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Happy New Year 2020 Review & Beyond

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Reflections Of The Future

Reflecting is something we all tend to do at this time of the year. As I started to write I realised I found myself wondering whether or not Welcome is the right heading for the start of a newsletter. After all your not actually going anywhere, you didn’t arrive here. It happens to fit in nicely with the whole year Nobody arrived anywhere. Yet I welcomed a staggering number of new members to our growing photography community on YouTube.

I had a good number of bookings for talks at local and not so local camera clubs. Finger gate stopped the first few (If you don’t understand finger gate check out the January / February videos on YouTube), and we all know what stopped the rest. But wow! I could not have predicted how much in demand there would be for my Zoom Talks. So much so that I have been fully booked from September and will be up until Mid June. And to be honest, although I enjoy giving live local talks, I’m going to miss speaking to new clubs and new people every week. If you have ideas about how this can continue - answers on a postcard, please!

Reflections of the future - a strange title but is it. I have already touched on it with Zoom. Our enforced separation has in many ways brought us all closer as a community of photographers. Engaging through platforms like Zoom, using social media to be social, bringing like-minded groups of people together who would not normally engage with each other has to be the future. A world without borders and capable of motivating people to achieve great things. In my small corner, I will still try to pass on my knowledge, passion and skills to the photographic community that has given me so much in 2020. I will return the favour in 2021.


Favourite Photographs from 2020

Its only fitting in a photography Newsletter to include some photographs. I have been really pleased with the photographs I have taken. Despite plans for another week-long photography trip North in search of mountains my local National Park Dartmoor where I am lucky enough to live has delivered some wonderful experiences and I have started to spend a little more time on the coast. Something I must do more of in 2021.

I have started focusing more on taking the photographs I like, thinking less about photographic rules, norms and accepted practices, and working more on developing a deeper understanding of the landscape and communicating this through the lens

There are so many photographs I could share it was hard to know where to start. The ones I have selected best illustrated the points I am trying to make.


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Ditsworthy Warren House in the Mist. I really enjoyed making this photograph, the conditions were grim. But without embracing these conditions the photograph would never have been taken. It’s all the better for struggling with keeping camera and lens dry. Getting the exposure right so I had everything capture to enable me to complete the story in Lightroom. The gateway invited you into the scene, and the trees recede and draw you into the scene giving a sense of depth.

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It was once again unique conditions that allowed me to capture this scene looking towards North Hessary Tor. The play of light on the landscape and clouds was stunning. It was dynamic constantly changing landscape, taken in a frenzy of activity, never leaving me exactly sure if I had captured the moment. But I’m delighted with the final photograph the layers of light, subtle diagonals and warm dawn colours really take me back to the moment.

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I often find Autumn colours elusive and difficult to capture. I find myself looking at other photographers work in envy. Well, I have tried to throw away preconceived ideas this year and shoot what I love. Not worrying too much about if it works or not. Surprisingly this approach has left me with far better results, and a few fails. This photograph shows my connection with what attracted me to the landscape, a simple reflection, rivulets of bubbles gently flowing over the mirror-like surface. All I had to do was turn up and set the right shutter speed.

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Not my best photograph this year, but I want to spend more time on the coast in 2021. Something I have not done enough of since starting the Dartmoor 20 project 10 years ago. I have lots of location scouting to do. The coast is far more sensitive to the direction one position of the rising and setting sun, so a new challenge with the added complication of shifting tides to factor in.