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Photographer based in South Wales, UK. Working mainly on a single beach - Poppit Sands.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Older Blog Posts

These are all the posts made over the past two years of photography at Poppit - taken from my website....

July 2009

5th July
I finally managed to get all my film developed - 4 rolls taken with 2 keepers. Once again Poppit gives me something that I have not seen before.

June 2009

30th June
Another special day at Poppit - perfect weather and two rolls of film taken. The last two rolls that I developed produced 1 keeper - and this was quite unexpected - but it was one of those rare special moments where you see the shot fresh from developing and it hits you in the stomach. It doesn't have any individual quality that makes it special to me - it is just all the elements coming together in a way that I didn't really expect. A little sprinkle of magic that happened when I wasn't looking.

29th June
Perfect weather at Poppit tonight - and lots of exciting things happening at this time of day. 2 rolls of film taken - and I am trying out a new developing technique on them tomorrow.

26th June
The beach tides are good for the next three days. Lots of ideas to try out and the weather is looking good.

22nd June
The last few days have been spent catching up with shots and working on exhibition proposals. Hopefully I'll have a batch of photos of my work process to put in the book soon too.

16th June
A interesting trip to Poppit last night - everything seemed right - the light and the tide - but there seemed to be nothing new. I have learned to try and push past this phase on the beach and look harder until things come to me but nothing happened initially - until I started to make my way back and then possible shots started to pop up everywhere. 1 roll of film taken - I'll develop it today.

14th June
More admin work done as I wait for the tides to be right at Poppit - just a few more days now until I can get out there again. Some new developer has just arrived along with a batch of film - I'm ready for Summer.

10th June
When this year started I had no idea what type of image I would be producing by the end of it. I seem to have hundreds of ideas but the actual images generally change slowly and gradually. The two common links between what I take now and what I took, say, in 2007 are the time of day and the feeling in my stomach when I first see them. So long as I can trust these two then I know that my work will satisfy my need to produce it.

8th June
Once again, the weather puts an end to my planned Poppit visits for the past few days. The last trip gave me 5 rolls of film - but with no keepers unfortunately. Those shots have given me a few pointers towards some new ideas which I will hopefully try out this week. Meanwhile, the work on the book continues and the admin duties get done.

2nd June
The tide was good again at Poppit so I managed to get another trip in before the weather turns. I left it a touch later this time and different opportunities popped up everwhere. These little events must come up all the time just after I have left Poppit - if only the sun would stick in one place for an hour or so...

1st June
I managed to get to Poppit last night - it was nice to get out of the studio to try some new ideas and it was exciting to see the sands again. Three rolls of film to develop - it will be interesting to see how some of these new ideas turn out.

May 2009

31st May
I picked up my first 40" framed print yesterday. I am in two minds as to whether this is the size to go with - the impact certainly is there - but does the size work for the type of shots that I am doing? I will have to spend some time working this one out.

26th May
The last two weeks have been spent working on the book as a strained back has stopped me visiting Poppit. This time has been very helpful in taking my mind away from making the image and thinking more towards what to actually do with it. However I am itching to get back on the beach - next week's tides look promising...

18th May
Last night at Poppit was very wet and windy. I managed to squeeze one roll of film out but I am not expecting anything special from it.
I have been working on the book which is coming together well - and I have also found out that I have been selected as a finalist in the 2009 Hasselblad Masters Award - the second year running. Results for this award will be in early 2010 but my Poppit work will be displayed by Hasselblad both online and in exhibitions.

14th May
Poppit is good again on the 17th so I am ready to go - assuming that the weather is right. Such a long break from the sands has left me in the mood to get back in there as soon as possible - so I'll be tempted to go out even if the light isn't right. This could either give me some new and exciting types of shots - or, as has happened many times in the past, I could end up wasting rolls of film. Oddly, even when this happens it still gives me a boost - even bad shots seem to be better for me than no shots.

6th May
I spent an hour or so at Poppit with a digital camera yesterday to see how it coped. I have no intention as yet to move to digital as I feel I still have a long way to go with film, but in use the digital camera was light, quick and strangely refreshing. However, the results were no match for the medium format - but this may be my inexperience in using the equipment.

