Wednesday, 13 December 2017

a cunning plan

13th December 2017, at home, 1pm

Bessie is Daisy's sister and has come to stay again.  As it was raining outside I took some photos in the house.

 13th December 2017, Beadnell Bay, 2pm

We watched the rain radar and headed out just as the rain stopped.  I love it when a plan comes together and we had a brilliant blue-sky walk with Beadnell Bay all to ourselves.

Bessie again...

Monday, 11 December 2017


11th December 2017, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

Heading down to the sea just before dawn on a cold and frosty morning.

I love an allegorical signpost for a Monday morning.

Anyway we chose our path and although the Skaith was half frozen the river was still flowing down into the sea.  Oh, is that another allegory for a day when a bit of normal winter weather has caused a media frenzy and chaos across the country?

11th December 2017, Embleton Bay, 10am

A passing snow storm...

11th December 2017, Christon Bank, 3pm

Sunset light in the local woods.  These two trees are beautifully curvy - it's odd that they have copied each other.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

noticing patterns

10th December 2017, Newton Point and Low Newton, 8am

A late night last night but I was up and out before the sun. It was -5C but there was no wind so it was a beautiful frozen world.

It seems the gulls sit on the sea and try to ride out most waves but if there's a big one going to break on top of them they take to the air. They seem to play a merry dance with the breakers.

Once you notice the pattern in the behaviour the rest is patience and timing.

Not all share patience for this sort of thing...

Portraits of a frozen landscape: Wandering the frozen coast at -5C early on a winter morning can be a joy if you're wearing the right clothes!

The wind had dropped away and a heavy frost lay across the grass of the dunes, the seaweed on the sand and the leaves among the trees. Once I saw one pattern, I saw patterns everywhere.

The exmoor ponies must have had a chilly night but they're designed for much colder conditions than a bit of frost!

Back to the beach for a last look at the sea lit by the morning sun before heading home for breakfast

10th December 2017, Howick, 3pm

At this time of year we enjoy a winter walk around the grounds of Howick Hall.  Last year I started to photograph the winter vegetation and the beautiful frozen leaves but there were so many I had to walk away.

Same thing this year...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

waves part 2

9th December 2017, Craster shore, 8am

I wanted to find a location a bit closer to the action.  Just N of Dunstanburgh Castle, the waves were huge but cold and grey as they were in the shadow of the castle's crag.

Further on past the castle I saw the angle I wanted.

The sky was building up to a brilliant sunrise and it would have been nice to see the effect of the new light across the sea.

Sadly life got in the way and I had to turn for home before the sun came up.

A last look back at the sunrise sky as we headed home...

Friday, 8 December 2017


8th December 2017, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

We were at the beach far too early for sunrise (it was due at 8:20am).  It wasn't a problem as I love to be on the beach as the darkness fades and the light comes over the landscape and the sea.

It was -1C but at least the stiff breeze was behind the dunes.

I sat on the freezing dune and looked out over the sea. It was 20 minutes before sunrise but how many times have I photographed the sunrise at Embleton Bay and Dunstanburgh Castle? (don't answer that!)

As usual my challenge was to find a different angle - what's today's story - how can I make a photograph that captures the atmosphere unique to today? I noticed the waves rolling in and thought it was worth having a look through the 600mm telephoto lens I happened to have with me this morning. When I saw the composition through this lens I saw the photograph for today.

I knew I could capture the waves technically, now the new challenge was timing. I could see a flash of light on the wall of the wave just before it broke and this was the moment I wanted to have in my photograph.

I sat there snapping away watching wave after wave rolling in to the bay until my fingers got so cold I had to call it a day.

We were there long enough that the sun rose and changed the light completely. By then we were on the beach so Daisy could have a run about so the angle changed too.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

moving to the right

6th December 2017, Dunstanburgh, 7:30am

Sunrise is now well to SE (or to the right of the castle from this angle) as we get towards the winter solstice.   It will be February before the sun comes back to shine through the castle windows.

Two very different alternative photographs of the same view...

7th December 2017, Christon Bank, 2pm

Daisy does like to stick her nose through a gate...

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My Morning World

5th December 2017, Embleton Bay, 7:30am

Before the sunrise

Here's the view in a panoramic video...

Down on the sand and the pre-sunrise sky was beautifully reflected on the wet sand.  

It needed a little something though...

5th December 2017, nr Chatton, 10am

I lead an archaeology walk every week for holidaymakers staying at the HPB complex at Lucker Hall. Today's light was extraordinary and revealed more details of the carvings than I had seen before.

These are neolithic (ca 4,000 years old?) and are very precious reminders of a group of people long gone from this place.  They are mysterious and wonderful to behold.