Blog
17th September 2017
"Autumn Speed Finale" at Shelsley Walsh

It seems like only yesterday I was at the Midland Automobile Club’s ‘Speed into Spring’ at Shelsley Walsh but today I attended their Autumn Speed Finale. Where did that year go?

I was only able to attend for the morning practice sessions which turned out to be fortunate because there was a bitingly chilly wind that made it quite uncomfortable at times. The action on the hill was steady but not particularly exciting but it was good to meet up with the regular photographers as we head towards the end of the season.

6th September 2017
Shelsley Walsh September Drivers School

Yesterday I was fortunate to once again be the official photographer at the Shelsley Walsh drivers school run by the Midlands Automobile Club (MAC). It is always fascinating to see how the drivers progress. Slow, sedate runs to start with but much quicker, controlled & spirited runs by the end of the day. There was, as usual, a varied mix of cars - from a Riley Elf to a highly-tuned Subaru Impreza, but no matter what, the smile on the drivers face was just as big after each run up the hill. A well organised day with a great atmosphere.

4th September 2017
Hillclimb & Sprint Association website
I was pleased to be asked to cover the recent hillclimb at Prescott on 3rd September 2017 by Jerry Sturman for his report on the Hillclimb & Sprint Association's (HSA) website. The next day four of my images accompanied his report. The full report can be found here.
3rd September 2017
Prescott Speed Hill Climb

A few quick featured images from a moist Prescott today run by the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC) which created a red flag day due to the number of 'offs'. Well done to the marshals and rescue crews who kept stoppage times to a minimum. See a gallery of over 380 images here.

 
27th August 2017
Loton Park Speed Hill Climb

A great day at Loton Park speed hill climb run by Hagley & District Light Car Club (HDLCC). A pleasure to take Stephen Morrison from www.on-track.co.uk on his first trackside visit to Loton - great company. Thanks to the marshals & officials for making the day run smoothly & quickly. I found it all very enjoyable - pity the season is nearly at its end. A gallery of over 300 images can be found here.

 
16th August 2017
British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill
 

Just back from a long weekend in Scotland which 'happened' to coincide with round 7 of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill. Here are a few tasters and a full album can be found in the galleries. An album from the supporting races will be added later in the year.

6th August 2017
Vintage Sports-Car Club's Speed Hill Climb at Prescott
 

Some interesting pieces of machinery at the Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC) Prescott hill climb last Sunday. A full gallery can be found here.
1st August 2017
Shelsley Walsh Drivers School

Today I was 'Official Photographer' at the Shelsley Walsh August driving school run by the Midlands Automobile Club where 31 drivers took their own vehicles up the hill climb course under expert tuition. Each driver will be sent a set of images of their runs from the day all courtesy of the Shelsley Walsh team (and me!). It was a great day and thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable.

 

23rd July 2017
Classic Nostalgia at Shelsley Walsh
 

Well it was a day of 'full-frontals' (ooh-err missus) at Shelsley Walsh the other weekend at the annual 'Classic Nostalgia' event (run by the Midlands Automobile Club) when I didn't venture any further than 'Crossing' the whole day. Here are a few tasters but there is a full gallery.

 

16th July 2017
Loton Park Speed Hill Climb

A few images from the Hagley & District Light Car Club's (HDLCC) speed hill climb on the newly-laid tarmac at Loton Park on 16th July. A full gallery can be found here.

9th July 2017
Chateau Impney Speed Hill Climb
 

Some images from a great day at the annual Chateau Impney hill climb - a fantastic event with a great atmosphere.

6th July 2017
Vintage Sports Car Club hill climb at Shelsley Walsh
 

A few from last Sunday's Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC) speed hill climb at Shelsley Walsh. A gallery of nearly 200 images can be found here

1st July 2017
More from the VHRA at Pendine
 

More from the mental day at Pendine Sands with the Vintage Hot Rod Association (VHRA). A gallery of over 170 images from the event is here.

28th June 2017
Vintage Hot Rod Association at Pendine Sands
 

Just back from a long weekend in South Wales which coincided with the Vintage Hot Rod Association's (VHRA) run up Pendine Sands. Here's a few tasters:

18th June 2017
MAC Reg Phillips Trophy meeting at Shelsley Walsh
 

A few from last Sunday's Reg Phillips Trophy meeting run by the Midlands Automobile Club (MAC) at a sweltering hot Shelsley Walsh

10th June 2017
VSCC Hawthorn Memorial Trophies at Oulton Park
 

A few quick snaps from an excellent day at Oulton Park celebrating Round 2 of Formula Vintage run by the Vintage Sports-Car Club (VSCC). Here are some images of the Autosolo in the morning and some circuit racing in the afternoon.