April 2009

30th April
At long last I managed to get to Poppit on a near perfect evening. I had the place to myself and I could relax and wander around - 2 rolls of film taken.

29th April
With no visits to Poppit for a week I have been working on accounts and admin. New ideas have been springing up and I need to sit down and work out the good ones from the bad. I expect that when the dust settles I will be right back where I began - which isn't such a bad thing.

18th April
Things are slowing down here workwise at the moment as my wife is due to have a baby - so no trips to Poppit for a while. I had a great time chatting to Brooks Jensen yesterday -
the interview and some of my latest Poppit work will be in the 82nd issue of Lenswork Extended DVD - www.lenswork.com

11th April
After revisiting my shots taken on the 1st April I decided to add another one to my list of keepers - strange how this one seemed to pass me by at the time but then grabbed my attention a few days later. Late next week looks good for Poppit - a new batch of film has been loaded and I'm ready to go.

7th April
Lots of admin work to catch up with at the moment - and a lot of film to buy for the summer. Soon I will be on Poppit at about 9pm - and if I can get the beach to myself and the light is good then I will be a happy man.I have checked again on the shots taken last week and I still like them - so they stay, and I will try my new developing techniques again with my next batch of film.

3rd April
The weather has turned again so no more trips to Poppit for a while - however the last roll of film gave me three keepers. I am not too sure if this is because there are some new techniques used and I am excited by them - I will take a look at the shots again in a weeks time to see if they stand up.

1st April
My third year at Poppit gets off to a good start with a fine day and a good tide. I used up 1 roll of film before the light faded. I am going to try a few experiments with my development times to see if I can get what I want with the negatives. This is an area that I haven't delved into at all so I am looking forward to the results.

March 2009

26th March
Next week looks like being a good tide time for Poppit so I am getting my equipment clean and ready. I have also been working on some new ideas and plans with regards to the beach - all I need now is the weather to try them out.
Also, I found out today that I will be interviewed in April by Brooks Jensen - the editor of Lenswork Magazine - which will be included in #82 edition of Lenswork Extended DVD, along with a selection of my new Poppit work.

23rd March
Once again I am waiting for Poppit to get a good light/tide combination - however, this time is good for admin and working out plans and experiments. I am constantly thinking about how to get the image that I want - and there are so many options available to me I often get lost in it all - and that is usually when I return to the solid, basic setup and fundamentals that I had before - and somehow, after all, this setup gives me what I wanted. It is almost as if I needed to experiment and try new things to wash away any routine that I was getting into and to instill some excitement and freshness - and then coming back to the basics and being able to bend what I know to get the shot that I want - rather than rely on a new gadget or unusual technique.This isn't always the case - sometimes when I experiment a trace of what I discover gets added to my standard setup - and so my system and way of thinking evolves very very slowly.

18th March
The results from my last trip to Poppit were interesting - but with no real gut-crushing keepers. However, even when things don't turn out well I feel that it makes me appreciate how hard it is to get an image that I am happy with - and this in turn reassures me that I am still holding the bar high - rather than letting it drop to get more shots into the collection. When it comes to self analysis that is about as far as I go.

15th March
The last two evenings at Poppit have been perfect. I have been experimenting with a number of new ideas and techniques - I know what I want to get but I am not too sure how to get it yet - so I will be developing my current batch of film with great interest later today.

14th March
Once again there has been a long break in between possible Poppit visits - the tides just don't come often enough. However, the past two weeks has been spent on the new book(s) and sorting out some new ideas that I have been working on. I am also sorting out some of my equipment that has taken a heavy beating in the 2 years of beach visits. My camera bag is almost totally useless now and parts of my old Hasselblad are starting to clunk rather than whirr. Time to get things serviced again I think.
I now have 4 days of possible Poppit visits to get ready for - I am just waiting for the right weather.

6th March
The three rolls taken on the 1st turned out very well - the weather was perfect. I managed to get 4 keepers from that shoot which I think is a new record. I will soon start to whittle down the collection to the best dozen or so.

