OUT & ABOUT
NEW GALLERIES! - 10th July 2013
I've just uploaded a 16th gallery in the "Galleries" section. As I have taken so many shots of heritage railways in the last few years, I decided that they deserved their own section!
Additionally, the "Out & About" section is nearing its complete revamp. In the next couple of days I will be uploading the new index page highlighting events back to 1983. In time these will all have their own clickable gallery of 8 photos in the style of the main galleries. First up, all the 2013 shots will be live and I will gradually work backwards to populate the earlier ones.
HALF-YEAR REPORT FROM THE HEADMASTER - 3rd July 2013
Before I start with the retrospective news, first something booked for November.
75 years ago this very afternoon, just over a mile from the studio, a very famous steam locomotive set the World Record for a steam-hauled train. Sir Nigel Gresley's A4 Pacific "Mallard" descended Stoke Bank near Essendine (my village) reaching an amazing 126 miles per hour for a brief time, still the fastest ever recorded for a steam locomotive! From today the National Railway Museum in York is displaying all 6 surviving A4 Pacifics (including "Mallard" of course), two of which have been repatriated from the USA and Canada and refurbished especially for the occasion. There are many events planned over the summer months, then all six return to the NRM at York in November and there will be a short series of special photocalls. Access will be restricted but I have a space confirmed!
So what have I been up to in the last few months? Well, I've just returned from the annual pilgrimage to the Le Mans 24 Hours, won for a record 9th time by the amazing Tom Kristensen (at speed below). There have been trips to special events on the Nene Valley and Talyllyn Railways, plus visits to the Norfolk Coast and the North-East. There has been plenty of avian activity in the garden too.
I'm also still hard at work putting together the pages for the shop website as well as creating samples and procuring stock. This should be going live very soon and I have 72 different prints that will be available in picture mounts, on foamboard and as greetings cards/notelets. Exciting times!
NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS - 21st January 2013
Phew! Where has the time gone? 2012 was quite a year in so many ways. The two separate month-long stays in Muscat gave me an incredible opportunity to experience a culture so very different from the one I had spent my whole life in the comfort of up to that point. Then Jo and I got married and disappeared off for the most amazing 2 weeks on a small island in the South China Sea. Never one to miss a photo opportunity, the cameras went with us of course. Some shots have already appeared as wallpapers on here but one of my favourites isn't wallpaper-shaped. See for yourself:
With the Oman TV project now well and truly finished, this leaves me clear to focus on all the projects that have been piling up in my head, including all the updates promised below! Back soon with more....
UP IN THE SKY - 6th May 2012
Last night, as the over-glorifying mainstream media has been banging on about all day, was this year's only "Super Moon". I prefer to refer to it by it's proper title, a perigee moon. For the uninitiated, it means that the closest pass of our moon's elliptical orbit coincides with a full moon. The moon appears 14% bigger than it's apogee (when it's furthest away). I nipped up onto the roof terrace of the hotel and took full opportunity of the clear Middle Eastern skies to capture the beauty.
Whilst we're on the subject of things in the sky, I've also included three shots taken when I was flying out here this time, courtesy of The Flying Dutchman (KLM). The views are on a Boeing 737 between Birmingham and Amsterdam Schipol, then the Taurus Mountains in Turkey, near the Syrian border, and finally as we came into land in Doha, Qatar for a fuel stop....
MORE ARABIAN SIGHTS - 4th May 2012
So I find myself out in Oman again! I was back in the UK for a month, had a couple of exciting photo jaunts, including my biggest live music opportunity yet, and then I get summoned out to the Middle East for another month.
This meant some more interesting photo opportunities and I have so many photos to get sorted for the new "Out & About" section (the Events page renamed basically!). I've also been working on the new exciting "Tutorials" section, then there will be a more detailed look at my photographic journey since childhood under the "About Me" heading. What with all that and trying to develop the shop too, it's all go! Oh and actually do the day job while I'm out here too....
I have one very exciting prospect to do with Le Mans this year but that's all very hush hush at the moment. I should be able to tell you either way in a couple of weeks. Me and my dear Canon will be there of course whether this happens or not.
Talking of my dear Canon, the 40D now has a brother. The original started playing up on my first trip out to the Middle East so I took the opportunity whilst back in the UK to acquire another one. This has been immediately promoted to no.1, with the original 40D as an emergency back-up. The old 20D still lurks in the studio as an emergency emergency back-up.
