Springwatch has arrived in our garden

We’ve recently treated ourselves to a new toy… an infrared camera trap. Tonight was a trial run with it, and we are utterly delighted with the results… our first ever night time image at 1:57am this morning was Mr Hedgehog having a wander around our orchard. I cannot wait to see if he comes back tonight and whether he brings anyone with him. We have twisted the camera a little further round to the left to try and get a better shot of him as he emerges from the wild. Watch this space…

Too Dark?

I have been experimenting with the infrared shots I took in Lapland and have decided to re-review some of the shots I discarded to see if I could ‘rescue’ any of them from the trash. I stumbled upon this shot – it lacks the intensity of light that I have become used too when using infrared in the UK – but that’s why I am drawn to this image. I quite like the occasional highlights of the snow on the trees and the lakeside, it reminds me of the way the bright moonlight bounced off the landscape  creating moments of bright brilliance on cloudy Lappish nights.  I also like the darkness of the shot – infrared allows you to experiment with the contrast and temperature of the blacks and whites and I when I can use them to extreme, I tend to try and do so (because this type of photography affords this rare privilege). I am just not sure if it is too dark and too extreme…. I welcome your thoughts. More of my infrared photographs are available in the Taraji Blue infrared experiments gallery (not all are this extreme!).    

The night I lost my foot in a field of sunflowers

I’m afraid this is not an epic world war tale of heroism and bravery.  More a cautionary tale about the dangers of mixing two very keen, over-worked and overenthusiastic amateur photographers with a new landscape and too much sunshine 🙂 Allow me to explain… We have just returned from a glorious week in the Loire Valley, where the order of the day was R&R. Purposefully located off the beaten track in a tiny hamlet, our small but perfectly formed gite was to become our home for some serious recuperation after a hectic 8 weeks. We’d arrived with little expectations, but were immediately blown away not only by the accommodation – but its setting. Set amongst a mature orchard, the gite was next to a field of thousands of sunflowers – every which way you looked was nature at its most splendid. What’s more it was quiet, oh so quiet. There was no sound, no active neighbours, nothing – just the unrelenting French sunshine, us, a BBQ, cheese and nature. I tried my best to rest – I really did. But with such incredible scenery on my doorstep I was like a toddler on Christmas eve, restless and wondering ‘what if?’. I managed a whole 30 minutes from arriving before grabbing my camera and heading outside into the calm and beautiful evening. All options of R&R where shattered when, upon