1st March
A perfect day for Poppit Sands. Yesterday was overcast but today was cool, still and crisp. I managed to get 3 rolls taken - I am developing them today. I now find that I can quite accurately see a shot in my mind before I look through the camera. I noticed this when I checked how many rolls of film were taken last year - and this year there were half as many taken - but not because of lack of visits - but maybe 2 years experience on the beach is sharpening my eye a bit. I wonder how many rolls of film I will be taking in 10 years time.

February 2009

24th February
Samples of my portfolio book arrived today. The picture and paper quality seems excellent - now down to some serious marketing with it. I have about 5 good days for Poppit ahead of me - this is very exciting as my new 645 back for the Hasselblad will be here and I cannot wait to try it out.

23rd February
Work continues on the Poppit book. I am in two minds as to the format - and whether to self publish or not. I have also bought a 6x4.5 back for the Hasselblad. I am expecting this to push me into new directions when I am on the beach - however what may happen is that I use it for a while and then realise how much I love the 6x6 format. I think it will be worth a try though, as every time I make a move in another direction it seems to persuade me more and more to stick with what I have.

15th February
I managed to get out to Poppit for three evenings in a row last week. However my developer fluid seems to be contaminated and I could only manage to salvage a few negatives from three rolls of film. This is an annoying setback. However, other things move on - I have ordered some copies of a portfolio book to pass out to the galleries. The feedback so far has been good. Sales too are picking up - hopefully a good omen for the Summer.

4th February
The tides have not been good for me recently so I have been working on my latest shots and thinking about presentation for my latest work. I am starting to think about A0 size for the abstract images - I will do some test prints from A2 to A0 to see if they come more alive when large.

January 2009

28th January
It was a perfect evening at Poppit so I got there early and used up 4 rolls of film - the most that I have ever taken in one session. Out of those for 4 rolls there are two keeper shots. Oddly, these shots were taken in a hurry when I thought that the light had gone - I used a flashgun quite a lot on them - much more than I usually do. Once again pure luck helps me get something new.

27th January
I have been trying out a new section of Poppit. It is a large beach and it changes completely from one area to another. However, this change of area also meant a change of technique and some trial and error. I found that all my older ideas and ways of doing things just didn't fit with what I wanted to shoot - and everything just came out bland and flat. So I have a couple of good tides coming up and a bag full of film for me to use to get to grips with this.

19th January
The tides have not been good for Poppit for a while so I am working on a hardback portfolio book. This will hopefully be used in the galleries and make records easier to keep.
I have also been working on plans for the new year - what I want to do and where. I have some new ideas that I need to work on right now if they are to hatch this summertime.

15th January
Another couple of frustrating wet evenings - just when the tide was right. However, the one evening that I did get out gave me 3 keepers from 2 rolls of film - which doesn't happen very often and is enough to keep me satisfied for a while.
I am finding now that I look for different things on the sands - I look for unusual things or unusual occurances. I take photos that I would never have considered a year ago - and because of this my work is getting more abstract and unusual - maybe even harder to like. But for me it is the way that my gut feeling is taking me - and I will follow it without trying to analyse myself too much.

14th January
Finally, a good evening at Poppit. I managed to get two rolls taken - the light seemed good and some new ideas were popping into my head as I snapped away. The film is drying as I type this.

13th January
The last couple of evenings have been very frustrating with the tide at Poppit being perfect but with the rain just lashing down. I have tried taking photos in this weather before and it just seems to be a waste of time - so I am hoping for a break in the clouds tonight or tomorrow.
Meanwhile I carry on doing admin duties and working on my portfolio book. 7th January I have been out and about visiting galleries - with a long trip to Shrewsbury to deliver 12 Poppit shots for my exhibition at the Photographic Image Gallery. The owner, Phil, has an obvious passion for photography and I am looking forward to popping up to see him again in the future.
I now have a couple of free days to develop and work on some recent shots. Poppit is good again in three days time and I have just had a large batch of film delivered so I am ready to go.