4th June 2017
British Racing Green at Shelsley Walsh

Another busy week and so I've only just managed to sort out the images from the Midland Automobile Club's (MAC) 'British Racing Green' at Shelsley Walsh last Sunday. Here are a few chosen images and a gallery is now online

28th May 2017
VSCC at Loton Park
 
A great weekend at the Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC) annual visit to Loton Park in Shropshire.
27th May 2017
La Vita Rossa at Prescott
 
Two, three and four-wheeled action at the Bugatti Owners Club's (BOC) italian-themed 'La Vita Rossa' at Prescott - including a whole 'clutch' of ERA's.
21st May 2017
Speed Hill Climb at Loton Park
 

Always a pleasure to be at the Hagley & District Lights Car Club's (HDLCC) Loton Park speed hill climb - and yesterday was no exception.

13th May 2017
Traction Engines at the Ironbridge Gorge
 
I'm usually taking photographs of quickly moving vehicles and so it was a change today to take some of a slower mode of transport: steam-powered traction engines. Of course it helped that they passed right in front of our house here in the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire - so little preparation needed. Here are a few chosen images - a small gallery is here.
7th May 2017
Speed into Spring at Shelsley Walsh
 

Well I 'Sped into Spring' today at a very sunny speed hill climb at Shelsley Walsh run by the Midland Automobile Club (MAC). Here are a few quickly selected images from the day .

6th May 2017
A bit of a tidy up

So today I had a bit of a website tidy up. No great changes but I have:

  • Added images and changed the order of the front page slideshow
  • Added some images to the Motorsport Favourites gallery
  • Amalgamated the Vintage Vision gallery with Motorsport Favourites

Hopefully it will add to the sites viewing pleasure - and I have noticed a steady 10% increase in visitors month-on-month.

 

30th April 2017
VSCC Speed Trial at Curborough
 

A great Vintage Sports-Car Club (VSCC) speed trial today at Curborough. A good line-up of cars made an interesting day, albeit with a sharp & cold wind that made you crave for a nice hot mug of tea. An album of images is here.

23rd April 2017
Prescott Speed Hill Climb
 

A few images from an excellent & very enjoyable day at Prescott Speed Hill Climb run by the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC) yesterday.

22nd April 2017
Launch of the Vintage Sports-Car Club's new race series: Formula Vintage
 

I was priviliedged last night to be invited to the launch of the Vintage Sports-Car Club's 'Formula Vintage' race series at the Brooklands Suite at Silverstone. The aim of the series is to introduce the Club's unique line up of racing vehicles to a much wider (and new) audience. Today I'll be back at Silverstone to photograph the first races of Round 1 each of which has an exciting range of cars. Later in the season further rounds will take place at Oulton Park, Cadwell Park, Mallory Park and Snetterton.

17th April 2017
Loton Park National B Hill Climb
 

Interesting Bank Holiday weather at Loton Park yesterday - wet, then wet & cold, then cold, then cold & wet. But once wrapped up it was a great days motorsport run by Hagley & District Light Car Club and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's a few images from the day.

9th April 2017
Prescott Bike Festival

Today I was proud to once again be part of the volunteer media team at the annual Prescott Bike Festival, run by the Severn Freewheelers on behalf of the National Association of Blood Bikes. I was stationed on the hill, at Pardon hairpin in the morning and Ettores in the afternoon, attempting to photograph each of the (nearly) 300 bikes as they took their two runs. The teams photographs are available to purchase (all proceeds to the charity) at 2020zoom.com.

7th April 2017
More from the Bromyard Speed Festival
 

A few more images from last Sunday's Bromyard Speed Festival. A full gallery of 160+ photographs can be found here.

3rd April 2017
Image used for VSCC

Nice to see that one of my images from last season has been used to promote the Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC) annual visit to Loton Park hill climb:

2nd April 2017
Bromyard Speed Festival

 

A day at Bromyard Speed Festival -a bi-annual event where the town's streets are closed off so that vehicles can be shown in their glory.

