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2020 – The Year Of The Mask

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I think I will always remember 2020 as the year of the mask. It is a year I don’t think I will ever forget, even though I may want to. It has been a tough year for so many reasons. Emotionally, physically, fiscally, mentally and creatively. That said, I do appreciate how lucky I am. I still have my health. Like many people, I didn’t think that something like this would happen in my lifetime. It is more the stuff of Science Fiction and there is still part of me that finds it a bit surreal. As I said, I am very fortunate and very thankful to the NHS, teachers, shop workers and all those who kept the country going throughout this extraordinary year.

We all had to change our plans this year. I even changed the plans I had already changed. As I reflect back on the year, I find it hard to judge. This probably seems an obvious thing to say, but without looking back and judging it, how can we learn from it? But perhaps now isn’t the time to do that. It might be the end of 2020, but it is not yet the end of Covid19. The end is in sight, although still someway off.

This is a reflection of the my year through photography. I was going to pick out just one photo for each month, but for some I couldn’t decide, so there are lots more than 12 to look at. I hope you enjoy them. Enjoy the festive period while staying safe, and I’ll see you in 2021


All the way back in January I did a photoshoot with The Lost Trades. It seems like a lifetime ago right now, being in a room with other people. It was such a fun shoot, with great people, you can read more about it in this blog.

3 piece folk group The Lost Trades

The Lost Trades



February was all about early spring bulbs, which meant being outside as much as possible. Given what was to come, that turned out to be an even better thing than it usually is.

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)



March was something of a month of two halves. Going out as much as possible, followed by staying in as much as possible.

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

an orange mug of tea, a DSLR camera & a computer

Lockdown Life


April was the month I became very grateful for my partners love of gardening and the fact that she relatively recently acquired a bigger garden. It did mean doing more work in the garden, but having that outside space during Lockdown made things easier. It also meant lots of photography opportunities, not just of plants but of wildlife too. 


Another month spent at home. Mostly out in the garden, thanks to the nice weather. Plants and wildlife was once again what I saw most of through my lens.


June was another month of the same. Although it was also the month I launched my shop, (go and check it out, you know you want to) which might explain why I took fewer photos this month.


The month when things started to relax. Leaving the house became a possibility. Although I started the month off by experimenting with some indoor still lifes of plants. I am sure there was a good reason for this, although I can’t remember what it is. 



A two week trip to the Isles of Scilly took up a lot of my August. It was a little bit odd going from wearing a mask on a busy boat to being the only people on a beach. You could forget for a little while that there was a pandemic.


September was more time spent in the garden and preparing for the months to come as best as possible.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’


Photographing autumn colours will never get boring and I tried to make the most of the opportunity. I think the first image here sums up the year quite well.


The second Lockdown in England started this month.

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit


And now here we are in December. Short days. Colder, wetter weather. Coronavirus cases on the rise, despite the Second Lockdown. The prospect of a very different Christmas on the way. So I decided I needed to do something fun. Anyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will have seen my Lego Star Wars Advent Story. I have been posting one part each day, but here it is in full (or as much as I have shot at time of writing. I will update when it is finished).

New In The Shop

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I hope you are all keeping safe out there, and managing to look after your mental as well as your physical health. I know I have been a little quite, but I have been busy. I’ve added lots to my shop. So much so, I am not sure where to begin. I guess I will begin at the beginning, it’s a very good place to start (apparently).

A6 cards

Whilst having a sort out recently, I came across a box which contained some of the first cards I produced. When I first started putting my images on cards, the cards were smaller. They were A6 size. That’s 105 x 148mm, 10.5 x 14.8cm, or 4.1 x 5.8 inches. Before I had sold out of these cards I changed supplier and size and for a while I sold both sizes. After a while, to simplify things, I switched to only selling the 5×7 inch cards. But having re-discovered these cards and now having a shop on my site, they are once again available to buy. I have no current plans to get anymore cards of this size, so when they are gone, they are gone. Some of the card designs are the same as the 5×7 cards I currently sell, so you can pick the size when you have chosen the design. Others are only available as A6 cards and are listed as such. They are currently on available at sale prices in the the card section in my shop. They are already discounted, so no need to add a coupon code at checkout.

Autumn & Winter Cards

I have added my range of autumn and winter cards. They are included in the multiple buy coupon offer, so you add one of the coupon codes – 3CardsFor£5, 6CardsFor£10 or 10CardsFor£15 – as necessary at the checkout stage. And while I am writing about cards, should I mention the ‘C’ word? I know it is early, but we all seem to be thinking about it earlier this year, because of the crazy state of the world. So I will mention it. Christmas. There I did it. So, yes, I have also added my Christmas cards to the shop. They are available to buy as boxes of ten. They can also be bought individually and are also part of the multiple buy coupon offer.

