On the rails
I hope that you find information and news about photographic trips and travel that I undertake to be of interest:

As many are aware there are numerous challenges in undertaking landscape photography successfully and I have experienced many false dawns (and dusks) with resulting failure. One of the key features of a successful landscape image is, I believe, evidence of feeling, mood or drama to convey interest and enjoyment to the viewer and making you want to visit that location. Notwithstanding the establishment by the photographer in the field of the composition mother nature is, on most occasions, a great helper in achieving that aim with regards to the weather. Bad weather can, in fact, be a good thing for landscape photography and is usually of great assistance and very welcome - strange as this may seem to non-photographers. However, the elements are not always kind to us and conditions can turn out to be so bad that the session has to be abandoned, only for us to return another day.

Two relevant quotes by Ansel Adams:

"A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed."

"Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment."



Geode an Sgadain
I visited Scotland to enjoy and photograph the autumn colours, combined with plenty of walking. I was based in Ullapool, which has easy access to Gairloch region and to the north up to Durness. The weather was mixed, which is to be expected but inclement weather can provide dramatic scenery. I visited some locations where I had been on previous visits but planned new locations. The furthest north that I travelled was to Durness and along the the north coast road to Geode an Sgadain. On my way back through Durness I viewed a daily event with a heard of cattle walking along the beach from their daytime to nighttime pastures - quite an unexpected scene.

To the south of Ullapool I visited the beach at Mellon Udrigle for an enjoyable few hours during several changes of weather, which was not without its photographic rewards. In the Dundonnell region I undertook a long walk towards Loch Sealga to photograph the valley and old bothy at Shenavall, spending an enjoyable few hours of isolation. Nearer to Ullapool I undertook what is known locally as 'the old posty walk', which is the route that the postman used to to walk to Achduart. I walked part of the way, which was waterlogged and quite challenging, and on to the old fort at Dun Canna to enjoy a picnic lunch.
The beach at Mellon Udrigle

On another day I set out to walk to the top of Cul Mor but the top above the boulder field was covered in mist. So I spent a few hours photographing Suilven to the north, which was in full view protruding above the surrounding terrain. It is known as the mighty Suilven and I can see why. I was able to revisit some locations along the road to Achiltibuie.

In the Kylesku region I walked the track alongside Loch Gleenn Dubh but time prevented me from reaching the waterfalls and bothy at Glendhu - a good excuse for a return visit.



North Yorkshire is well known for its fantastic showing of heather in August, and this year it was exceptional. We were treated to an amazing show of colour over the moors, which was deemed by local people to be the best for years. I stayed near Danby and visited many locations in the region, visiting previous spots but also discovering new parts of the moors, searching for different compositions. In the UK we are blessed with the availability of OS maps, which provide so much information and tell their own story about the landscape. They, together with the Photographer's Ephemeris, are an essential tools in the planning of landscape photographic trips - not to mention information about the local coffee shops!

A favourite location is Roseberry Topping and surrounding area. I visited it several times during my trip to try to capture that combination of light, weather and composition - I was not always fortunate but nevertheless enjoyed the experience trying.

Ferns amongst the heather
Most of my visit this time was spent on the moors and not on the coast as it was very busy during the school half-term - people! Also, for many reasons other than photography, it is a pity that the steelworks at Redcar is not currently in operation as it provides a striking feature on the local landscape, particularly with the regular discharge of steam across the plant every 15 minutes. Kildare Moor, both to the north and south of the main railway line, provides wonderful locations including the remains of an old mine.

Whenever I am in North Yorkshire I try to find time to Joe Cornish's Gallery in Northallerton, which I did on this occasion and was treated to an inspiring collection of work.



I visited my friends and photographers, Grahame Soden ARPS, LBIPP and Katharina Wand in February and March 2017, who live in Vormsele, near Lycksele in north Sweden. Within this winter wonderland the photographic opportunities are extensive, particularly the northern lights and the scenery during the winter months.




