Annual Review Part II

The day after my workshop in Dorset, (See previous Blog for My Review of the Year Part I including the saga of the PhotoSailing website), I left for Scotland again at the beginning of May and I still hadn’t updated the PhotoSailing website. The Hebrides is a wonderful part of Scotland and part of its charm and character is its remote nature. In 2013 I covered a sailing event further south around the Isles of Bute, Loch Fyne and the Cowel peninsula, another beautiful part of Scotland, which inspired me to look at other areas within relatively close proximity of Glasgow for future workshop locations.

This trip took us to the area around the Crinan canal. This canal joins the Sound of Jura with Loch Fyne avoiding sailors the long trip around the Mull of Kintyre. It was a great area to explore with wonderful islands, and coastline. I even turned nature photographer on a couple of afternoons shooting a family of otters we came across whilst location hunting. Then we started seeing otters, and seals once we had our eye in.

From Crinan, it was back up to Skye to complete more work on a project I am fulfilling there, before returning mid-May. Fitting in print and picture requests can sometimes be problematic whist travelling but fortunately I take libraries with me and have access to my main office computer as well. You can bet your bottom dollar however, that one will come ping through while I am on the M6 up north or in an airport lounge somewhere with dodgy wifi. Trying to chill when there is a picture editor wanting an image by the end of the day is not easy for me, and I never really get used to it.

As ever we experienced more great light on Skye including this high level rainbow above a lenticular cloud.

During the late spring I usually run some of the beginner PhotoTrek workshops on the coast at Mudeford. Late May saw one of these, but it felt more like December. It was bitterly cold and then the storm clouds rolled in so the ‘students’ received an introduction into low light photography as well - always a bonus.

At the end of May I travelled down to Cornwall to cover the bi-annual Pendennis Cup regatta for superyachts. This is a closed invited regatta with humungous sized yachts competing against each other with the beautiful Cornish landscape around Carrick Roads and the Lizard as a backdrop. I have covered this event since 2010 and it is a wonderful atmosphere. The organisers are friendly and help me in doing my job which is always a bonus, I love it. As well as supplying Pendennis, Yachting World used the images to cover their feature on the event including a double page spread as the feature opener which was nice. Now about that website…

I was off again at the beginning of June, this time on holiday wey-hey! A week dinghy sailing in Turkey. Great fun other than getting tennis elbow from giving it my all in the races! Being on holiday and self employed means that you are still working even when you are away as I am sure many of you know. Answering emails, image requests and bookings doesn’t stop, at least I hope it doesn’t!

Back to reality and the office plus a mid-week one to one and two to one which were fun. At the weekend I took out some guests as a ‘Join Me’ workshop aboard a chartered motor launch to cover the annual Round the Island (Isle of Wight) yacht race with up to 1600 yachts taking part. This year was a slow affair with very little wind. We were sat off the Needles and some of the yachts even started going backwards. Flappy sails and capturing the moment was what it was about photographically. Here is a picture of the eventual winners, which Yachting World used.

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As July started, so had the work on my PhotoSailing website, HURRAY! Only started mind and within a week I was tearing my hair out. Bloody HTM flippin L. Respite came in organising and running my first MACRO workshop. Props included the obvious flowers and shells, with less obvious computer hard drives and guitars. The basics were covered in the classroom both theoretically and practically, before practising for real out in the New Forest where dragonflies, bugs, moths and heather flowers were utiilized to practise the craft.

The idyllic Solent fishing village of Keyhaven was made use of with the longer evenings for a novice workshop. If you haven’t been there, it is worth taking a trip. It’s great for winter dawn shoots as well with the sunrise over the Isle of Wight.

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A week long classic yacht regatta in the Solent , the Panerai British Classic Yacht Regatta no less, took my time up in the latter part of July. These wonderful old classic yachts, some worth many millions, being raced with gusto always makes me smile in awe. Anyway, back to the website update. It seems that it is one step forward and two back at the moment. Hey ho.

Part three of the Review of the Year soon. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook to find out when or simply return to my Blog at a later date.