Monday, 31 December 2012

The Best Of 2012

This seems a natural time to have a quick look back over the year. I'm not about to bore you all with what I've learnt and what I now want to achieve and all that... I'm just going to, quite simply, look back at what I think are my best photos of the year. I would love to know if you can think of any glaring omissions (I may just add some in) or if you disagree with any of my choices.

So, in no particular order, here goes...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Frozen In The Peak

I should warn you, before I start, that this was my favourite Peak day out so far - I had every variation of perfect light that I could ever wish for... so I hope it will go down well. Also, bear in mind that any pictures seen here can be purchased as a download, print, framed print, poster, postcard, card or anything else imaginable - just get in touch.

A few weeks ago I took an afternoon off to make the most of the freezing weather in the Peak. My trip started at Grindleford station and took in Padley Gorge, Surprise View, Carl Wark and Higger Tor - before ending in the darkness at Hathersage.

On arrival I was instantly greeted with white trees - one of the most perfect hoar frosts I've seen - so I couldn't wait to get into the woods up Padley Gorge. Not only were they all white, but there was also a light mist which softened the sunlight beaming through the trees. Woodland just doesn't get any better than this. The first of these photos is one of my all time favourites (basically unedited).

Friday, 21 December 2012

Learning A Whole New Type Of Photography

Bonus post - lucky you!

In January (a couple of weeks from now, for you readers from the future) I have a couple of shoots lined up with the somewhat famous Bex Lendon, and Harley-Dee - both of which will be something entirely new for me. I'm writing this blog post ahead of time in order to record some of my thoughts on what are two mini-projects for me, and to hopefully get a few thoughts, comments and bits of advice ahead of time. (I should also note, to begin with, that none of the photos in this post are mine...)

The dates ain't nailed down just yet, so I'll go alphabetically - starting with Bex.

Bex is very well known locally, so this is quite a step up for me. I think I've known of her almost since I first moved to Sheffield - god knows when we first became 'friends' on Model Mayhem - so it was nice little success when I finally built up a portfolio good enough to earn a free test shoot with her. The initial plan was general fashion type stuff, the kinda thing I'm used to, around the University and Weston Park... all well and good - but I was wracking my brain trying to think of something to make it original and special - something to make me stand out from the crowd. Then suddenly, Bex saves the day - a question to the whole Facebook world about GIFS. I can do GIFS... I actually did my Masters project on modeling galaxy interactions with a series of GIFS to show my computational results... so that's it - we are going to try to make some cool .gif videos to go on Tumblr and whatnot.

Now, for these we have 2 options:
1) Individual frames manually layered.
2) Video with frames cut out.

Starting with the first, this is obviously useful for the more jerky, playful GIFs... and I think we are going to aim for the following kind of things...

The getting dressed theme:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Seeking Out The Snow

A couple of weeks ago the entire country seemed to get snow, even the South East, and yet somehow South Yorkshire missed out. Unable to accept that I would be one of the few people to not get any, I went in search of it in the Peak District, with another pre-sunrise trip up Mam Tor. I'm getting very used to the scramble up hills at break neck speed in the dark these days, but the slushy wet snow towards the bottom of the valley was an entirely new challenge this time and certainly slowed me down a wee bit, but the sight of the imposing white tops all around (Kinder, Rushup Edge and Mam Tor) means you know it's going to be worth it. There's something about snow capped peaks which makes them appear twice as big as they really are - and it's a really special feeling knowing that you are one of very few who will be witnessing them in that predawn partial light. 

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Short Calver Hill Post (Swaledale)

In an attempt to catch up with myself photographywise - here is an additional non-weekend blog post. A few weeks ago when up in Richmond I took a trip up Swaledale before sunrise to catch the first light on the moors behind Reeth. This was my first sunrise with a companion - as my ma came up to enjoy it with me (and drove me there, for that matter!), and after grey skies for the entire drive up the dale, the moment the sun rose gaps started to appear - allowing the warm light through to touch the hilltops. The night before Swaledale had had its first sprinkling of snow which, whilst evident in some of the photos, was much more pronounced a little further up the dale.

So here are the photos...

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Frosty Win Hill Inversion

Hello again,

I'm getting a wee bit behind now... hopefully I'll put another post up midweek to try and catch up, but I'm gonna jump back a couple of weeks and show you/tell you all about my frosty, cold, dark Win Hill walk.

After doing Mam Tor and Grindslow Knoll for sunrise and failing to get an inversion, the logical next place (without repeating myself) seemed to be Win Hill. So after much weather checking and waiting, I finally found a forecast for a cold, calm morning and set off out. This was by far the coldest night of the year so far, and upon arriving at Hope all was looking good. There was a very thick mist which made my head torch pretty much useless - just lighting up the water particles in front of my face, obscuring my view, rather than the path and puddles ahead - and frost/ice everywhere. I've been out in colder days, but the fog seemed to have frozen everything solid which made it very picturesque - from what I could make out in the darkness.

When getting the train (which I have to), I have only a limited amount of time to get up to the top of these hills before sunrise so usually have to take the shortest, steepest route - which can become very interesting when this icy and in the dark. But about half way up, thoroughly out of breathe, the fog suddenly cleared and I could look out across the top of the clouds... this was the moment I'd been waiting months for!