Hello and welcome back to my blog posts. I am using the start of the new year to make some changes to my own website and social media. I have decided to start again with my website as I was never really fully happy with the layout and content. After talking to a few other photographers who have created similar content or had the same idea, I have been inspired to take this opportunity to create a fresh start.
Firstly, let's go back for a brief description about myself.
I served eight years in the British Army, completing tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan with The King's Royal Hussars.
During my last tour of service, which was in Afghanistan, I was injured by a rocket attack after three weeks in the country. This left me with lifelong neurological memory loss and vision impairment. The years that followed were dedicated to rehabilitation, both at home with my family and with military services such as Blind Veterans UK and Blasma. It was during my time with Blind Veterans UK, particularly with a staff member named Dave, that my interest in photography was sparked. Due to my love for the outdoors and my newfound passion for photography, landscape photography naturally became a significant part of my life. Living near the Peak District National Park, I had the perfect opportunity to pursue this new goal in my life.
Landscape photography has become my personal form of rehabilitation, and I can't believe it, but I have been photographing and exploring the Peak District National Park for over a decade now. This part of the country has truly been fantastic for me and continues to be my playground.
Prior to the pandemic, I also volunteered on an annual basis at either the Veterans Uk charity building in North Wales or the Brighton branch. The issue was never addressed again after the pandemic, which is quite unfortunate, but hopefully this will change in the future.
Now I help individuals on a one-to-one basis, teaching them how to learn the basics and fundamentals of landscape photography, or refresh old skills. This sometimes happens on my own or associated with the Dronfield Hall Barn, but it is on my own or with friends taking photos in the Peak District National Park. This is what I really enjoy the most, and I continue to feel great when doing so.
As a result of a tripod accident while on the Isle of Skye, I became associated with Vanguard photo UK. After spending a considerable amount of money on a good tripod for this trip, it quickly broke down during the trip, leaving me very frustrated. After this time, I was approached by Vanguard, and I continue to use their tripods and camera bags during my landscape photography adventures. I highly recommend Vanguard and continue to be a proud ambassador for their products including camera bags, rucksacks, tripods, monopods, accessories, spotting scopes, and binoculars. In fact, I’ve always been truly grateful as Vanguard was the first group to give me the title ambassador, which makes you very proud as Photographer.
You can use my affiliate code for 10% off all Vanguard products by clicking the image above.
All photographers remember the excitement of owning their first camera. The dread of not knowing how to use it correctly combined with the excitement of just wanting to get out and take photographs combined makes it all a very overwhelming time. For me this began with a Fuji film bridge camera which at the time was fantastic. However by the time I decided that landscape photography was the route I was going to take this bridge camera just wasn't right for me and my needs. Therefore I opted to go down the Canon route more specifically the Canon 550 D. unfortunately this camera just wasn't right and again it didn't take long for me to come across with the Canon 5D mark 3 and everything felt fantastic. For many years this camera was a workhorse photographing across the world and the Peak District National Park. Photo trips across America Iceland Europe there was nothing wrong with this camera apart from one minor issue and that was the weight and size. Which is why when I received some slight damage to the camera it made perfect sense to then look for a different system. Something easy to use with more modern technology and a lightweight body this came from the form of the Fuji film XT 3.
The lightweight camera combined with focus peeking and an easy to use menu made my photography so much easier and more enjoyable. At last I could Focus so much more using the peeking system in a coloured arrangement of my choice to suit my surroundings Plus it was so easy to use with my already known knowledge into landscape photography. I can't believe it but I've been using the Fuji film XT3 now for over two years and it feels fantastic. Although there's only one system that would change this that would be going slightly bigger with the Fuji film GFX which is the plan one day in the future.
Kase Filters UK
In the beginning of my journey into landscape photography, I didn't give much importance to filter systems, which was a big mistake. It took practice and a desire to improve my imagery to realise that filters can greatly enhance the results. While taking photos in bright daylight may not require filters, low light situations like sunrise and sunset, or long exposure shots, definitely benefit from them.
I made the mistake of thinking I could achieve good results with cheap and low-quality filters or a system that wasn't suitable for my needs. However, when I discovered Kase filters, my photography improved significantly. Kase filters, introduced to me by my friend and fellow photographer James Pictures, were a game-changer. James was one of the first photographers in the UK market from China, and I have been using them ever since.
I started with the Square Glass system from Kase, and I had no issues with these filters. Recently, I had the opportunity to try the revolution magnetic system, and I was blown away. These filters are user-friendly, and the magnetic attachment system is fantastic. I am now a big fan of Kase filters and highly recommend them, along with their other products. However, it's important to find the system that works best for you, so I encourage you to check them out and decide for yourself therefore you will be capturing with confidence.
photographing and video with a drone and capturing unique perspectives. It adds a new dimension to my photography and allows me to explore creativity in ways I couldn't before.
Despite my initial reservations, flying a drone has become a fun and rewarding hobby. It's exhilarating to see the world from above and discover hidden details that are often missed from ground level. I've captured stunning aerial shots of landscapes, architecture, and even events. It's like having my own personal aerial photographer.
Of course, there are challenges and limitations. As I mentioned earlier, my eyesight restricts me from becoming an expert drone pilot. I have to rely heavily on the drone's camera feed and sometimes it's difficult to navigate in complex or crowded areas. Safety is always a top priority, and I make sure to follow all regulations and guidelines to ensure a responsible flight.
But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Owning a drone has expanded my photographic horizons and allowed me to express my creativity in new ways. It has also sparked a curiosity in aerial videography, and I'm excited to explore that further in the future.
So, while owning a drone may not have been something I initially envisioned for myself, I'm glad I took the leap. It has opened up a world of possibilities and added a unique touch to my photography. I look forward to the adventures and perspectives that lie ahead with my trusty drone by my side.
Bringing this first blog to a natural end, I want to say thank you to everyone who checks this out, and you can be assured there are many adventures and plans coming soon
Watch this space.