This section of the site is devoted to a personal challenge I decided to set myself in order to keep me thinking. The challenge is to make a small series of 5 images on the same topic. It can be any topic at all, but the series must have 5 good solid images that form a coherent thread.
8. Black & White
As someone who loves colour it feels unnatural to me to shoot in black and white or convert images to black and white. I have very little experience of shooting in monochrome and it requires as much thought as any other method. For me it works best with strong contrasting scenes, some scenes really do 'call out' to me to try a black and white conversion though I confess they were rarely shot with this in mind. I do feel that the small gallery below represents a good solid collection for the series 5 project.
7. Winter Ice Wonders
There are many things to dislike about the Canadian winter, but there are also many things to love. I think my favourite by far would have to be the ice formations. Ice like we never see at home, its staggering depth and vibrant blue hues pierce the winter white and demand you make an image. Over the years I have shot so many icy Canadian images I thought it was time to choose five for my collections page. These five shots were taken over a span of 6 years but to be honest I could have shot them all each year. The ice here is a true wonder of nature and for me one of the very best things about a Canadian winter.
6. The City of York, England
The city of York lies in the beautiful county of North Yorkshire, England. Founded by the Romans in 71 AD it is a wonderful place. There are great rail links into the heart of the city making a day trip from london an easy outing. I love York, I worked in the city for many years and walked the city walls hundreds of times. The 'Shambles' is a medieval shopping shopping street which whisks you back to the 14th century with ease. The Minster is an incredible structure which dominates the city, the castle, old towers, viking museum, St Mary's Abbey, the river cruises and shopping will ensure your trip leaves you wanting more. There's an endless number of photographic opportunities in the city so choosing 5 shots made me focus hard on the elements I enjoy, but ultimately it restricts your view of the city. The only way you can really enjoy York is to go there, so if you are in the UK or visiting the UK, take a trip to York, you won't be disappointed.
5. Aurora Borealis
There is no other sight we know of that is quite like an Aurora sweeping across the night sky. Incredible colours burst from the darkness and dance beneath the stars like performers on the world's biggest stage. In my youth I longed to see the phenomenon but never dreamed it would become a regular occurrence for me in later life. From my balcony at home I see the aurora frequently and on occasion have travelled locally to shoot it too, but to be honest, with such great shows from home there's little incentive to go far.
4. Bring Me Sunshine
Sunset is a magical time of day, a time when that wonderful light spreads warmth and long shadows across your landscapes bringing them to life. On occasion I have found that the sunset itself is enough to make an image, not landscapes illuminated by the light, just the light itself. So this gallery is dedicated to those wonderful sunsets that just have to be captured, even if you don't have the landscape to accompany it.
3. Garden Colours
Some time ago I made a natural looking bird feeder in my garden. Obviously as a photographer I was thinking of shooting some of the visitors, so I placed the dead stump close to the house and beside a window. The results speak for themselves, no matter what the season these wonderful creatures will be there posing for the camera. It was difficult to choose just 5 images because of the variety available, but ultimately I thought a nice mix of colours and seasons would do the job. I'm no ornithologist but as a practice topic that comes right to your door it's difficult to beat these little guys. So, if you're seeking a year round practice topic you could do worse than build yourself a bird feeder, what I would say is to make it look natural and have areas where the birds will perch naturally without view of the feeders themselves. I've captioned the images for those unfamiliar with Canadian birds.
2. Tell It To The Trees
Trees have always been a favourite topic of mine so it wasn't too difficult to pick out 5 images for this series, if anything I had difficulty deciding which ones to leave out. Spanning almost a decade this small collection takes in the coastal cloud forest of British Columbia, the Giant Redwoods of Northern California, the mountains of Kananaskis Alberta and the plains of southern Kansas. Each image warms my heart a little when I relive the associated memories.
1. A Day At The Zoo
This series gives a different perspective on a very old topic. I got the idea during a 52 week challenge when I made the zebra image in the gallery below and thought to myself, this approach might make a great small collection. With that in mind I made another shot each time I visited the zoo with family or friends. I'm really happy with the way they turned out and will definitely continue to do this during future visits, in fact I may even make a specific visit to really do justice to the idea. You can learn more about filling the frame in my photographic composition section covering 18 basic composition elements.