For the second day in a row, despite a brief sojourn inland, I spent the day on the coast. I was generally heading for a familiar spot some 50 miles north of where I was yesterday. A spot I got lucky at a couple of years ago.

A different kind of light and, with the slight cloud cover a different vibe altogether. The harbour was really peaceful and, without the stiff wind of yesterday, it was almost balmy to sit out the light there.
And, relax...

...And there was light

A couple of weeks ago, I had a day where the light was just amazing. The spiral arms of a nearby typhoon had sucked away the haze and brought the kind of clarity we sometimes get on the brighter winter days. The breeze was both stiff enough and cool enough to remind me that winter really is just around the corner, and strong enough to whip up waves and spray. It was inevitable that I would get cold sitting out the light at the end of the day and, at some point, a soaking too.

All I can say is, it was worth it... and thank the lord for weather-proofed cameras!

Gig guides

The other day, I got talking to a good friend of mine about gigs. We're both into music, she likes going to concerts now and, wherever she goes in the world, she checks out the local scene, and gets herself along to whatever she can. These days, I'm not so active, though I do keep an eye on what's happening in town and, if something fits with my schedule, I do try and take it in.

There was a time, though, when barely a week went by where I didn't see at least one live concert, often there were more. There were some occasions where, in the course of a single week, I saw a different band every night, and at least a couple of occasions where, over a number of weeks, I saw the same band every night.

Apart from when I was following my favourites date for date on nationwide tours, my approach to gig going was a bit scattergun. Luckily I had a couple of 'specialists' to offer me up some guidance. One, an old rocker, nurtured my initial love of rock music (as I swung vio…

Grey day

Last week a free day opened up on my calendar and I immediately made plans to spend it with my camera. Unfortunately, it turned out that the weather wasn't going to be great - bright start, cloudy later, maybe rain - and I couldn't help but be a little disappointed.

Then I remembered an exchange I'd read in a Facebook group a little while ago. One photographer was ruing the inclement weather, and talking about changing plans. Another was extolling the virtues of shooting on overcast days. His angle was the soft, even light a little cloud cover can bring. Allowing you to really open up the capabilities of both camera and photographer, he said. I hadn't given it that much thought before I read his words, but I was very interested in the point he was making.

Like most people I should imagine, I often think; 'right, what a lovely day, time for a walk...' and off I go to enjoy it. And depending on the conditions, I spend half the day fighting against the harsh glaring…

People, places, parties...

Photographically speaking, away from my beloved mountains oceans and sunsets, I am truly a fish out of water. Portraits in particular take me right out of my comfort zone. When people ask me why I don't take photos of people, I always say the same thing; mountains are more cooperative.

While that is undoubtedly true, it's not the real reason. The thing is, despite my age, I'm a beginner. I'm new to the photography game. I'm not, however, new to the mountains, oceans and sunsets game. I've been watching those for years. They've been my passion since as long as I can remember, and now I capture them so that I can remember them for longer.

When the camera arrived, it seemed natural for me to point it at the hills and, already having the drive to explore and discover, it was a natural fit. Walkers have their gear; the boots, the rucksack, gaiters, compass, head-torch, and so on. The camera was just another piece of gear. Luckily, beauty was always one of the thin…

Slowing down

It's interesting, when I first started carrying a camera, what six years ago now, I thought I might not use it much. I thought it would just slow me down, and mentally I had already rejected it before its debut. I thought it would, you know, end up forgotten in the bottom of some rucksack pocket, with a travel tin of nikwax, some old puritabs, and a half-eaten bar of mint cake. It was a present, though, so I did make the effort to carry it and, on my next jaunt to the Peak District, actually to use it.

It was fine; it didn't slow me down. When I paused to have a drink, I paused to take a couple of snaps as well. I looked at some shots on the back of the camera. They looked okay, I didn't get too excited.

A few weeks later, after several trips out, I realised one day that the memory card was full. I clearly wasn't into it yet... it had never occured to me to move the photos to the pc, never mind process them. One rainy afternoon, I did finally move them and I did process …


A friend asked me the other day, on having seen a few of my shots on here, what's with all the sunsets, Matt, you seem a bit obsessed? Yeah, probably, I love them, mate, was my rather vague reply. He just kind of nodded and that was that. A topic left undiscussed.

I'm sure he sensed a reluctance to discuss the topic hidden somewhere in my vagueness, but he didn't dig any deeper with his enquiry, and look for the reason behind it. If he did dig deeper without vocalising, and I'm guessing here, he must have thought I was a little embarrassed to reveal my sensitive side and, like when you have a little look at a scab that's not quite ready for shedding, he decided to leave it.

Well, those who know me well, know that although I frequently embarrass myself (sigh*), I do not have any particular worries about revealing my sensitive side (they might consider that perhaps I should [again, sigh*).

To be honest, it wasn't so much a 'reluctance' that stopped me fleshi…