An early OYDoorstepper
I first began to be interested in Photography a few years ago after seeing my late father taking pictures of trains, which was a hobby of his, while I was young.
The styles of photography I enjoy are Landscape, Wildlife and Macro but I tend to favour Landscape. As a member of a photography club I have been fortunate to photograph with the support of the group at various locations including the Isle of Skye and Northumberland and also had the privilege to shoot insects and animals courtesy of Nature’s Images.
What can I say about Skye……?
Well after a long drive (depending upon where you live) you will be subject to the most breath-taking, spectacular landscape scenery and stunning wildlife, if I am honest, the best I have ever seen. I was only on the island for a week and photographed sunrises, sunsets, visited the Fairy Pools, Elgol and photographed the Old Man of Storr.
The image below was taken during this trip on a boat trip to the Isle of Raasay, where White Tipped Sea Eagles and Grey Seals could be seen.
The image below is of the Old Man of Storr which was taken about 7.30am. If you look towards the two spikes that can be seen on the right of the image just after the mountain ridge, you can see The Old Man of Storr.
In 2014, I visited Northumberland for a week with the club where again I had the good fortune to take numerous images of landscapes.
We also visited Kielder Observatory which is in the heart of the Kielder Forest a must for a visit if you ever get the chance. If the weather is clear, you will experience a true dark sky which reveals an amazing array of stars and, the Milky Way.
Using the clubs Canon 60da mounted onto the observatory’s telescope, we even managed to capture an image of the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) which is 2.5 million light years away from earth.
The image below is one I took of Dunstanburgh Castle which is compiled with a series of images merged into one HDR image.
Another area of photography I enjoy is Macro photography.
Again with the club I am involved in, I attended a shoot provided by Nature’s Images where I had the chance to photograph a range of creatures including White’s Tree Frogs, Matinique Pink Toe Tarantula’s, Gargoyle Gecko’s and Mantis’ amongst others.
Below are images of a White’s Tree Frog and a Gecko.
Now to the reason for this article:
In June 2015, I met Karen and Mick Thurman when my wife and I, were at Clent Hills Caravan and Camping Club Site in Romsley, West Midlands. While talking to Karen and Mick it transpired that we shared an interest in photography.
Karen explained that they were in the area to photograph images for their exhibition in Stourbridge, for a project called “On Your Doorstep”. As I had not heard of this, they explained what it entailed and asked me if I would be interested in entering some of my photographs. I agreed without hesitation and began to look more closely at my local area for ideas and inspiration.
I submitted three images to the competition and to my amazement I was one of the three winners. Below is the winning image of the Swan that I took at Leasowes Park off Mucklows Hill, Halesowen.
Upon receiving my award from Karen and Mick I got chatting to Karen who is a keen black and white photographer and she has inspired me to think differently about my images.
I am now exploring the world of black and white and seeing images in a different light, not as just as colour, but as light and dark, and shape and texture. With this in mind I took the image below on a recent trip to the Lake District. It is the Boat House at Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, Cumbria.
My final image below is the other image I submitted for the competition that Mick and Karen had considered. This is an old shed in the grounds of Highgate Common near Stourbridge and was taken on my iPhone.
On Your Doorstep is a great project and I truly believe that both Mick and Karen have the determination to make this succeed and reach out to all of us and inspire us to get out our phones and cameras and enjoy photographing what is around us, the small often unnoticed areas that often go over-looked. This will not only get people involved in photography but will also help us to consider and to look after our environment for future generations to see.
I thank both Mick and Karen for the invitation for the competition and also for asking me to write this article.
Paul Cope, 2015