Well that was interesting, and maybe even a little encouraging: after failing to blog properly for the last couple of months, I notice that the visits to the site are down a bit. Thank you! And thank you to Paul for keeping it alive while Andy is in India and I have been doing other things.
The trouble, as any regular blogger knows, is that if things slip a few weeks, too much happens in the interim to recall. But here are some highlights I can remember. First there was a fantastic trip to GDT in Lünen where I was a speaker.
Much more on the Festival – perhaps my favourite gig, here. The GDT is an extremely kind and generous host. Incidentally, the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 competition was the finest competition selection I have seen, bar none: this sentiment was shared with some of those very familiar with VWPOTY. Here are the winners.
After Germany there was a visit to Charlotte’s parents in the Morvan in France, with its stunning natural forests of beech and sweet chestnut and a first outing for my new Nikkor 16 -35 mm and 70 – 200 mm. These were to replace lenses now over 10 years old and are a delight to use. If you’ve read about the 16 – 35 mm’s awful barrel distortion, it’s quite true – and remedied at the click of a mouse in Lightroom 3′s Lens Corrections panel.
There have been several group and one to one workshops. The most memorable moment: trying to coordinate 10 people in the dark to photograph these standing stones when few were comfortable finding there way round their cameras in daylight. But we managed!
Then winter came in two instalments and thanks to the Weissenfels Rex TR snow chains for my VW campervan, I wasn’t stuck at home. The van is usually completely incapable on anything other than blacktop free of mud, ice or wet leaves, but with the snow chains on the driving (front) wheels, I can ascend 16% slopes of hard packed snow easily. They are not cheap, but then again, neither is several days away from work. Perhaps its about time there was a general realisation that it’s a mistake to rely on the authorities to keep us moving and take on some of that responsibility ourselves.
Right now I’m in the middle of an intense period of researching and writing 60, 300 word captions for an exhibition of underwater photography at the Edinburgh Science Festival. So, it is 5.30 am starts again and lots of new things to learn. The Senja trip for Northshots in February/March to photograph the aurora borealis is on and we still have a couple of places: please contact Pete or Amanda very soon if you would like to book. We are putting together some other tours and workshops, more on which will follow.
Owing to the amount of writing that’s on at the moment, there’s not much serious photography happening. That may well result in more of this sort of nonsense that I can shoot at home.
Finally, I was flattered and pleased to be judged by Outdoor Photography Magazine as one of the 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers working today (someone try telling that to my children!) Steve Watkins ‘ willingness to publish my more off-beat photography and ideas would in no small part be responsible for making any sort of influence a possibility.