New Beginnings
October 16th 2020

After threatening to do so for the past five years, I finally decided to take the plunge and start a blog - as usual, a little late to the party as others are now moving to vlogging (the thought of which sends shivers of panic down my spine), but better late than never, I guess. In future months my blogs will likely cover me and my photographic adventures and mishaps, and potentially some post processing tutorials amongst other things but I felt the first blog offered a good opportunity to give a little background around my photography.

Photography first entered my life in a meaningful way whilst visiting Japan in 2009. Japan offers opportunity around every corner, from the people, culture and wildlife to the amazing buildings and scenery - a perfect place to cut my photographic teeth and it was there that my passion was initially ignited. However, it was another three years before upgrading to a DSLR and relocating to Yorkshire that landscape photography piqued my interest. The waterfalls of the Dales providing my initial inspiration before heading south and home to Dorset and the draw of shooting raging winter storms battering the rugged Jurassic coastline.

This will likely sound a little clichéd, but photography really has opened my eyes; as a kid growing up in Weymouth, the area offered very little in my eyes – “so boring, nothing to do!” was regularly blurted out at my parents. Photography changed that perspective, not only seeing and appreciating the beauty of Dorset from its rugged coastline to rolling hills and hidden woods, but to how much more there is out there. Trips through the countryside once saw me mentally mapping out potential golf holes, now replaced with visualising future image compositions. Photography has brought a lot of pleasure over the past 8 years; trips to amazing locations such as Iceland, Hawaii, Scotland and California and its awesome Yosemite Valley (top of my list for a return visit with my family), as well as being witness to some amazing sunrises and sunsets closer to home.

Scaleber Force Falls Ice Flow

There have however, been bumps along the way and some pretty epic fails. Marooned thigh-deep in clay, marooned on a rock caught out by an incredibly fast French tide rushing past me, marooned with no shelter as an electrical storm raged around me (there’s a theme here) and the one that stings most, a huge wipe-out on slippery rocks underneath Dunstanburgh Castle. A momentary lapse of concentration that left my camera, lens and filters in pieces and my arm limply dangling, removed from its usual location in my shoulder socket - the mile walk back to civilisation is not one I remember fondly.

In Between

2020 was a year I had grand plans for; the usual suspects, ‘get fit’, ‘eat more healthily’ were thrown out there with a host of photographic goals. I suppose I’ve always been a bit of an ‘armchair photographer’, plenty of research, much learning but fairly minimal activity on the actual photo taking front, even less processing and just a handful of new images each year so I was determined to be more active photographically. Unsurprisingly I guess, it’s been a very, very slow start for those resolutions but we’re finally moving forward; images are being processed and I am up and very nearly running with my blog, ten months later but that delay isn’t all bad. I’m fairly confident the work created recently would have been far less appealing if processed two or three years ago when taken. That patience, we’ll call it patience, has allowed me to develop and learn and the handful of images I have produced this year are among my favourite so far.

With my photo passion reignited, the next few weeks should see some autumnal woodland action followed by storm chasing along the Jurassic coast; there are so many locations I’ve yet to explore. Into next year, I’d love to give astrophotography a whirl and as unappealing as sleepless nights are to me, the quality of astro images being produced by local photographers is making it a serious temptation and a new challenge. My one previous attempt ended quickly, a combination of my neglect to research what I should be doing out in the dark and an overactive imagination flooding my head with thoughts of ghostly shipwrecked sailors in the crashing waves below; it’s pretty dark at Portland Bill when the lighthouse’s beam swings away from you!

Those following me on Social Media, will be well away that prolific is not a term commonly associated with my posting, so no need to fear me bouncing out blogs every few days, but if you have feedback, questions or ideas for future blog posts I would love to hear them.

Until next time, stay safe and happy shooting!

Autumnal Hooke
  • Dave Webb

    on October 16, 2020

    Absolutely stunning work Chris. It truly evokes the connection that you have with nature and draws others in to join you. Let me be, if not the first then among the first on this opening day of your blog to say that I'm looking forward to joining you on your blogging journey. I've been toying with doing the same, and likewise have put it off for so long. Yours perhaps is just the inspiration I needed. Thanks Chris and wishing you huge success.

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