I was brought up with the history of photography and film making – my dad had a cine camera and through 3 minute pieces of film documented mine and my sisters’ childhood, we had a Polaroid instamatic camera in the 70s and who can forget the cube flash!
My love of photography was though fully awakened during a trip to Tuscany in the summer of 2011, at this stage I only had a simple Canon compact camera. During that trip I discovered being able to capture the beauty of the landscapes around me together with shots of just about everything else, in a week I took over a thousand shots.
What I did see was that the skies were always unique, no cloud formation was ever the same, the view would change every second and every sunrise or sunset had its own very individual personality. It made me feel alive and reminded just how powerful Mother Nature is in delivering pure beauty. This collection shows time from that first trip to this week and how far I hope my creativity has come.
I’d never been to Tuscany before however I did have a perception about what the light would be like, what I hadn’t expected in our remote location near Pienza was the clarity of the light. I asked for a room that was east facing so I could be woken by the dawn light, often got up way before sunrise and was always richly rewarded.
At the same location on our final evening, I was busy taking shots of yet another stunning sunrise, as I glanced behind me I saw what looked like an volcano explosion. I don’t often lose the power of speech but to see the sun reflecting in a very low lying cloud formation was amazing. Always look behind you, the best shot is not always in obvious view!
I’m very lucky to live in Wiltshire, we have beautiful landscapes on our doorstep, once I’d fallen in love with my camera I got back out to re-discover what was around me. This picture was taken in Cherhill, on the A4 which is one of my favourite roads, if you’re ever in the vicinity drive from Avebury to Calne, the view is amazing and if you’re feeling energetic climb up to the White Horse.
We’d just had a short rain storm on an August evening, I was sat in my lounge and saw a strange light being reflected on a wall outside, grabbing the camera, I walked out onto the High Street, to find this sunset and truly showed you never know what’s just around the corner from home!
I love the colours a sunset can present, that they change quickly, you can take a series of shots over a half hour period and the first and final ones look totally different. This one shows how the pink clouds are just sitting on a blue sky, on this occasion it was almost dark on the ground.
Cloud formations amaze me, this shot was taken on another of my favourite local sunset spots – Bowden Hill near Lacock, it has a great panorama, in fact it was where my sister and I watched the 1999 Eclipse literally roll in. I love the way the clouds are vertical and are reflecting the already set sun.
In December 2011 I finally took the plunge and got myself a DSLR, although I was getting great shots with the compact I was getting more creative and wanted the capability to do more. I though understood that it’s not always about the kit you have, it’s also about knowing what to do with it and being able to see the shot in your head before you press the shutter. This was one of the first shots I took with the new camera. It’s February so an early Spring sunset, I was again in Cherhill but this time I’d hiked up the hill. I wanted something that captured how the light was layered across the landscape.
I always have a camera with me at work, my desk faces west so I can see the sunset. Although I work overlooking the M4/M5 interchange the very grey, busy view can be totally transformed by the sky. What is interesting is that these shots are always taken through glass, there is nowhere outside to get as good a shot. Whilst it’s not as exciting an image as some others I’ve taken, it shows how a situation can change so dramatically once the sun begins to set.
Often I will just get a feeling and go ‘chasing the sunset’ – sometimes I leave it a bit late, luckily very close to home on the very unglamorous bypass there’s a spot. I’ve been doing a lot of work with my camera, we now get on very well, she has a few different lenses now and with a long lens I got this shot, it’s the beginning of April 2013 and despite the calendar saying it’s Spring, the temperature most certainly isn’t and it was a cold night but just after the clocks went forwards which usually presents some sunset opportunities. This was no exception, what I love about it though is that by going in close it looks totally different to the wide shots I also took that night.
And finally sunrise on the 3rd April. I’ve discovered the joy of being out walking at dawn and this time took the cameras with me, the previous morning had been pretty so it was worth packing up the rucksack to see what the morning would bring. Initially it looked disappointing, there was low cloud hiding the early sunrise, however just as I was heading home, the sun appeared momentarily in all her glory and through the hedge I got this shot. It captured the heat of the sun despite the -8 temperatures at the time and showed that even when there isn’t an obvious shot doing something different can be very interesting!