So here are some samples of that live music opportunity that has saved the Live Music gallery from being axed! When I was out in Oman for the first trip, it meant that Jo and I had to miss out on the tickets I had bought to see Judie Tzuke. I've been a fan of hers since 1979 and have virtually everything she's ever done musically. Haven't seen her live since 1997 (15 years!!!) so I was disappointed to be missing out. I contacted her website (where I'd bought the tickets) to see if they could sell them on for me but at such short notice they were left unsold. The incredible Jamie promised that we could have free tickets for the night in Milton Keynes which was after I got back. This was technically sold out, but we could have standing tickets. Brilliant! Come the day, I rang Jamie to make sure this was still ok and asked if The Stables (the venue) allowed photography. "Only if you have a press pass", he said, so he organised me one! Fantastic! So Jo and I turn up, collect our tickets and my pass and in we go. Before Judie (and her daughter Bailey, who was supporting) came on, they announced that there was to be no photography allowed, apart from the "official photographer for the band"!! That's me that is! It would be fantastic if this led to more work for Judie & Bailey. Here's hoping....
ARABIAN ADVENTURES! - 11th March 2012
I have some explaining to do here. Another huge gap between updates. My excuse is that the design contract that kept me so busy for virtually the whole of 2012 has come back and as I type, I'm actually in Muscat, Oman and have been for nearly a month now as we try to close out the build of the massive brand new TV studio complex for the Ministry of Information! Despite working 6 days a week, I have been filling my one day off each week with lots of photo opportunities. The Tour of Oman professional cycling event, beach walks, catamaran racing, trips up the mountains and even to the desert too.
I've also been spending some evenings working on new features for this website which will come to fruition very soon. Firstly, the events listings will become interactive and each event will have a 9 photo gallery uploaded to go with it, as far back as I can go (and that's quite a few years!). I'll start with the most recent and work back.
Also, the new shop is taking shape, prototypes/samples are under development and soon I will launch my own range of image-based goodies.
Finally, the Live Music gallery will disappear for the time being (until I get some more gig work) and be replaced by a selection of my Lunar captures. A couple of my favourite music images will be incorporated into the other galleries where applicable.
I'm due back in the UK this coming weekend, so more development news soon!
WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE? - 1st December 2011
Crikey! It's December already? Really?
I had so many plans this year but that old saying "never enough hours in the day" has never rung truer for me than it has this year.
Planned roadtrips, holidays and even setting up the telescope just got lost in the mists of time as the Oman contract took over my life. So now it's time to dust off the sky-watching device, get the new shop in order and organise the prints to be made. I have managed to get out and about with the camera though. Trips to RAF Waddington, Duxford Imperial War Museum, Snowdonia and Le Mans, to name just a handful, have proven fruitful. I even managed to buy some time for Joey and I to take our cameras up in an old 1930's biplane to do some aerial stuff. All coming to gallery updates and wallpapers near you soon!
SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME.... - 6th July 2011
The year seems to be running away with me! My camera has been incredibly active but sadly this has not been reflected here on the website. Never enough hours in the day it seems....
With the annual pilgrimage to Le Mans, aerial photography, airshows and the usual frenzy around the garden and out in the countryside there will be plenty of updates to the portfolio over the coming months. I'm also planning to launch a range of limited edition photographic greetings cards for sale online and in selected retail outlets .. more news on this soon!
Also, the telescope has arrived, so once the set-up niggles have been ironed out, expect a brand new gallery!
ALL CHANGE.... - 2nd March 2011
After all the excitement of the new business venture overseas, this has now not come to fruition and I will remain based in the UK after all. Which means more photography of course!
The course at the Royal Observatory was incredibly useful and I did manage a brief period of time on the massive 28-inch 'scope. Jupiter was too close to the horizon to get a meaningful shot, but did manage to get (very) up close and personal with the man in the moon. Plenty of astrophotography projects now lined up for the coming year, as well as a visit to the observatory at Mauna Kea (4,200m altitude!) in 2012 hopefully!
With spring fast approaching, it will soon be time to get out into the garden to capture the fabulous flora for next year's calendar and wallpapers.
So keep popping by the website to see what's new....
A NEW YEAR MEANS NEW WALLPAPERS! - 31st December 2010
Just a quickie to announce that I've just uploaded the first two months of wallpapers for 2011 .. more to follow in due course obviously. Happy New Year to all!
A BRAVE NEW WORLD - 27th November 2010
Major developments in my design business mean that it's all change for 2011. If things go to plan then a design contract for Sony Professional Systems Europe will be taking me (and my camera of course!) to the Middle East for the majority of next year. Muscat in Oman to be precise.