Framed & Mounted Prints

All my prints are now available to buy framed, mounted or unframed. They would make excellent Christmas presents (I know I said the ‘C’ word again). I have also added a few more images to my range of prints, so hopefully there should be something for everyone. All my framed and mounted prints are on sale until 2nd November 2020. This discount is has already been added, so no need to use a coupon code at checkout. If there is an image of mine that you would like as a print that is not already available, please get in touch and I will make it available (where possible). There is free delivery on all UK orders from my shop.

Season of Sickness

In my last Blog I mentioned that I had been ill (just man flu, nothing to worry about). It started over Christmas and hung around for longer than I would have liked, so it was with me into the new year. It didn’t make for the best Christmas, but as I was surrounded by my family, and it was a holiday, it didn’t matter so much. But when I was ill after Christmas and into the current year, it became an issue because it had an affect on my work. It’s more difficult to work when you’re ill, just the physical effort if nothing more. It affects concentration and how long you can keep working before you need to take a break. It can stop you sleeping too, which just exacerbates the problems. This is a problem for the self-employed person. The question is, how to deal with it? Do you (A) just keep working through it? Or (B) do you stop and give yourself time to recover?

Let us have a look at (A).The problem with just keeping on going is that it is likely to last longer, meaning you’ll need to spend more money on whatever remedies you’ve decided (or been prescribed) to keep you going and ultimately get over it. Illness also has a tendency to make you a bit grumpy and generally not so great to be around (I’m talking about other people here, of course, because I’m always a delight to be around…). The other main problem is that it can affect the quality of your work output. This is a bigger problem with any kind of artistic work, where you rely on your judgement and artist instinct (artistic eye, ear, touch, nose, left kneecap -whatever is might be) than it might be in a field of work where something is either right or wrong and such things can be checked.

And so to (B). The main problem with stopping is, if you’re not working, you’re not earning. The other thing you lose is time. You get behind and have to catch up and there’s no one else to help you out, either by taking up the slack while you’re in your sickbed, or to help you get caught up again once you’ve recovered. You can also lose out on new work coming in, which again adds up to lost income.

So what approach have I been using? Well, a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B, due in part to the boredom induced by inactivity, and the sudden on-set of relapses when I pushed myself too hard too soon. ‘And did that work?’ I hear you ask, (I really did, I have amazing hearing, I could hear you saying it even though you said it in your head). Well, as it’s just come back again, it’s fair to say it’s not been a total triumph, but I’m hoping it’ll be gone tomorrow. In the meantime, while I recover, here are some photo’s I took over Christmas from the three times I managed to leave the house.

A tree silhouetted on the skyline

a brown chicken walking towards the camera

ventilation outlets on a moss covered roof of a farm out building

a brown bull with a ring through it's nose staring at the camera

a tree stump in the foreground with Beeston Castle in the background

the ruined walls of Beeston castle under sunset skies

bridge over to the gatehouse of Beeston Castle

The year that was 2015

It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago I was publishing my first blog of 2015, time flies when you’re having fun. It also seems to moves a lot quicker the older you get, and seems to disappear completely when there’s so much you need and want to do.

2015 was a year of change for me, in a personal sense more than anything else. It’s been a year of friends, both old and new. A year of setbacks and picking myself up again, a year of finding my way along the path I am on, and trying to figure out what path that is and in which vague direction it might be heading in. A year of trying to balance the commercial and the artistic, as well as the working and the playing. A year of broken computers, cameras and lenses.
I’ve made progress in the business side of things, in my understanding of such things as well as the actual hard currency stuff. I’ve had a lot of fun photographing some awesome bands and artists at some wonderful venues during some amazing gigs. I’ve hiked up hills, through woods and along canals, photographing landscapes and wildlife along the way.

I was going to tell you about my plans for 2016, but I’ll save that for another blog, instead I’ll just share with a few favourite images I took this year, some you might have seen before, some you certainly won’t have. Happy New Year to you all, and I’ll see you in 2016.

Scout Killers, The Nest, Bath, 2015

Scout Killers, The Nest, Bath

StOp, sToP!, Charlie's, Westbury, Wiltshire, 2015

Stop Stop!, Charlie’s, Westbury
The Kelpies horse sculptures, Falkirk, Scotland
The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland
A sparrowhawk pinning down a starling
Sparrowhawk pinning down a starling, Scotland

The Bohemian Embassy, Pig and Fiddle, Bath, 2015

The Bohemian Embassy, Pig and Fiddle, Bath, 2015

Crows roosting in a tree, Avebury, Wiltshire

birds in flight at dusk
Birds in flight, Westbury, Wiltshire
looking up at trees at Stourhead
Trees at Stourhead, Wiltshire
two birds of prey fighting in flight
Birds of prey, Wiltshire
Looking up at pine trees in Queen Elizabeth Forest, Scotland
Pine trees, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Scotland
A red squirrel on its hind legs
Red squirrel, Scotland

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