4th January
I visited Poppit twice since my last post - one visit was excellent - giving me two keepers from one roll of film, and the other was a waste of time as so many people were on the beach. I have also been mounting and framing and getting everything ready for Wednesday - and fine tuning the prints that are to be on show.

December 2008

29th December
Arrived at Poppit a little late due to visiting galleries today - so I only had about 10 minutes of good light to work with. Still, I saw things happening in the sands that I have never seen before. Hopefully I have captured these events before they disappeared. Eight shots taken - another three good days at Poppit to go - and the weather is looking good too.

28th December
From the two last rolls that were taken I have one keeper. Poppit is good now for four evenings, so I am ready packed up with film and ready to shoot.

22nd December
With everything going on at the moment it has taken me this long to get round to developing my last two rolls of film. They are hanging up to dry as I type this - a couple of the negs look hopeful. We shall see. I have been working on the prints for the Photographic Image exhibition as well as sorting out the frames. I cannot see me getting much photography work done in the next few days so I am rushing to get as much done by the end of today.

14th December
An amazing evening at Poppit. I rushed down there to catch the light and managed to use a whole roll up in about 10 minutes. It was one of those times when either the light was just right or my eye was working well - everything seemed to snap effortlessly into place. I suppose that if you do something enough times you get days like this every now and then - to make up for the many failed trips.

13th December
The next three evenings are good for Poppit so I am hoping for a new batch of films to develop soon. It seems that my second year on this project is taking on a life of its own - with weird directions producing unusual results

9th December
Admin work has been taking up all my time for the past few days - however now that is all done I have managed to develop some more film and work some more on the overall Poppit project. I seem to be doing work for Poppit all over the place - from books to exhibitions to website changes to competitions.

4th December
Two more good evenings at Poppit - but just one roll of film taken. However things are hotting up on the book front and I seem to be getting swamped by emails and enquires after appearing in Lenswork and Silvershotz.

November 2008

30th November
Two good evenings at Poppit with a couple of rolls of film taken. There are two more good Poppit days to go until a break in the tides - which is a good thing as I have plenty of admin work and developing to catch up on.

24th November
The session with the flashgun gave me some unexpected results which I like very much. I now have a lot of testing to do to see if I can replicate these results.
After checking over the old Hasselblad it seems that 2 years on a sandy wet beach in all weathers is having a bad effect on the build quality. I hope that it is only cosmetic as I have grown attached to this particular 50mm lens.

18th November
I managed to get to Poppit for one last shoot until the next good tide. The light rapidly vanished so I spent a happy hour trying out some ideas with a flashgun.

17th November
The weather for Poppit has been awful for the past few days so I have been getting stuck in with admin work and getting ready for the new exhibition at Photographic Image gallery. My 50mm is back from being repaired so I am itching to get back out onto the sands again.

12th November
The next five days are good for Poppit - however the weather looks awful. I may take the opportunity to try out some new ideas that have been buzzing around in my head recently.

7th November
I have finally finished developing the 6 rolls of film taken recently. From those rolls I have 5 keepers - four of which are 35mm shots. The more I use the 35mm the more I like it.

4th November
Four evenings in a row at Poppit - with 6 rolls of film taken. I am developing them this week and hopefully the results will keep me busy until the next low tide.

October 2008

31st October
The next four or five evenings are good tide times for Poppit so I hope that the weather stays fine. Strangely my last 3 rolls of film have not produced even the slightest hope of a good shot - and I remember when I was taking the shots how great everything looked - the light, the compositions - but still they turned out oddly flat. It makes me wonder whether I'll ever crack what conditions make a perfect shoot, or whether there is something else involved in a good shot apart from the light, the composition and my eye.

28th October
I have been working on the shots produced from my last session at Poppit. Overall I have 4 keepers - a good stash from 3 days shooting. I am also looking at producing a book/portfolio of my Poppit work. There are a number of possible avenues that I can take with this idea - it is just a matter of wading through them all to see which suits me best.