 

26th March 2017
Hillclimb season opener at Loton Park

A great start to the 2017 hillclimb season today at Loton Park, run by Hagley & District Light Car Club. Some great driving, few incidents and sunshine! Free admittance led to a sizable crowd and I hope that they enjoyed the day. I certainly did.

   
16th March 2017
Commercial shot

Another commercial publication, this time in the British Plastics & Rubber online magazine. I was asked to capture a portrait shot of a new director at TCL Packaging Ltd. I chose a number of locations including this one outside the Reception area which included the company logo. In hindsight maybe I should have added a polorising filter to minimise the reflections although then it might not have been so clear that it was taken in front of a window?

15th March 2017
Formula Vintage

Nice to receive the following invitation to the launch of Formula Vintage at Silverstone – the new name for the Vintage Sports-Car Club's racing activities – an evening which will include a brief look back at more than 80 years of VSCC Racing history and an overview of what you can look forward to seeing at the events in 2017. Followed by the VSCC Spring Start races at the same circuit on Saturday it should be a great weekend.

 

12th March 2017
Peter Blankstone Sporting Trial at Shelsley Walsh
 

Fantastic day today for the the BTRDA Peter Blankstone sporting trials held at the 'world famous' Shelsley Walsh venue. Great to meet up with the gang of Midland motorsport photographers, namely Geoff, Rob, Gail, Jean, Stella & Calvin and to spend some time with stalwart marshal Mick Robbins and Shelsley's Commerical Manager Mark Constanduros.

19th February 2017
Yesterday I was mainly....
 

Yesterday I was mainly....... repairing a fence with a new post and two rails (all rotten) and then painting them green. Then I went to the bar - and painted that green too. Yes - it was the second working party at the Loton Park hill climb venue getting it ready for the forthcoming season. Plenty of banter and another free lunch - soup, beef stew and a very tasty banana & ginger crunch for pud! The next one's on 4th March, which coincides with the Marshal's training weekend at Prescott, so we may be a bit thin on the ground. Please join us. Tea & toast at 10am and we should finish about 3.30pm. Hope to see you there.

4th February 2017
Today I've mostly been....
 

Today I've mostly been.......painting the regalia shop at Loton Park hillclimb. Yes, the first of three working parties and with the weather being so good as many as possible of the 20+ volunteers were issued brushes and fence paint to give the various huts some extra protection. This was all topped with an excellent free 3-course meal - soup, chilli & jacket spud and trifle. The next working party is on Saturday 18th February starting at 10.00 and finishing about 3-ish. Come and join us.

26th January 2017
iPhoneography #1

I was a very lucky man this Christmas. Mrs H spoiled me rotten with a triple-purpose present - an Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Triple-purpose? well she thought long and hard:

  1. My Bang & Olufsen MP3 player died during 2016
  2. My Lumix LX3 'compact' camera is getting on 9 years old now and , to be honest, isn't very 'compact'
  3. She hated my work-supplied Motorola Moto-G phone

To replace all three individually would be expensive - but to combine all three in an iphone was the solution.

It's a lovely piece of work. I used to have an iPhone 6 - which was also lovely as a personal assistant, but generally useless as a phone. It constantly dropped calls and reception was patchy, to say the least. This new iPhone 7 reminds me of the smooth, tactile, feel of my old iPhone but combined with a very much improved reception - possibly the best call reception of any mobile phone that I've owned.

But this isn't about phones - it's about photography. So how is the camera on the iPhone 7?

The main camera is a dual-lens 12 megapixel unit, one lens being an f/1.8 wide angle and the other an f/2.8 telephoto - and on top of that you also get 10X digital zoom. And on the front there is another 7 megapixel camera for those all important 'selfie' shots. It is supplemented by a flash, in-camera filters, HDR, a depth-of-field 'portrait mode', a panorama mode and many other additions, more of which will be covered in later blog posts.

But meanwhile, here is a wintery shot of Jackfield village taken during a walk with the dogs:

1st January 2017
Happy New Year
 

Our New Years Eve consisted of a walk through Lydebrook Dingle in Coalbrookdale with our good friends and our (collective) 9 dogs, 5 of theirs, 4 of ours. (see if you can spot them all). Followed by a huge spread with a few!! drinks. Happy New Year.

