On the last day of summer

On the last day of summer

On the last day of summer, I swam in a sea with no horizon. It was boundless and made of liquid silver. The morning sun was hidden by a bank of mist and there was a stillness in the air and across the water. As I swam, I savoured the feeling, hoping that I would be able to retrieve it during the months of winter ahead. More of my landscape photographs are here.

I am self-publishing a book of my cyanotype Bonfire portraits. It is available by mail order. You can find more information here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

Dazzled at Hope Gap

Dazzled by Hope Gap

So, let us continue together on our cyanotype journey. After weeks and weeks stuck at home during lockdown, my family’s first joyous outing to a beach was to the aptly named Hope Gap near Seaford. It is along this Sussex coastline that the chalk hills of the South Downs hit the sea in steep dramatic cliffs.

The day was bright and still. An hour’s walk brought us to a gap in the rolling green scrubland. Opened out before us was a vista of sparkling sea, with the undulating Seven Sisters to the left and a headland rising straight out of the water to the right.

Down on the beach the tide was out and the cliffs loomed sharp and jagged, their white edges standing out against sky. I felt moved nearly to tears at the startling beauty of it all.

I had been working doggedly on my storm cyanotypes over many lockdown hours when I began to think about using the technique for other types of landscape photographs. The process is tricky and it is difficult to predict how a photograph will translate from computer screen to hand-made print.

For many photos, it doesn’t really work, but for some, the tonal qualities of cyanotype heighten the feelings I want to convey in a photograph. This mightiest of the Sisters is called Haven Brow and towers 77 meters (253 ft) above Cuckmere Haven. The cyanotype process helps to convey what I wanted here – a sense of the majesty of this cliff face.

You can find a selection of my cyanotypes here and learn how I create them here.This new work will be exhibited in September in a joint exhibit with artist Kelly Hall as part of the Lewes District Artwave Festival.

Was it a pea souper or the Devil’s soup?

Was it a pea souper or the Devil’s soup?

From blazing sun to rain and wind – we have had it all here in Sussex lately. On a walk to investigate a prehistoric hill fort above Steyning, West Sussex, we were blasted by a ferocious wind, while at the same time, blinded by thick fog – which seemed a strange weather combination to me. Out of the mist a line of trees suddenly rose above the open fields of the Downs, although it was hard to make out exactly what we were looking at because of the thick fog. Beneath the trees there were strange undulating mounds covered in soft grass that formed a huge circular shape, with younger trees filling the centre. As we stepped into this circle, the wind suddenly dropped, and the space felt eery and, if I had let my imagination run wild, maybe a bit haunted.

Chanctonbury Ring has been a sacred place for over 2000 years. Neolithic flint work, Bronze Age pottery and the remains of a Roman temple have been uncovered here and some believe it is a place of mystic druid power. A local myth claims that the Devil built the Ring and if you run around it anti-clockwise seven times, he will appear and give you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul. It must be a hell of a bowl of soup, but I think I will forgo running around the Ring seven times just in case.

You can see more of my landscape photography here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

With photography, it’s always about the light

With photography, it’s always about the light

I have been feeling very lucky to live near a beach during our current heatwave. Not surprisingly, the hotter the weather gets, the busier the seaside gets.

A few days ago I set out very early with my camera to both beat the crowds and catch the early morning light. The sunrise is currently just before 5am here, so by the time I got to the beach at 6.15, it had already been daylight for a couple of hours. That was ok, though, because the sun was still low enough in the sky for my needs.

Photography is always, always about light: the quality, amount and size of the light source, the direction of it and its colour. This would have been a completely different sort photograph if I had shot it in bright, harsh midday light. Instead, the soft early morning sun raked across the beach, throwing every stone and water rivulet into relief. It was well worth getting up for. You can see more of my landscape photography here

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

Bluebell time

Bluebell time

Being in lockdown has made me look more closely at the world right on my doorstep, since I can’t go very much farther. I have been using my little macro lens and investigating life up close and personal, which has been an interesting process.

As many of you know, at this time of year in Sussex the woodland is carpeted with wild bluebells. I wanted to send a photograph of this wonderful sight to you all in your lockdowned, socially-distanced homes.

Given my recent macro lens explorations, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could represent the whole by focussing on a detail. Here for you, then, is a single wild bluebell, bathed in evening light, with swathes of its little fellows in the distance.

You can find more of my landscape photographs here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

wild wood anemones during lockdown

wild wood anemones during lockdown

This week’s photograph is of wild wood anemones shot around the time that the UK was going into lockdown. Each of us must find our own way through these disorienting, anxious, sad times. For me, my saving grace has been to walk out my door and be reminded that everything else in the natural world is just the same, it is only our human world that is changed almost beyond recognition.

The sun shines, birds sing and flowers bloom as spring goes into full swing around us. I find this very reassuring.

You can find more of my landscape photographs of our wondrous natural world here.

Please get in touch if you have a workplace, an event, a celebration, a portrait or a building project you would like to have photographed.

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