23rd October
The Poppit shoot on the 20th was completely rained off - however the evening of the 21st was one of the best I have experienced. Wonderful sunset light - allowing me to shoot nearly 4 more rolls of film.
The past 4 rolls of film have given me 1 keeper which is more than enough to make me happy.

19th October
The last two evenings at Poppit have been great. Yesterday I arrived at just the right time and within half an hour I had used up 2 rolls. Today it was blowing a gale - sand everywhere - but I still managed to use up 2 more rolls. I have 2 more days of good tide/sunset combination to go before another long break so I intend on getting out there no matter what the weather is like.
I also found out that I have had 3 nominations in two categories for the Black & White Spider Awards.

17th October
Lots of admin done in the last few days along with plenty of thought and research about taking Poppit further. The next 4 days are good for Poppit so I will be able to get plenty to keep me busy for the next few weeks. My 50mm is out of action for at least a week so I am falling back on the 80mm - hopefully something new will come of this.

13th October
The past few days have been taken up with admin duties as the tide at Poppit is currently high when I want it to be low. The next low tide at sunset is on 19th - so to keep me sane I did some more Holga work - testing out a new mod to the camera. Unfortunately the results were not as good as I had hoped for and I now own a rather poorly Holga.

8th October
I managed to get to Poppit yesterday just as the light was going. I still managed to get off 6 shots - we'll see what they come out like. I took the 50mm in to be fixed today. It is tempting to just buy a newer one but that lens has given me so many good shots I really want to keep it going if possible.I packaged up two prints for my new gallery - Photographic Image in Shrewsbury. They will be showing my Poppit prints in January. Hopefully I will be able to get some more interest in my new year at Poppit with my appearance in Silvershotz and Lenswork at the end of the year.

7th October
One keeper from 5th October - and this was with the 80mm and a close up filter. The shot was the last one taken from two rolls - all the others are way too harsh - new techniques will need to be learnt while my 50mm is away being fixed.

5th October
Another trip to Poppit today - my usual 50mm lens is jammed so I am using my backup 80mm for a while. 2 rolls taken - I'll develop them tomorrow

2nd October
The last week has been quiet on the work front as I was busy with getting married. Our wedding photographer - David Purslow really showed how it should be done. How anyone can work that fast, that professionally and get such good results is beyond me - I am so used to trudging through sand and standing in the dark for ages.

September 2008

22nd September
Finally - a good weather day at Poppit. I managed to get to the sands just as the sun went down which meant that I had about 10 minutes of good light. Then I had to hunt quite hard for shots - but I finally managed to get 2 rolls shot. On the last shot my Hasselblad jammed so I am going to have to take it apart.

16th September
The weather has been dull and gloomy here for ages now - I have resorted to daydreaming about wonderful sunsets at Poppit.
Also, I am to be featured in Lenswork magazine in November/December 2008.

10th September
Once again the 35mm comes to the rescue and ends my drought of exciting shots - with three keepers out of a roll of 36. These small victories keep me going in between getting the big sharp Hasselblad keepers.

7th September
An overcast trip to Poppit this evening. For some reason the light wasn't quite right and after developing 1 roll there were no keepers.

5th September
A few days ago I went out to Poppit at high tide - just to see what I could get. I ended up taking shots of the tall grasses and to be honest I was not expecting much to come from them. However I developed these shots yesterday and I think two of them are keepers. I must have chosen just the right time to shoot the grass as it looks special to me.

4th September
A long drive to Olney today to deliver 12 Poppit shots for the exhibition at ICETWICE Gallery.
Also, I have received 5 'Honourable Mention' Awards in the IPA Awards based in California.

August 2008

30th August
Once again the tides and weather have not been good for Poppit. I am looking into trying new techniques that will give me more time down at the sands without needing low tides and evening light. Hopefully this will satisfy my thirst for Poppit photos.

26th August
The last two nights were good for Poppit - but the weather was very bleak. Only 8 shots taken.My new studio is taking shape and I am now getting work ready for the exhibition at ICETWICE gallery in Olney.

