Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 Captured

With 2012 fast disappearing in the rear view mirror I figured it’s a great time to look back and see how it stacked up…

Going through my photo archive brought some memories back which I’d filed deep away. It’s probably one of the understatements of the year but I’d say it’s been quite a challenging year as a photog! That said, I’ve added plenty of images to many of my portfolios from climbing through heritage and travel. I even started a new category of Olympic sports although I’m confident though that that particular portfolio won’t see any new additions anytime soon!

Climbing wise, the year started and finished bizarrely with Rowter Rocks. I say bizarrely because it’s some coincidence that my first and last outside climbing trips were at this off-the-beaten-track venue. As a photog I’m always really keen to explore new venues and this year it’s been some of these ‘new’ venues which has given me some great shots adding depth to my climbing portfolio. Rowter is certainly interesting, as are both Anston Stone and Nuda’s Tartan.

The joy of shooting in interesting light – read mixed, evening and twilight as well as winter light – was something of a recurring theme whether shooting climbing or other subjects. Two of the foulest days imaginable in the midst of the wettest spells ever gave me some nice waterfall shots. Jokingly, I’ve said to more than one person that next year’s calendar will be waterfalls!

I’ve pulled in a fair few heritage shots this year as well including some of Britain’s must see locations such as Fountain’s Abbey, Cragside and Lindisfarne.

The Olympics were awesome too. We managed to get seats to the ladies hockey play-off matches. Sadly, I couldn’t get field-side but shooting from the stand wasn’t all that bad!

The summer highlight for me though was a trip intoFrance toAnnecy and Chamonix. The former, sadly in the news this year for the wrong reasons, is well worth a visit – especially if you’re visiting with a family who like biking. Chamonix though was the real joy and we had just the best weather that we could have imagined. From Montenvers we visited the famous Ice Grotte as well as losing a few calories hiking along the Plan d’Aiguille. Save for a flying visit about fifteen years ago, this was my first proper return toChamonixsince my first visit in 1976! I was truly shocked at how far the Mer d’Glace has receded since then too. It’s staggering to mull over the shear loose in volume of the glacier – we should though, and we should do everything we can to help redress the balance.

Autumn saw a return to the shoddy UK weather and Simba, a new addition to the family. New skills to learn to capture that pupster! I washed-up at Whitby over Halloween. In a couple of hours I’d captured some nice night shots of the harbour and had one of the best fish and chip meals I’ve ever had – win-win!

Finally, 2012 finished photographically with the shock that images captured by modern smart phones are really quite good – assuming good light and static subjects. No-one should be afraid of getting their smart phone out and snapping away – they’re way better that you might think and as often as not you can get photo enhancer apps as well that do really reasonable basic tweaks for web/FB posts.

Here a link to the full gallery…

Hope you enjoy – see you in 2013…

Posted in Photography

Merry Xmas


















Merry Xmas!!


Posted in Events, General

Dec 18th: And the winner to the spot the DSLR image is…

And the winner to the spot the DSLR image is Matthew Vernon who, along with Rob Johnson, scored three correct answers…

Matthew emailed to say; “at the resolution you posted to your blog, there’s nothing to choose between the pictures quality-wise. So I’m afraid I guessed the difference based on what you said: the twoSheffieldParkphotos looked to have been taken on the same occasion, so I figured were the same camera. And the wreath image is a more “arty” shot, so I figured that would be the DSLR shot, and the two outside ones were smart phone pictures”. Neat deduction Matthew using the circumstantial evidence!

By comparison, Rob went down a photographic route for his analysis; “After looking closely at all three photos, I would say the wreath is the one taken with the DSLR. My reasoning is, even though all three images show an impressive level of detail, the wreath shows much more clarity and definition in the black areas of the image; for example, the letterbox. The image is much more crisp in its detail. Having said that, the 2 woodland shots are both very clear, with good colours and no discernible distortions or fringing that you might expect from such a small lens as that found on a smartphone”. I wouldn’t disagree with any of those observations Rob.

Steve Crowe also got in touch from the North East and offered his reasoning behind his two out of three correct answers; “The first two were taken for the purpose of comparing the cameras, the third was a red herring! I like the first two but not keen on the third.

1. Woodland Path – Phone
Great shades of brown with a hint of green and a splash of blue. Lots of detail to pick out. Crouched down to add an interesting foreground detail but essentially on a walk in the woods with the phone.

2. Tree Roots – DSLR
My favourite. Great shades of mostly one colour, superb composition, making me look at something that I could have walked past and not noticed. Great shades of brown and a few flecks of green. Left me wondering what the photographer was thinking at that moment, why did he stop?