26th December 2016
Boxing Day Shoot

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to join a pheasant shoot at the nearby Willey Estate near Broseley, Shropshire. After a busy Christmas Day with plenty of food (and drink!) it was good to get some fresh air and exercise and we were blessed with a dry, sunny, albeit slightly chilly, day throughout. It was a great group of people with plenty of banter and I really enjoyed it. Here is the obligatory group shot and the gallery is here.

11th December 2016
Another sunset
A lovely sunset this evening - taken from my kitchen door, albeit with a  200mm lens

20th November 2016
VSCC Cotswold Trial

Yesterday saw what will probably be my last motorsport event of this year - the Vintage Sports-Car Club's Cotswold Trial in and around Prescott. It's one of my favourite events, not just because of the friendliness of the competitors but also the stunning backdrop of the autumnal trees & leaves. Highlight of the day for me was, as I walked between stages, Douglas Monroe stopped his 1929 Riley 9 and gave me a lift. Fantastic.

A gallery of the event can be found here.

 

17th November 2016
Ha'penny Bridge

I was pleased to receive a complimentary copy of a new book 'The Ha'penny Bridge' by author Michael English through the post this week. Well over 18 months ago I was approached by Michael who asked to use one of my images ' Ironbridge in snow' in this book about a bridge that is a symbol of the city of Dublin - the first footbridge over the river Liffey and also the first iron bridge in Ireland, built in 1816.

My image is a two-page spread over pages 54 & 55. The original can be seen in the Landscapes & Seascapes gallery.

12th November 2016
Mobile optimisation

Just a reminder that this website is optimised for most mobile devices:

30th October 2016
Hanging Leaf

It was a lovely mild day for the end of October and an ideal day to continue cutting shrubs back ready for the Winter. As I was heading for the compost heap I came across this silver birch leaf, seemingly hovering in mid air. Taking a closer look I noticed that it was actually suspended on a tiny piece of what I can only imagine is spiders web - but looking up the nearest overhanging branch was some 30 feet higher. Why or how this leaf ended up dangling on it is a mystery.

I couldn't miss this shot - especially with the opportunity for a small depth of field giving a dreamy, uncluttered background. I used an aperture of f/2.8 to do just that and a shutter speed of 1/250 sec to try and eliminate any movement blur. The ISO set automatically at 500 to allow these settings. What I hadn't accounted for was that the slightest hint of breeze sent the little leaf wildly pivoting and swinging about - a tripod was clearly not an option. Therefore I just had to hand-hold the camera and try to back-button focus on the leaf whilst using a 'burst-mode' continuous shutter in the hope of capturing something reasonable.

I ended up taking 50 shots in just a few minutes. Most were rejects due to poor focus, others for poor composition. I ended up with 3 possibilities but this was my favourite - not least because if you look really closely you can see that tiny spiders web.

19th October 2016
Classic Sports-Car Championship at Oulton Park
 

I've just added a gallery of images from last weekends Classic Sports-Car Club's (CSCC) event at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

16th October 2016
Bitesized Review: Sleeklens Lightroom Presets

I was recently contacted by the Danish software company Sleeklens (https://sleeklens.com) that sells professional workflows to photographers who are looking to cut down time editing their photos and get better results. Basically they offered to give me a free copy of their landscape workflow software ‘Through The Woods’ (RRP: $39) in return for a review on my website. Here's one of the images I produced and the review is here.

13th October 2016
VSCC Welsh trial gallery added

A selection of images from last Sunday's Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC's) Welsh trial has now been added to the gallery.

9th October 2016
VSCC Welsh Trial

A fantastic day at the Vintage Sports-Car Club's (VSCC) annual Welsh Trial near Presteigne. Here is a snapshot. A gallery will be added later in the week.

5th October 2016
Autumn Classic at Prescott gallery added from 2nd October

Some chosen images from the American-themed Autumn Classic at Prescott have just been added. I made the conscious decision to only take images depicting the American theme rather than the cars competing on the hill. The gallery is here.

2nd October 2016
Autumn Classic at Prescott
 

A few detail shots from today's splendid American-themed Autumn Classic at Prescott run by the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC)

1st October 2016
Lightroom Bitesize Tutorials added

The popular Lightroom Bitesize tutorials have now returned to the website. There are currently 35 tutorials, each of which opens as a handy PDF document which you can just read on-screen or print off for your records.

29th September 2016
Loton Park gallery added from 25th September 2016

A few images have been added to a gallery from a very slow day at Loton Park where the final rounds of several national hillclimb championships took place.