In January of 2016 and 2017 I visited Morocco, staying in Fez and Marrakech respectively. It is a country that has always fascinated me and I wanted to experience its culture, meet Moroccan people and explore as much of the country as possible, particularly in the Atlas mountains. ...more



In September 2016 I undertook the Assessment for this award by The Royal Photographic Society [RPS]. This submission followed an unsuccessful showing in May 2016, mainly because of printing deficiencies, which were corrected for the re-submission. Each Assessment was undertaken at the main UK office of the RPS at Bath.The subject that I chose was The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in East Kent. ...more



During March and April 2016 I visited India for some 4.5 weeks. Using Delhi as a base I travelled to many places including Shimla, Varanasi, Agra and nearby Fatehpur Sikri, Allahabad, Amritsar and Udaipur. Overall the trip can be described as "Incredible India" - a country which was fascinating, colourful, friendly and, at times, noisy, vibrant, which was an experience not to be missed. ...more



Our family has spent many memorable years in South Africa and Zambia, with our children enjoying a happy childhood before we returned to the UK in 1982. In November 2015 I was fortunate to return to South Africa. ...more



Towards Stac Pollaidh
Each year as part of its programme Ashford [Kent] Photographic Society holds an open competition for landscape photography. ...more



At The Fiddler summit
In October I visited Scotland for a fortnight in Ullapool and then a few days in Glencoe. The weather in Scotland was mixed but the bad weather did provide some good photographic opportunities - a form of compensation for being out in the wind and rain. As many a professional professional photographer will say, "you have to work with what you have got." In the final few days snow was falling on the high ground, which always provides that distinctive Scottish highland scene when combined with the dark brown grasses in the glens. ...more



Longshan Temple
Taiwan is a fascinating country and I am fortunate to have family living there so I visit each year to see them. I also have family living in Singapore so it is convenient to have a combined round trip. ...more



Bamburgh castle at dawn

Although the prime location for my photographic trip was Bamburgh, Northumberland I decided to stay in Richmond, Yorkshire, for a couple of days. I visited Joe Cornish's photographic exhibition at The Station, an old and very well preserved Victorian station in Richmond. In the exhibition there was the usual excellent display of British landscapes together with some images from Joe's travels to South Africa and Ladakh.
I spent a day in Swaledale, mostly above the Crackpot Hall ruin. Whilst there I wandered over to some of the old mine workings at Keld, evidence of a long-gone industry. It was remarkable how the miners and workforce laboured in such remote and difficult conditions. The sun was setting to the west of Swaledale, gradually darkening the hillside below me, which was not ideal. ...more



Danby Rigg over Little Fryup Dale
In late August I spent a week in Egton, near Whitby, on the North Yorkshire Moors. I particularly wanted to see, and photograph, the moorland heather in full bloom - I was not disappointed. On the journey up from Kent I visited the Joe Cornish gallery in Northallerton and viewed his excellent display of photographs, and those of other photographers now exhibiting in the gallery. I enjoyed a few days in Ilkley in Wharfedale, where I walked the trails along the river by Bolton Abbey and into the Valley of Desolation. ...more



Fishermen's huts beneath the Redcar steelworks.
Like many landscape photographers I love to visit Yorkshire to enjoy the numerous photographic opportunities that the county has to offer. There are several, in fact many, iconic locations. They cannot be resisted because of their magic, particularly under the right lighting conditions. Although I am always seeking out new areas to photograph I do occasionally re-visit some of these same locations, at different times of the year and day - like seeing an old friend in a different light.

Most of my photography was undertaken in the North Yorkshire Moors at the coast and near Roseberry Topping. A photographic trip to Yorkshire would not be complete without a visit to the Dales. I travelled to Swaledale and managed to photograph the barns [see gallery] at the top of the dale near Keld in between snow showers. I met only one other photographer who startled my concentration when he called out, "Are you waiting for some light on that hillside from a break in the clouds?" Unfortunately the light was not too kind to me during my two hours at that location - a good reason for another visit. ...more



Entrance to the sanatorium.
I had read articles and seen photographs of the ruined buildings, which are part of Beelitz-Heilstatten near Berlin. Although I am by no means an urban photographic warrior I was intrigued by these old buildings and the photographic opportunities. Through The Royal Photographic Society I was in contact with a local member photographer Grahame Soden ARPS, who organised the visit, and also to other locations. ...more