3. Wreath – Phone
It looks a fairly flat image with nice colours but little composition, looks like it was taken on the spur of the moment. Nice enough but didn’t grab my attention.

So all interesting thoughts and my thanks guys for getting in touch and getting involved in the fun. And as it’s Xmas I’ll beef-up my intended prize giving and fire each of you all a copy of the calendar via Postman Pat!

Finally, I think that this little exercise has triggered a line of thinking for me and I’ll be posting a bit more on this exploring the idea of smart phone v’s DSLR shooting so please stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s another shot from my Sheffield Park expedition over the weekend – and yes, this is another smart phone capture. This, by the way, is Chelsea Park which is the same park used by a certain Jessica Ennis for training runs…

Posted in KSP Publications, Photography, Uncategorized

Dec 16th: DSLR or Smart Phone? Tell the difference in the images and win a Calendar or a Year Planner

It’s been play time for me this weekend. It’s been a glorious couple of days – although not so out in the Peak (but that’s another story) and I’ve been shooting scenes in my local parks as well as the Xmas wreath my wife made last week. I was pitting my DSLR (36mb) camera against my new smart phone camera (8mb). I’ve just spend the last hour or so looking at the results and it’s been ‘interesting’ to say the least. Rather than just share some of the images with you straight out, I’ll will do that but later, I’ve just had the idea of having a bit of fun by running a quick competition to give away a copy of my climbing calendar…

So, look at the following images and then answer the same question for each – is the image captured by either the DSLR or the smart phone?

The first five correct answers will go into the KSP hat and the winner and runner-up will get a copy of Climbing 2013 and a copy of the 2013 Year Planner/Poster respectively for Xmas.

Email your answers to me at before 22:00 tomorrow (Monday 17th) and then I’ll post the winner and runner-up asap thereafter.

Please inset Calendar Comp into the subject header. List your answers as below

Image 1 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Image 2 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Image 3 – DSLR or Smart Phone

Oh yes, and I’ll need your postal address as well please…

I should say that all the images have been uploaded for basic processing including resizing etc. into Nikon Capture.

Finally, if you want a wreath making for Xmas well I’m sorry, time’s too short for that I think…

Image 1: Sheffield Park  


























Image 2: Sheffield Park  

























Image 3: Xmas Wreath





















Posted in KSP Publications, Photography

Dec 13th: Last Post…

It’s getting towards the time that a certain sex are finishing their Xmas shopping so it must be that time when the rest of us are thinking about starting…

Either way, Postman Pat doesn’t distinguish when he’s delivering the post – providing of course we hit certain dates. And those dates this year are as follows:

First Class = Thursday 20th

Special Delivery = Saturday 22nd

This means that all UK-only calendar orders received before noon on Thursday 20th will be shipped out First Class Post (P&P included) within the £12.99 calendar tag price and should arrive before the big day.

All UKcalendar orders received after noon on Thursday 20th and on Friday 21st will be posted via Special Delivery Next Day service for an additional charge of £4.00.

All orders received after noon on Saturday 22nd will be shipped to arrive post Xmas at the standard rates, ie P&P included for allUK deliveries, £1 intoEurope and £2 Rest of World…

Time to get cracking then. Oh, and by the way, here’s a shot of one of my local post boxes from a couple of years back when we had a monster dump of snow right before Xmas. Pretty ain’t it?

Posted in General, KSP Publications

Dec 1st: Winter Photography…

There’s something about photography in the winter months that is pretty special I think. It’s the quality of the light and the clarity of the atmosphere I think that makes shooting in the winter really rewarding…

Sure, we get the grey days, the rainy days and then with snowy days – but we also get the crisp days and the long winter nights and these give really great photo opportunities – providing you take the opportunities when they arise. Invariably its cold but you can grab sunrise shots on the drive to work, sunset shots on the way back as well as some cracking midday shots if you’re lucky enough to get out when the sun is shining.

Daytime shooting is pretty much the same as usual albeit you need to be aware that contrasts can be massive across images that contain both sunlight and shade. Typically, you’ll need to dig-out the tripod for night shooting – although you might be lucky and find a convenient wall or tree to brace yourself against. I can’t help but feel – and that’s all it is – that the colours are more intense.

Here’s some random day/night stuff that I’ve snapped in and around Sheffield over the last month to check-out…

Nocturnal scene at Sheffield Rail StationNight Bouldering at Burbage BridgeChatsworth House

Posted in Photography, Scenic