27th September 2016
Sunset

Fantastic sky over Ironbridge this evening. Pity I was just outside my kitchen door rather than being somewhere photogenic.

25th September 2016
HDLCC Loton Park hill climb
 
It was a great day for socialising at Loton Park today. Good job - there were so many stoppages there was little else to do. Altogether I enjoyed it - even though I took a pathetically low number of photos. I will add some more to the website later in the week (but not many!). Great to see everyone though....
15th September 2016
New Facebook page

I have now created a new Facebook page (as opposed to a timeline) which is designed to complement this website. You can find it here.

 

11th September 2016
VSCC Hill Climb at Loton Park

This morning I set off in a westerly direction to my 'local' hill climb venue, Loton Park in Alberbury, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, to be part of the Vintage Sports-Car Club's media team for their annual hill climb. I have been visiting Loton Park on-and-off for over 30 years and so I have a soft spot for it, notwithstanding the fact that I now know it so well - in fact the only problem I have is trying to find something a little bit different each time.

It was a great day. It all went very smoothly, no major 'offs' and the weather stayed dry and (largely) sunny. I also met a couple of very pleasant new media photographers on the hill and we had some good banter - I hope to see more of them both next season.

A new gallery from the day has been added.

4th September 2016
Shelsley Walsh Bike Festival 2016

Today saw the second ever bike festival at the iconic Shelshley Walsh hill climb venue. Once again I was privileged to be invited to be part of the official media team to capture photographs from the day. In the morning I was on the start line taking a photograph of every 'ride the hill' entry with our grid girl Mel. She normally models at stock car and drag car race events and this was her first experience of a hill climb - but her experience soon showed through and it was a pleasure to work with her and she brought a smile to many a biker.

In the afternoon I was stationed on 'Top Ess' and it was great to see the entrants put some spirited handling into a difficult corner on their way to the finish point.

The Bike Festivals raise vital funds and awareness for the organising, regional Blood Bike group, Severn Freewheelers, charity no: 1120999. Photographs are a available from this website. No member of the media team makes any money from these photographs - any proceeds are donated to the charity.

28th August 2016
Loton Park Hill Climb

It was a fantastic day at Loton Park today - a fly-past by the Red Arrows, a lovely presentation to the Gate Marshall crew - and, of course, some great hill climbing.

I attempted some wide-angle HDR shots of some of the cars in the paddock area, inspired by best mate (and top photographer) Adrian Evans. Some came out OK but there is more work to be done. However, it is something that I will continue to do because I really don't spend enough time in the paddock area and concentrate far too much time 'on-the-hill' which can, of course, over the season become a bit monotonous. A couple of these shots can be found in the Gallery.

20th August 2016
Fully operational
The new site is now fully operational with all links working. I just need to populate the gallery and links pages and we're ready to go......

 

18th August 2016
The website develops
Slowly but surely the new website is developing and I finally have a vision of how it's going to look. It's interesting that as I get into it I start to remember how it all works after years of relying on Wordpress to do everything for me. I'm sure that I am only touching the surface of what Adobe Dreamweaver is fully capable of but I am quite pleased with the results and hope to launch a fully operational website soon.

 

15th August 2016
A new website is born

After months of sporadic, and sometimes downright terrible, loading of my website - coupled with a new problem that developed whereby I couldn't upload any new images - I finally decided to contact a local I.T. company, Midland Computers. I have used them in a professional capacity over many years and so trust them to give me the best advice. As soon as I mentioned that it was run on a Wordpress platform there was a sharp intake of breath. In a nutshell, they don't support Wordpress-based sites because so many of the themes and plug-ins are open-source and, as such, can give rise to all sorts of bugs and security breaches. To de-bug my site was clearly not an option.

After a brief chat it was clear what was the best option for the future - to delete the Wordpress site entirely and start again with a new approach. At present my aim is to create a unique stand-alone site using Adobe Dreamweaver just like I used to years ago. This may take some time though, much has changed since then and the key is all about planning what you want the end result to look like rather than just ploughing on in the hope that something good may develop. It may be some time before this site is up-and-running to its full potential.

PS: As a footnote, as I was deleting the old Wordpress folders from the web server I noticed that for every image I had uploaded it has created and saved 8 other versions of various sizes. No wonder that the database was getting so bloated. It seems a very amateurish method of providing the user with a range of images sizes for a blog post.