This will mean that the scheduled road trips to Sebring, North Wales and Scotland as well as more equestrian events will have to be postponed until 2012 (although Le Mans will, as always, somehow happen amidst all the chaos). But on the up side, I now have an incredible two-week trip planned to Namibia at the end of the contract. Before anyone offers to 'carry my bags', I have a truly wonderful 'assistant' already coming with me! Joey will be joining me armed with her Nikon equipment so between us there should be plenty to get excited about.
With incredible safaris, canyons, deserts and, apparently, scorpions to be found in Namibia, I'm sure we will capture some wondrous stuff.
NEW BEGINNINGS - 19th November 2010
New camera body and new galleries to enjoy!
The 40D body is here, replacing my now ageing and, until recently, reliable 20D. The old girl has done sterling service, with around 100,000 shots on the clock since I've owned her from new. But every sensor has a limited life so the time was right. First shoot with the new body was in Spain last week at the first of the scheduled live gigs.
The first new gallery is 'Aerial Photography'. This is another area I want to do more of in the future as budgets permit. For now though, a few sample shots are loaded taken from planes and other aerial platforms. Enjoy!
LIVE & LET 'LIVE' - 22nd October 2010
A couple of new bookings and both for live bands, another area I'm trying to break into.
Bizarrely the first option for the second booking was the same night as the other one, 13th November .. talk about waiting ages for a bus and then two come along at once! Thankfully DisCover have another opportunity for me to shine with the new camera (it's on order!) four weeks later. But before that, my first gig shoot is with Da Capo in Spain!
HORSES AND COURSES - 12th October 2010
A fabulous day with equally wonderful weather at the Milton Keynes Equestrian Centre on Sunday made for some dramatic imagery. My full portfolio is available online at the Ultimate Images event page (click here!) .. I'm listed as Camera 2.
The loaned 40D was a dream to use and watch this space for a special offer here shortly to help raise the necessary funds ahead of the new season next year!
Also, just to confirm that I have taken up the place available to me at the Royal Observatory astrophotography course in January and February .. here's hoping for a starry future!
STARS IN MY EYES - 9th October 2010
Two updates in one day, this must mean BIG news! And it is....
I've just heard that I have a place (if I want it!!) on a short 5 night astrophotography course at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich at the beginning of next year which will involve some time with the Canon on the big telescope .. am I excited? A masterpiece of understatement!! Nebulae, planets and lunar close-ups here we come .. winter skies permitting of course!
ONWARD AND UPWARD - 9th October 2010
Big changes afoot in Wilson's World! A move of premises for one, followed by a new company to work for in equestrian circles and possibly a new camera!
I'm moving to Stamford later this month as a new base. Stamford is situated in a corner of Lincolnshire, bordered closely by Rutland and Cambridgeshire and is a beautiful old town with some incredible architecture. Plenty of photo opportunities here!
Additionally I've just accepted my first commission from the respected Ultimate Images Equestrian Event Photography company. It's a privilege to be asked to join up with some of the best equestrian photographers around and I relish the prospect of the shoot tomorrow at the Milton Keynes Equestrian Centre for the season closing Autumn Hunter Trials, with many shoots promised for next season .. best I do good tomorrow then!
Finally, the dear old previously trusty EOS 20D let me down (first time in 5 years and around 100,000 shots!) whilst up that mountain in Spain recently where an electronic glitch rendered the body useless as I was preparing to shoot the cycle race. Thankfully I had back up with my friend's little Canon Ixus and as we were so close to the action, it produced some wonderful shots .. phew! Despite several attempts to reset and reboot, the 20D remained lifeless. Strangely, after 2 weeks it seems to have cured itself! But the damage is done in my mind and it highlighted that I really can't rely on one body alone so it will become my back-up body as soon as I can fill the piggy bank with enough sovereigns to buy a second hand 40D (the new 60D is a bit out of my price range right now!). A borrowed 40D for tomorrow's shoot at the MKEC should give me a feel as to whether this is the right choice....
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a selection of the shots from the Puerto da Navacerrada climb up to the Bola del Mundo stage finish (20% gradient!!!) just north of Madrid to illustrate the splendid work that little Ixus did for me....
NEW GALLERY - 5th September 2010
After an exciting day at the Battle of Britain Air Show yesterday at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, I've taken the opportunity to add a new 'Aviation' gallery as well as updating some images in the 'Equestrian', 'Landscape' and 'Motorsport' galleries, plus a new look to the main gallery page too!
