2014 & What's Ahead..

06th January 2015
Well, we're now into the first few weeks of 2015 & and i thought i'd take a look back at 2014 and what it meant to me through a lens. It started off the same as it ended - stormy! But eventually, Spring slowly nudged Winter out of the way and gave a marvellous display in all it's finest greenery.
It was in the Spring that i made my first serious attempt to capture the iconic Beech Avenue that runs along part of the road that links the towns of Blandford Forum and Wimborne, the B3082. I arrived here very early in the morning when the road is free of cars to catch the light as it beamed through the young leaves...

It was the same weekend i also made my first visit to Micheldever Woods, just north of Winchester in Hampshire. It is famed for its Bluebell woods and after a preliminary trip to find a decent stretch of flowers, i returned just after sunrise to make my first phtographic visit to this wonderful location. Not quite the conditions i was after, but i know where to return this year to make another attempt, this time hopefully with some mist to diffuse the light a little.

Spring slowly rolled into Summer and in late May i made a mad dash to the Bedruthan Steps in North Cornwall for one night, hoping to catch the sun setting behind the sea stacks there, with some wild flowers too. I was not disappointed and came away with a couple of images i am quite pleased with - definitely room for improvement though.

A few weeks later in June, I managed to leave the shores of the UK and took a road trip down to the French Alps, where i camped in Chamonix for a week at the foot of Mt Blanc.

The weather was blisteringly hot here, with temperatures reaching 37 degrees on some days, which made hiking quite exhausting. It was a wonderful spell away though and i returned with a few shots worth keeping and many wonderful memories. I particularly enjoyed the Ice Caves at the Mer De Glace and the hike back to Chamonix through the glacial alpine valleys was wonderful.
But most of all it was making it to the top of the Aiguille D'Midi that i enjoyed the most. At 14,500 feet high, the air is thin and the rapid ascent in the cable car gives no time to acclimatise either! Still, the views from the top were truly incredible and i spent a good three hours gawping over the tops of jagged peaks into Italy and Austria.

I more or less missed the Poppies in 2014, or seemed to not have the time to go searching properly. I did find a small smattering around Six Penny Handley in Dorset though, but these were confined to the fringes of Rapeseed crops.I am determined to get the magical shot i want of Poppy Fields this year though, which has always eluded me..

The rest of the summer was pretty quiet photographically, with endless blue skies and baking hot days making landscape photography unrewarding, that and the countless thousands of holiday makers and tourist teeming everywhere. The Dorset coast and New Forest are wonderful places and see thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.. I guess it's the price you pay for living near such a lovely area. It's partly why i love winter so much!

Thankfully the Autumn didn't take too long to appear and conditions got interesting again. I caught a few nice early morning mists along the Stour,

...and explored a new location on Dartmoor, Hisley Bridge in the Bovey Valley. Alas the trees hadn't turned nearly enough as i thought they might have, but now i know where it is, i will return better prepared next year hopefully..

Last year also saw me succumb to the allure of Corfe Castle in the mist, a clich├ęd shot i have long shied away from as i don't really like to be around hordes of other people when I'm shooting...but this year i gave in for some reason as i was passing on a foggy morning, and ended up with this..

Whilst it was a lovely sight to see the ruins with swirling mists around it, It felt a bit like a red carpet event with lines of tripods all jostling for the same spot...not the experience I'm really after when i venture out!

Some Cornish sun rounded off the year in late November with a trip to the coast around Looe..it really is beautiful round there. The walk between Looe & and the very picturesque fishign village of Polperro and back is a fantastic (if not very hilly!) stretch of coast that doesn't appear to be that well trodden.

..and so into the winter of 2014/2015 proper, where there's been some lovely cold snaps already...such as this frozen dawn on the roof of Dorset, Hambledon Hill...

..taken with my new toy, the fantastic 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, the latest wide angle offering from Canon, which by all accounts is a wonderful piece of glass! It was also treate to this in Januray, a lovely colourful sunrise at Mupe Bay, east of Lulworth Cove, one of my favourite places along the entire coast

So, many plans afoot for 2015, watch this space for updates, I'll be updating my blog a lot more regularly, when time allows..

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