23rd August
Finally, the tides were good for Poppit today. I managed to get there as they were on their way out and I finished off a roll of film.
The exhibition at Pendre is in its last week - it has been given lots of positive feedback and a number of sales. It was interesting to be there as people visited the gallery and looked at the photos. Certain images seemed to instantly attract attention - whereas others were ignored.

18th August
It has been the wettest August for 100 years so they say - which has been a bit of a problem for Poppit - however this coming weekend may be ok so I am getting my kit ready for a rush of shots. I am also moving to a larger studio this week so everything is getting packed up for a day or so.

13th August
Out of the two rolls taken over the weekend there was one keeper - the shot itself took me completely by surprise as I had forgotten taking it - due to a couple on the beach having a chat with me as I tried to count the exposure time. They must have thought me a bit odd not being able to string a sentence together as I counted the seconds in my head.

11th August
I managed to get down to Poppit on 8th and 10th - the only days with a good tide (the 9th was rained off). The light wasn't great but I managed to use 2 rolls of film which I have developed and are now hanging up to dry.

4th August
An excellent opening night at Pendre for the Poppit exhibition. There were some sales and some very interesting people to talk to. Andy and Liz at the gallery did a great job and the pictures themselves looked clean and sharp.
Even during all the excitement and build up, on the way to the opening night I could see the clouds bubbling up over the coast and I couldn't help thinking what shots I could be getting if I were there. The tides are good again in two days time - I just hope that the weather is favourable.

2nd August
All the prints are framed and ready to be hung. I am doing that tomorrow and Monday. I am still working on my last batch of keepers and I have another roll to develop. It feels like the times when the Poppit tides are favourable get further and further apart and it does get frustrating - especially when there is wonderful light - but I know that I can only get what I want at the moment with a low tide - anything else would be a waste of time.

July 2008

29th July
I managed to get to Poppit quite late again yesterday. It had just rained so the beach was empty and fresh - however the light vanished quickly and I managed about 5 shots in all. I was hoping for better weather today but as I arrived at Poppit the rain lashed down and I just had to turn around and come straight home.
The exhibition build up is going well - the booklets are getting out there and interest seems high.

27th July
I got arrived at Poppit at 8pm tonight expecting hundreds of tourists - but the beach was deserted. I took 1 roll and numerous 35mm snaps. The next two nights are good for the tide too so I'll be busy developing later in the week.

25th July
Invites and booklets about the exhibition are now going out. I hope to collect some from the gallery on Saturday and post quite a few. I have been waiting for a good tide at Poppit - and it looks like this weekend will be it. After 2 weeks of not being able to take shots I am having to keep myself going with working on the 5 keeper shots from my last trip. Each one is needing a fair amount of spotting.
I have also posted a short film clip on YOUTUBE of me working on Poppit. It is a bit jerky and with no sound but hopefully it might be of interest to someone.

23rd July
All 5 rolls have finally been developed. There is a mixture of old and new ideas on each reel - and overall there are 5 keepers. Out of those 5, two of them were of new techniques or ideas. I will keep an eye on them for a while to make sure that it isn't just the excitement of a new technique that has made me choose them - they need to be able to keep up with the others.

17th July
I am still working on moving my studio so little in the way of developing is being done at the moment - I have 5 rolls of film just waiting to be dipped.
The editor of Silvershotz magazine contacted me today from Australia - they are going to do an 8 page feature article on me and my work including 16 images. Hopefully a number of Poppit shots will be printed. This is excellent news for getting my work seen overseas.

15th July
I am sorting out my studio at the moment as I intend in the next few weeks to move to a larger office/developing area. I am excited by the prospect of actually having some more space to spread out my work.

13th July
I mananged to squeeze in a late trip to Poppit this evening. I arrived at about 9pm which is usually the time that I am leaving - however I found quite a few new and interesting images - we'll see how they come out when I develop them.

10th July
The tides are good for about three days at Poppit - so I rushed off to the beach with both the Hasselblad and the 35mm. To have both of them was a good combination - leaving the hasselblad set up and walking freely around shooting with the 35mm handheld. I know that there are new and exciting things hidden still in Poppit - so I am trying hard to bend the way I work so that I can discover them. 3 rolls of film taken.
The exhibition setup is coming along nicely - posters have been printed and I am now designing the invites for the opening night.

