Tag Archives: nature

Animals and Birds

On my birthday, very many moons ago, we went to Alvaston Castle in Derbyshire so I could practice with my new 21mm Zeiss lens. This is part of the stable block and I was quite pleased with it until Jan said, “It needs a cat.” It did indeed and now it’s got a cat, a rabbit, a textured layer and a modicum of faffing.
Cook Will be Pleased! was accepted into twelve FIAP Salons and won a Silver Medal, an Honourable Mention and a Highly Commended.

One of my few ‘straight’ nature shots to make any impression on the judges.
Tree Sparrow was accepted into one FIAP Salons.

This sky-gazing grey heron was at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire and the blasted trees were at Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk. When they came together it snowed on them.
Keeping an Eye on the Weather was accepted into two FIAP Salons.

Early Portraits

This little group of portraits is a fair representation of where I was at photographically back in 2014 and in pursuit of my first accreditation of AFIAP. In the Pink (top left) and Grunge and Roses (centre) were taken at a workshop where all I was required to do was turn up, know enough to turn the camera on and click the button. Cabaret (top right) came from a lighting workshop. I thought I was doing pretty well to convert it to black-and-white and add a little smoke. Love Amongst the Ruins (bottom left) is an older shot, taken in the studio at university in my second year and later amalgamated with a shot from Stratford-on-Avon. It was my first nude shoot (not me, the models) and they kept their pants on to preserve their modesty. It was only when I viewed the shots later that I realised the flash had rendered his posing pouch transparent. Hello, Old Friend (bottom right) was a lovely moment on a nature reserve where Jan was feeding the robin on her hand; it seemed to strike a chord with judges as it won a Gold Medal in one of the BPE Salons (another story) and came second in the Nature category in the British Wildlife Exhibition.
All Nikon shots, except Love Amongst the Ruins, which was taken with a Leica.

In the Pink was accepted into three Salons
Cabaret was accepted into fourteen Salons and won an Honourable Mention
Grunge and Roses was accepted into three Salons
Love Amongst the Ruins was accepted into five Salons and won a Silver medal and an Honourable Mention
Hello, Old Friend was accepted into four Salons

I’m Walking in Sunshine …

Horrible as the idea of lockdown is, it has had some positive energy, as well. Lots of household ‘I’ll get round to it one day’ – type jobs got done; I’ve finally made a start on cataloguing my photographs and finished my first novel, Circles of Confusion’.
Nevertheless, the relaxing of the Draconian rules (a little) and the advent of some glorious weather has come as a welcome respite, allowing us to get out in the sunshine and hunt for mini beasties.
Clockwise from top left: Mother Shipton moth, Tree Bumblebee, Orange Tip butterfly,Burnet Companion and Common Blue butterfly.

A Walk on the Wild Side

Long before I ever set foot in a studio and long before I retired from work to go to university, I cut my photography teeth on nature and wildlife in the nature reserves of the East Midlands and surrounding counties. Spending a day in winter finding and watching birds or, in summer, hunting for butterflies, moths and insects remains one of my abiding passions.
When it comes to wildlife competitive photography, I have only intermittent success, pitted as I am against some of the wonders of the wider world. My domestic animals struggle to hold their own against monkeys in frozen ponds, horses in the Camargue and the many exotic beasts seen on safari.
Every now and then, however, one of my favourite pictures will do well at one of the International Salons and it gives me that little extra bit of pleasure to know they’re having their moment in the sunlight.
The five pictures here were all successful in my first year of competing for the accreditation of AFIAP.

Mating Migrant Hawkers was accepted into two Salons
Broad Bodied Chaser was accepted into two Salons
Brown Hare Running was accepted into four Salons
Brimstone on Scabious was accepted into four Salons
A Wasp Masticating was accepted into eight Salons