BITS AND BOBS - 25th August 2010
The camera has been everywhere with me this summer and a few new portfolio shots are gradually creeping into some of the pages.
I have an exciting monochrome modelling photoshoot coming up very shortly, more about this as soon as possible!
LE MANS CLASSIC - 14th July 2010
Just back from a blisteringly hot week at the Le Mans Classic. Thoroughly exhausted, but elated with the photos!
Click HERE to go to the specific event gallery index....
GLOBETROTTING - 15th June 2010
Can't believe it's been nearly 2 months since I updated this! I've been doing a little bit of globetrotting with a holiday in Spain (took the camera of course!) and just back from the annual 'pilgrimage' to the Le Mans 24 Hours. Plenty of 'folio fodder on both trips!
With another trip to Le Mans in just a few weeks for the bi-annual historic version of the event and the North Wales road trip now likely to happen in August, the 2011 calendars will be in production shortly after and ready for the shop in October hopefully, well in time for those stocking fillers!
BUSY BOY! - 19th April 2010
With the schedule really hotting up now, the assignments are coming thick and fast. Just back from a hectic 3 days at the Belton International Horse Trials. Weather was fabulous which made for some stunning photography, especially with the beautiful Belton House as a back drop.
The weekend before I was just returning from a very fruitful trip with the camera to Cornwall. The sunset over Poldhu Cove was worth the trip alone, but there was so much more! Evidence appearing here shortly....
NEW 'EQUESTRIAN' GALLERY ADDED - 22nd March 2010
I am pleased to announce the addition of a new gallery as I shoot more and more equestrian events. As the images I shoot for Horsepower are copyrighted to them, so sadly cannot be used here, shots added to this gallery will be from other events.
PLANNING AHEAD - 17th March 2010
A little advance warning, like just over 16 years, but there's a total eclipse visible from just north of Madrid on 12th August 2026 and I already have my accommodation reserved complete with hillside pool terrace facing the setting sun that will be totally eclipsed over the mountains ... I can't wait!
EVENTS PAGE NOW 'LIVE' - 6th March 2010
As the diary starts to bulge with bookings, the list of events is growing and growing ... going to be a busy year ... hopefully!
EXCITING NEW DEVELOPMENTS - 6th March 2010
I'm very excited and pleased to announce that I will begin working with Horsepower Photography next weekend and hopefully at many events throughout the Spring and Summer around the country. Based at The College Equestrian Centre in Keysoe, near Bedford, my first 'live' event will be the Oasby Horse Trials in Grantham, Lincs., on Saturday 13th March.
WALLPAPERS UPDATED - 6th March 2010
Just uploaded the April wallpaper downloads so everyone is good and ready!
IGPOTY ENTRIES UPDATE - 26th February 2010
My entries for the "International Garden Photographer Of The Year" (see earlier news piece) sadly didn't make the final selection this year ... to quote that certain Scotsman observing a spider; "if at first you don't succeed...." etc., etc....
WALLPAPERS UPDATED - 29th January 2010
As we near the end of January (already!), I've removed the January calendar wallpapers and just uploaded the two versions for March so we're good and ahead of ourselves ... all frightfully organised!
NEW GALLERIES & PHOTOS - 3rd January 2010
Two brand new galleries are now live; click on the "RUGBY" and "WINTER" links in the menu to view. There are also a couple of newbies in the "MISCELLANEA" gallery too!
WALLPAPER CALENDARS ARE HERE! - 30th December 2009
The new desktop wallpaper calendars for 2010 are ready and live! Click on the "WALLPAPER" link on the menu to take you to the download page. There are two different backgrounds for each month in three different sizes with instructions so simple even my dear old cat, Bronty, could do it! OK, so that's a slight exaggeration......
NEW LOOK WEBSITE LAUNCHED - 3rd December 2009
After endless hours of sorting through literally thousands and thousands of photos, coding, tweaking and checking; finally the all-new website is ready for the light of day. There are still some new bits to follow shortly (like wallpaper downloads and the online shop) but there's still plenty to look at so far. I hope you enjoy what you see!
IGPOTY ENTRIES CONFIRMED - 30th November 2009
My entries confirmed for the "International Garden Photographer Of The Year" are as follows:
Category: Plant Profiles
Category: Wildlife In The Garden
The competition website can be found at www.igpoty.com and I'll update here as soon as I hear anything. Wish me luck!