7th July
I have been out experimenting with the 35mm again as the Poppit tides are not good for a while. Every time I try something new with this camera and film format is feels new and light and exciting. There is blur and grain and blown highlights - all of which make up an exciting image. Completely different to the sharp silky dark Poppit shots.

4th July
The tide times are difficult at the moment so I am back to work sorting out exhibition admin. Sometimes it can be frustrating just waiting for the weather and tide to come together - however, I know from past experience that many rolls of film can be wasted if I go out with unfavourable conditions.
It looks like my Poppit Series will be on exhibition at the Photographic Image Gallery in Shropshire for Jan and Feb 2009. This means that so far the Poppit work will be on show for 5 months. I now need to find venues to bring it up to June 2009 and I'll be able to start exhibiting my second year of Poppit - and so on and so on...

June 2008

30th June
Yesterdays shoot was one of the best that I have had - out of 24 shots 5 were keepers. I seem to remember that June last year was a good month too.
I went out again today and the light was not as good - by 9pm it had almost completely gone. 1 Roll taken - I'll develop it tonight.

29th June
A wonderful evening at Poppit. I arrived at 8pm and had taken two rolls by 9.15 - everywhere I looked there seemed to be possible images. I put this down to the fact that the tide was going out late in the day - so the sand was fresh and still wet and there were few people walking. Tomorrow should offer me more of the same - evenings like this are few and far between.
I delivered my first batch of 28 images to Pendre for framing. I now have another 28 to print for mounting and the posters to design and print.
27th June
A very wet and windy evening at Poppit today, and just when it seemed that it was going to be just a normal shoot the sun came out and gave me one of the best skies I have ever seen there. I shot 2 rolls and will be developing them today.
It is shoots like that that reassure me with my decision to keep on going back to Poppit. Even after over a year of taking photos there it can still surprise and amaze.

26th June
Another trip to Poppit yesterday. The tide is good for the next few days so I'll be there quite a bit. It was difficult to find any shots that had not been walked over - but I managed to shoot one roll.

20th June
Back to Poppit Sands - I haven't been for quite a while and I managed to get the tide timing completely wrong. However, I had the beach to myself so I took my time and took 1 roll of film.

17th June
The weather has been fine and sunny for the past few days so I have been catching up with admin duties. As expected, my Preseli Hills project has already changed direction and I expect that this will happen a number of times until I am used to using 35mm and can visualise what I want from it.

11th June
Took another trip to the Preseli Hills this evening. The fog rolled in and it began to rain but I managed to get 16 shots - all using the tripod as it was low light. I remember when I was taking shots of Poppit in the first few months - I was still settling down to the routine and getting used to things - and the same seems to be happening with the Preseli shots. Hopefully I'll hit my stride in October/November time.

10th June
The weather has been too nice recently - not a cloud in the sky - so I have been working on the Poppit Exhibition posters and other admin duties. My Preseli shots are getting close to what I imagined they would look like. It was interesting to find out that when I tried to apply the same techniques that worked for me at Poppit it just didn't click - and how such a dramatic change from those Hasselblad shots was what was needed.

6th June
Another trip out to the Preseli Hills - but this time with the Hasselblad. Even though it was a lovely evening there just wasn't enough going on for me to catch anything worth while. I spent most of the time driving around trying to find a shot - where I would prefer to work as I did at Poppit - just turning up at the same place over and over again and hunting down the shots on foot. 1 roll of film taken with no keepers.

5th June
Sales are starting to pick up after a lean few months - and I have secured two months at IceTwice gallery for the Poppit Exhibition - September and October 2008.

3rd June
I spent today doing my accounts and working on the shots taken yesterday. I am still in two minds as to whether I will try and print these 35mm shots at A2 size. I think that they may look good quite small - or as part of a book.

