Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've just gone through the pains of replacing my computer. My main frame was making so much hard drive noise and running so slowly that it was high time I moved forward from XP and 2gb of ram. I now have a Intel i5 processor with 8gb of ram which should suffice for a few years. Suddenly I am able to construct images that I could not have hoped for in the past and this image from the cave at Menachurch Point will be my biggest ever photograph once it is completed.
This constructed photograph is made up of 116 separate frames, many of which were triplicates of the same part where I would use my hand or dodging tool to remove flare; then skillfully merged together in Photoshop layers (minus the fingers). I will be able to get this 1.5gb file printed fine-art high-quality to at least 5 foot or 1.5 metres. An earlier 'snapshot' version is below.
This cave is of particular interest to me; lying at the edge of North Cornwall AONB at Hartland it is the spot where the RFA Green Ranger came to rest after it's shipwreck at Gunpath Rock in 1962.
Green Ranger - copyright unknown
Oops! Hopefully nobody noticed, the shipwrech at Menachurch Point is actually the 1,925 ton steamship "Belem" stranded in thick fog here on 20th November 1917. I've included a picture of some of the remains at the bottom of this blog post. There ought to still be something left of the Green Ranger further up the coast - I shall have to explore soon!
I'll be leading a photographic workshop 'Sea Caves, Shipwrecks and the Rocky Shore' here on Thursday 1st November, exploring this and many other caves and what is left of the Green Ranger (see below). You'll get a good introduction to my own photography whilst learning how to make the best of your own including using your camera under demanding landscape and lighting. Price for the day is £50, please email me to book a place:

Other Autumn Workshops include:

Introduction to digital photography - £50
A practical days workshop learning to gain control over your camera, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO, flash etc, setting it up for optimum quality under any given lighting, and making better pictures through composition. Numbers limited to a hand-full. I also offer it on a 1:1 basis for ½ a day for £75
Saturday 20th October in Bideford (10am - 5pm)
Thursday 25th October in Exeter (11am - 6pm)
Monday 26th November in Barnstaple (11am - 6pm)

Half Day Intro to digital photography - £25
A 'sit around the table' workshop to get to know your camera better. You'll learn about shutter speeds, aperture, ISO, flash and setting your camera up for optimum quality.
Monday 29th October in Barnstaple 3.00pm - 5.30pm
Friday 16th November in Bideford 2.00pm - 4.30pm

Photographing your own Artwork 11am - 6pm - £50
I have a wealth of knowledge and experience of photographing 2D artwork, jewellery and ceramics and I'm willing to pass this on to artists eager to improve their own image making camera skills. Although this workshop is for a small group (max 5) I also offer it on a 1:1 basis for ½ a day for £75, or I can deliver the workshop in your own home or studio anywhere in Devon for £100
Course Description pdf
Tuesday 30th October in Bideford
Saturday 24th November in Bideford

Painting with Light - £25
Celebrate the start of the dark winter nights on Westward Ho! beach. There will be natural light from an almost full moon and I will provide torches with coloured lights, flash lights and flame. You will just need to bring your camera with fully charged battery (please check with me beforehand that it can take a long exposure). A tripod would also be very useful but some of these will be provided. A cameraless friend can come along for free if they are happy be a torch bearer and do not mind dancing around with a light source.
Painting with Light pdf
Sunday 28th October at Westward Ho! (6.30pm - 9pm)
Wednesday 28th November at Westward Ho! (6.30pm - 9pm)
*Christmas Specials* Thursday 22nd November Workshop based around Barnstaple Christmas Lights and Fireworks - (4pm - 7.30pm)
Sunday 2nd December Workshop based around Bideford Christmas Lights and Fireworks - (4pm - 7.30pm)

Introduction to Photoshop 11am – 6pm - £50
Opening an image file and adjusting levels, contrast, brightness and colour balance. Rotating, resizing and cropping an image. Placing an image or images into a new file. Using layers and history. Participants will need to be computer literate i.e. use a computer on regular basis and understand the basic controls. Small group (max 4). I also offer it on a 1:1 basis for £150, or I can deliver the workshop in your own home or studio anywhere in Devon for £175
Wednesday 31st October in Bideford

Remains of the shipwreck 'Belem' 1917

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lands End

Light is both the most important thing for for a photographer and often the most difficult. I spent a couple of days in West Cornwall doing some research for Graveyard of the Atlantic and making some new images. The one above is a snapshot, a sketch, its a recording of somewhere I might return to and make a proper photograph. I was waiting for the tide to go out fully at Nanjizal Cave, south of Lands End, so I had a quick look around the rest of the beach. This one was mined sometime in it's past. I always us natural light in these photographs of caves which can be very tricky as this animation demonstrates!
The end result is a combination of most of the 21 frames. I find that you can't simply make a picture like this using HDR. All of these photos are shot in RAW, processed to jpeg, them loaded into Photoshop layers and manually combined.