Close Encounters of the Greylag Goose Kind

Greylag Goose Portrait

But who is this creature with monstrous wings on its waterproof back? It has knobbly knees and a long stretchy neck and has terrible teeth in its terrible beak; its feet are webbed, its eyes are black. "Oh help, oh no its a Greylag Goose!"


If you're not familiar with the borrowed and adapted lines above, you've probably not read the Gruffalo (yet). For the last year or so everywhere we take our 2¾ year old involves either a great big bear (hunt) or the Gruffalo!


Observing the imagination at this age is a beautiful and inspiring thing. But when you visit a place like Slimbridge Wetland Centre, as we did last year, you don't need too much imagination to have a wild time!
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Dipper Fledgling on the Wharfe

Here's a short video of a Dipper fledgling being fed by a parent. The footage was shot just over a week ago along the River Wharfe.

Happy World Pinhole Photography Day

Pinhole Camera made out of Canon 5D

It may be the Tour de Yorkshire weekend but today is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Last year I made myself my own digital pinhole camera with an old Canon 5D (mark I). Here are the results... Read more

Wildlife Diary: Burley Bursting with Life

Blackcap singing on branch



It was the last couple of hours I had free before I had to head to London, and I knew exactly where I spending them. This was the last chance I'd get this year to photograph the toads gathering and mating up on Ilkley Moor.


I had already made two previous trips but the conditions were poor. I was hoping that this time it might be third time lucky and the conditions might just be right... for the next couple of hours at least. As I dreamed of the award winning photos awaiting me up on Ilkley Moor, I jumped in the car and turned the key in the ignition... Nothing. I tried turning the key again... and again... and again. The car was not going to start and I did not have enough time to walk.


Frustrated and annoyed I accepted defeat but by now I really needed to unravel the rage that was gripping me. At this moment, there was only one place that could release me from my monsters. The river. Read more

Stuck in the Middle of Middleham Moor

Horse jump, fence Middleham Moor
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "there's worse places to be stuck than on Middleham Moor..."

A train stuck between two stations after someone's nicked the copper from the railway line?
Stuck in the city, waiting for the night bus among a crowd of strangers who've evidently had a better night than you?
Or stuck in the ninth circle of hell, also known as the M25?!


Yes, there are indeed hundreds of worse places to be stuck but getting stuck; like getting lost, can sometimes be a good thing. Read more

Good Photos from Bad Weather

Dramatic landscape with strong light and shadows

Walking up a hill in driving wind, rain, sleet and snow might not be everyone's idea of a fun morning but I actually find it quite exhilarating!


On this occasion, the motivation behind my "mad dogs and Englishmen" behaviour is to make a Youtube video demonstrating how bad weather can produce cracking photos.


The result is a fantastic example of just how quickly the British weather can change...


Here's some of the photos from the morning...


Photo Book of the Month: Laura El-Tantawy's Post Script

Post-Script photo book by Laura El-Tantawy

"Standing in the Shadow of the Pyramids,
The beginning meets the end.
Here I choose to my bury my most valued possession,
In a place I once called home." - Laura El-Tantawy


I came across Laura El-Tantawy's work at last year's Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery. Although El-Tantawy didn't win the prize, for me, her work was the most engaging, topical and compelling of all the other shortlisted works... By a country mile. 
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Kingfisher in Flight

Here's an exciting clip of a kingfisher hovering in flight at our local pond...

Kingfisher hovering in flight animated gif


Photo Book of the Month: Tessa Bunney's Järvenjää/Lakeice

Lakeice, Tessa Bunney - Photo Book of the Month


Play the word association game with me and if you say Bradford, I'll say Impressions Gallery. I can't visit the city centre without a trip to this special photography gallery.


So when we recently traveled to Bradford registry to record the birth of our newborn boy, of course I dragged the family to check out the gallery's latest exhibition (Kurt Tong's 'The Queen, The Chairman and I'). After checking out the exhibition I took the customary browse around the book shop. Read more

A Sweet But All Too Short Affair With Royalty

Kingfisher caught mid-flight wings open
Despite being a keen naturalist from an early age, I've always tried to avoid wildlife photography. I found the idea of it too time consuming, too expensive, too niche and too competitive. Over the years however, slowly but surely I've found my camera pointing more and more at the natural world.


When I finally succumbed to the idea and began to actively seek wildlife to photograph, I promised myself that the one species I wouldn't pursue with my lens was the Kingfisher. I felt that this was a bird that had already been photographed from every possible angle and it would be impossible to find a new way of photographing it. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am, racing through village with my camera, hoping to catch a glimpse, anticipating that exhilarating flash of royal blue!

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