I've been taking photographs for a long time and this is my first venture into an on-line gallery so please bear with my whilst I get some of my photographs uploaded and labelled properly. This first batch are landscapes from the Yorkshire Dales, where I live and work as an Ecologist, and from a variety of Scottish Islands, where I seem to spend a lot of my free time. I've now added a series of wildlife galleries with photographs of plants and animals taken mostly in the Dales or on various Scottish islands.
Over the years I've developed an interest in many aspects of natural history but am still finding new groups to become interested in. One source of information that I've found really helpful is the Wild About Britain
website. The members of their Fungi Forum
were especially helpful when I started to photograph fungi a few years ago and wanted names to put to specimens. I'll be adding a Fungi Gallery soon.
It was in the Yorkshire Dales where I first really learnt how to take landscapes. Originally I'm from that wonderfully named part of the UK to the north-west of Birmingham - the Black Country. It doesn't sound like a promising place for a budding ecologist but at that time the new housing estates were still fringed by countryside and it was long enough ago for all the fields to have skylarks and lapwings nesting in them and there were still an abundance of hedgerows and poorly drained corners of fields with snipe and redshank. It was here I got my first camera, like many of you of a certain age it was a Zenit E - the "posh" one with a built in light meter. This was good enough all the way through University and to be honest I couldn't really afford anything better.
As soon as I got my first proper job, a short contract doing some environmental work in Northumberland, this was upgraded to an Olympus OM1. As that contract came to an end I volunteered to guard a Peregrine nest site in the Dales and armed myself with my trusty OM1 and as much Kodachrome 64 as I could afford and I then spent three months photographing everything I could find in the area around the site I was wardening. More importantly I wrote down every f-stop, shutter speed and any exposure compensation and as each box of slides came back I worked out which ones had worked and why. By the end of my three months I had a pretty good success rate and that has stood me in good stead ever since.
Eventually the lenses for my OM1 (joined later by an OM2) developed a few connection problems and Olympus had abandoned their OM SLR range so I swapped over to Canon and about ten years ago moved onto my first digital Canon SLR - the Canon EOS 10D. Moving from the 10D through the 20D, 30D, 40D I eventually ended up with a Canon EOS 5DmkII which I use for all my landscape shots and a Canon EOS 7D for wildlife shots. That OM1, though, is probably still my favourite of all the cameras I've owned, perhaps because I learnt such a lot by using it.