Autumn comes to Newmarket

It may be a matter of weeks until Newmarket’s 2018 racing season draws to a close but training continues as normal. The difference being that the light is becoming softer, the shadows longer and of course the autumn colours - for a month at least - are wonderful.

Let’s also tip the hat to the stable staff who keep these beasts fed and happy, regardless of the cold or the relectance of the sun to rise in the mornings.

Please click an image for the best view.

Finding True North

The Road Home - click for enlargement

The world teaches that life's answers lie within. They do not. The answers lie in a person's relationship with God.

If a compass is placed near a magnet, it's clearly not going to point north.  Too much introspection is like trying to navigate life whilst keeping a magnet near to our inner compass. We might be moving but the motion is either in circles, or down some unknown, undesired road.

So what to do and how to spend less time agonising over irrelevant crap that just doesn’t matter? Firstly, spend time prayerfully waiting on God. He never imposes himself on us – He stands at the door and knocks waiting to see who will answer.

Having deferred all things to Him – “Your will be done in my life” – we can step out with confidence and take action. We can do this knowing that the trivial details – the things we waste so much time fretting over – will make no difference to God’s plan for our life.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28.

Of course, knowing what to do and actually doing it...two different things.

Revisiting photos with fresh eyes

I wrote recently about how I'd been struggling for inspiration whilst walking around Manhattan.  On first inspection, almost all of the shots seemed worthless and I was set to delete the lot.  However with a few weeks of separation and some fresh eyes, I've actually found something to like.  Even though these aren't artistic masterpieces, there's a story in each one.  Hopefully you enjoy them, and as ever, please feel free to comment.

Struggling for inspiration in NYC

How is it possible to struggle for photographic inspiration in New York?  I'm not sure but I do struggle nonetheless.  It's just so...everything...all at once.  I find myself unable to capture the enormity of the buildings, the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter, the noise, the smells.  Obviously photography is purely a visual medium but it has to be possible to hint at these things - I just haven't succeeded yet.  

Then there's the people - so many interesting characters but let me just come out and say it - I'm afraid to point a camera at them in case I get screamed at - New York style: "Hey Jackass, are you gonna stick that camera up your ass or do I need to do it for you?"

It's very easy to just end up with the usual touristy shots - I have many sets of these!

On this latest visit, after many boring frames, I decided to focus on traffic.  Most of these shots were crap too.  However, I do have one that I'm happy with, which I share with you now.

What's your experiece of shooting big cities?  Any advice?  Or do you have some other setting where the images you come home with just don't reflect what you're trying to capture?  Let's hear all about it in the comments below.

Taxi on Park Avenue, Manhattan. Click for enlargement.

It's a new dawn, it's a new day

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me. And I'm feeling good.

Click to enlarge

Happy 2017 Mum! You're the only person who will actually read this :)  I'm no longer really sure what the point of the blog is (was I ever sure?) - random images, random thoughts, random and low frequency publishing schedule.

I really enjoy photography - as and when.  At some point I thought it might become more than a hobby, which is why I felt the need for my own website.  That was perhaps putting the cart before horse.  Then I painted the cart with lovely flowers and wrapped it in a bow.  I'm now pretty sure that the cart was never needed but having spent time decorating it, I'm reluctant to give it up.

How to use Lightroom to make the most of dull days

Sunny days, the golden hour, high contrast light - for most landscape enthusiasts, these are the conditions we crave.  However the weather is not always kind and we often have to take what we can get - or sit at home for most of the winter letting the camera gather dust.

What I'd like to show you, is how with a little Adobe Lightroom know how, we can take a flat and disappointing image and salvage something worth keeping.

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Summer Days Fishing Away

With temperatures this week struggling to get above 5C, summer is but a fading memory.  Fortunately I have a nice collection of photos to remind me....On what was without doubt the best day of the year weather wise, my family and I discovered Wells Next the Sea in Norfolk. 

I say discovered - it seems everyone around here was in on the secret but no one was talking - and who can blame them? The size of the beach as the sea retreated over a mile, the size of the sky, the depth of the blue....what a stunning day.

Click images to view full screen

Royal International Air Tattoo 2016

Friday 8th August was day 1 of RIAT 2016 - here are some images from a phenomenal day of flying. 

I've been attending airshows since my youngest days and am quite used to what can be expected from the fast jets.  However what I was not expecting, was the Airbus A400M, which produced some of the most impressive display flying I have ever seen.

This was also my first time watching the F35 Lightning II and the F22 Raptor, so that was very cool.

From a photography perspective, the Canon EOS 80D proved absolutely phenomenal, particularly in conjunction with the 200mm F2.8L prime lens.  (Equivalent focal length due to the cropped sensor worked out at 320mm).  The autofocus was fast and bang on, time after time.

I hope you enjoy these photos.  Click for enlargements and please feel free to comment.

Intertropical Dawn

"The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums, is the area encircling the earth near the equator where the northeast and southeast trade winds come together."  Credit Wikipedia.

Navigating an airliner through this area can be a challenge.  Skill in the use of weather radar is key, particularly at night.  However, as the sun rises, the views can be spectacular.

Click for enlargement

Down at the motocross track

Last weekend I enjoyed an afternoon of shooting motocross action at Wild Trax Outdoor Activity Park. One of the things I noted was the excellent autofocus of the Canon EOS 80D - even with a consumer grade lens attached.  As much as mirrorless cameras have their merits, for moving targets nothing comes close to a DSLR.

Breakfast and a morning mooch in Seattle

Seattle is 8 hours behind the UK, so by the time the locals are ready to serve breakfast, anyone on UK time is starving.  Fortunately, this city has no shortage of places to eat.  One of my favourite spots is Lowell's, in the Pike Place Market.  Good food, and lots of photos opportunities when you've finished.

Click for enlargements


Dawn over Greenland

On a recent flight from Seattle WA to London, I was lucky enough to witness dawn over Greenland.  The colours changed continuously from an hour before sunrise, until the sun was high in the sky.

Alpine vistas in Obergurgl, Austria

I was very lucky recently to go skiing with my family in the Tyrolean Alps.  While the focus of the holiday certainly wasn't photography, I had the wonderful little Sony RX100 III to hand, and couldn't help myself.  So here are a couple of images from the window of our hotel room.

Click for enlargements

Setting sail into a deep blue sky

Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster III

Gorgeous winter weather

Last year, the UK Met Office decided that the North Atlantic storms that batter this island deserve to have names.  After all, wind speeds in Scotland and the upland areas of northern England are frequently as strong as you might see in a hurricane, with barometric pressures to match.  This winter we have indeed been subject to a tiring sequence of these beasts.  They do however bring some gorgeous sunshine, so if you're willing to brave the icy winds, there are some great photo opportunities to be had.

Click for enlargement