big-picture’, and the real or metaphorical aerial view can make clear the relationships at work. But sometimes being above things can conceal the truth about their essential states. The above image turned into an accidental illustration of this. We are … Read More From above…
We’re spending a few days in the Wiltshire village of Wootton Rivers. Set in the middle of the ancient Vale of Pewsey, its fertile farmland has a documented history going back to the Bronze Age. But we’re not here for the history… It’s a long way from Cumbria. The clue to why we’re here is the village’s proximity to Avebury, home of Britain’s largest … Read More Wootton Rivers
Fitting, perhaps, for the Beltane weekend, that the final mile of my Collie walk was graced with this turning of the earth of the river path to reveal the most beautiful ochre-gold of sunset across the ground. Shortly after, we crossed the old bridge. Tess went down to the water to drink, photo-bombing my carefully framed attempt at a ‘Constable shot’. It was then … Read More A May Day walk with the elements
We all have preconceptions about places we know well. As photographers, we are uniquely placed to ‘sneak up’ and shoot a different story, deliberately skewing things.. The Lancashire resort of Morecambe is less than 30 minutes drive from where we live. Tess, our collie, loves the beaches there, and there is a three mile promenade allowing pleasant Sunday walks with access to take-away coffees … Read More Signs of Spring (3) : Raid a Resort!
It’s easy when you have a dog. The charging collie clearly loves a beach. But I’m having as much fun as she is. You see, one of the greatest places to see the sky is the beach… Where the ocean meets the land is a wonderful place. Rocky, sandy or urban-developed, this ‘littoral zone’ has a special magic that spills over into opportunities for … Read More Signs of Spring : Beaches
I’m partial to stations… especially those that have history. The Victorian railways were a magnificent achievement, and changed British society in far-reaching ways. (600 words; a five minute read) During the late 1950s, and early 1960s my grandparents in Bolton used to take me for days out to the seaside. We never got as far as Grange-over-Sands, the lovely town that nestles at the … Read More #ShortWrytz: favourite buildings – Grange Station
We’re lucky to live close to two forests. The first is a few minutes’ walk away, the other is further and larger, the main path taking the walker in a slow ascent through the ancient Sizergh estate. At the highest point, you emerge into the open air within a few hundred metres of the local organic farm shop and cafe. Tess loves the walk. … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream
The emotional story of an unusual wartime chapel on Orkney reveals a different type of heroism… and hope. (A ten-minute read, 1400 words). (Above: the waters of Scapa Flow have not always been so calm…) Shortly after midnight on the 14th October, 1939, a German U-boat, U-47, passed unseen into the vast and hitherto safe waters of Orkney’s Scapa Flow, the base of the … Read More Bridges of Stone and Heart