Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamstead

I’m fortunate enough to have a couple of images on display at the below exhibition. Please visit if you get the opportunity. It lasts until the 23rd April.

http://www.upstairsgallery.co.uk/whats-on.html

They are a non profit organisation that make yearly donations to a local charity which aims to tackle homelessness and poverty in the area.

 

 

It still works!

It certainly wasn’t intentional to cover my camera in ice but a cold night in Northern Iceland waiting for The Northern Lights resulted in the below. Not the finest photo but it was the coldest part in Iceland that night, the air temperature was -19C with windchill -22C. The wait was worth it though -pictures to follow – and the camera still works – a great advert for Canon.

 

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Sea Birds of The South Atlantic

 

One of the positive parts of being at sea in The South Atlantic is the abundance of beautiful sea birds. I’m not a great sailor but to be able to see Giant Petrels, Black Browed Albatross, Cape Petrels and Antarctic Terns ( all photographed above) to name but a few is a real bonus. In addition we saw Wilson Storm Petrels, Wandering and Royal Albatross, diving and blue Petrels – the list goes on and on. I’ll save that for another time.

I have been fortunate to see Albatross before but the first time you are looking up towards the sky to check to see where it is and then suddenly as one comes into view it’s confirmed then you can’t mistake one for anything else. With a wingspan between 2 and 3 metres it gracefully soars above the water as it gets lift from the wake of the ship. Absolutely beautiful in its grace.

 

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The snow petrel ( photographed above)is another resident. It’s only one of three birds that exclusively breeds in Antarctica. On this occasion using a very fast shutter speed ( 1 /8000th of a second) I’ve captured the pure white of the bird against and almost equally white sky.

There’s no time to be bored on a ship – standing with the binoculars at the stern, in amongst the regular followers there is always something new to see.

Derwent Water, The Lake District

Given the incredible amounts of rain over the last 6 weeks we were very fortunate to have a couple of days of visibility to see the beautiful scene that the recent snow had left behind.

It’s always a case of expecting all weathers and you won’t be disappointed. We were hoping to get some walking in along with some photography.

When we arrived there was some snow on the hill tops but there were only fleeting glimpses as the grey cloud rolled in.

A heavy days rain and very low cloud offered the hope that it would be falling as snow higher up. It was.

The skies, very fortunately for us, cleared photos below show the range from the pre and post snow views around Derwent Water and Keswick.

 

Antarctica – A Lifelong Dream

It’s been said that you should never meet your heroes as you’ll invariably be disappointed. I was hoping that it wasn’t going to apply to one of the places that i’ve wanted to visit for many, many years.

It’s possible to fly to The Antarctic peninsula but I didn’t believe, for me, that it was in the spirit of adventure. 100 years ago, in 1915 Shackleton had travelled by ship to get stuck in ice in The Weddell Sea. Surely the mode of transport would need to be by ship – hopefully we wouldn’t meet the same fate.

We left from Puerto Madryn and would be travelling down to The Falkland Islands, to South Georgia, onto The Antarctic Peninsula and then back to Ushuaia in Argentina.

Gentle sailing to The Falklands and from there the South Atlantic started to liven up with up to 15 metre swells and 70 knot winds as low pressure after low pressure squeezed through The Drake Passage.

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It really puts things into perspective, the ocean is huge and immensely powerful. In comparison we certainly aren’t. We were in a 90 metre ship which at times felt, as it was being tossed about, like a small rowing boat. The sight of land at South Georgia after 2 days was very welcome