2nd June
Back out to the Preseli Hills again this evening - the fog rolled in and it started to rain - but I still managed to take 36 shots. I expect that many of these will be wasted - but I feel that I am still learning how to use this new camera and that I have quite a way before I feel as comfortable with it as I do the Hasselblad.

1st June
I took the 35mm back up to the Preseli Hills this evening. Once again I was eaten alive by bugs but it was worth it. I am amazed how free the 35mm with 24 exposures makes everything feel - rather than the big 6x6 with 12 exposures. If anything, the light was a little too good tonight and the pictures didn't have that dark grainy look that I am trying to get - apart from one keeper that I am really pleased with. These 35mm shots are no way as sharp as the Poppit work so I may just print them quite small.

May 2008

30th May
Yesterday I started my next year-long project - the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. I have spent a long time thinking about how to move forward following my year at Poppit and after quite a few false starts this one feels right. It has also helped that I intend to use an old 1964 35mm Canon SLR to record the hills -hopefully giving them the grit and grain that the Hasselblad did so well to avoid with Poppit. My first visit yesterday was a great success - especially as it was my first test of the Canon - I have never used a 35mm film camera before - but it felt wonderful without a tripod and the camera itself is a solid chunk of 60's metal.

28th May
I took the Hasselblad out to Poppit in the afternoon yesterday. Usually I keep to evenings - but it was overcast and the light had a silvery sheen that looked special. 1 roll taken with 1 keeper. It is odd that the weather conditions can be completely different and can still give me a photo that has that special feeling about it. I have tried to figure out what makes the photo special to me but they don't really have that much in common - apart from maybe recording a special moment in time. I try not to think too hard about it.
I have bought an old 1964 Canon Fx 35mm camera and I intend to take it to the Preseli Hills soon. This may be my next year long project.

25th May
The weather has been pretty bad for the past few days so I have been working on admin duties. The multi exposure shots were interesting but full of light leaks. I am in two minds as to whether to keep on trying with this new idea. I know the type of image that I want - and how it differs from what I am currently doing - but the problem is how to get there?

19th May
I am currently testing an adapted back for the Hasselblad that will allow me to take multiple exposures. Yesterday was spent with this new back trying out numerous ideas - we'll see how well it went when I develop them. I sometimes wonder what it is like to have instant digital results - things would probably progress much quicker.

15th May
More work done for the Poppit Exhibition - and a number of galleries contacted in London - my portfolios will be going out to them next week.

12th May
The tides at Poppit are perfect at the moment so I went out at about 6pm to catch the light. I was expecting holiday makers everywhere but there were very few and by 7pm I had the beach to myself. It is strange that I often feel that Poppit has given me all it can - especially after a few wasted visits - and then I suddenly find new and exciting shots with compositions that I have never tried before. It makes me wonder if I will ever give up coming to Poppit or if it will become somewhere I will always return to.

10th May
Three more visits made to Poppit this last week. The first was to try some night photography with the Hasselblad. I had to guess the exposure times - which seemed to work well. However, the resulting shots were just like any other cliched night time shot - so no keepers there.
The second visit was with the Mamiya at 4.30 am - low tide at Poppit. Unforntuately I discovered afterwards that the shutter speeds on the lens are sticky - and at one setting it just doesnt work at all - so all the shots taken were lost. However, the following morning at 4.30 I took the Hasselblad to Poppit and had a wonderful 2 hours taking shots. After developing them there are none that are unique enough to keep - but just the process of doing them has encouraged me to do more sunrise outings.

6th May
The last week has been spent working on admin for the Poppit exhibition and modifications and tests to the Mamiya. The tide is totally wrong at Poppit at the moment so I will wait until next week before trying out these new ideas.

April 2008
29th April
I visited Llansteffan this evening to see what I could shoot of it. Unfortunately it was pouring down with rain so my trip was quite short - one roll of film taken - with one keeper.
The shot that I kept was one that I had the least hope for when I took it - but for some reason it has a glowing light that the others don't.

27th April
I took the Mamiya out to the River Teifi yesterday - two rolls used up - along with one roll taken at Cenarth Forest. I developed them this morning but with no keepers.

22nd April
I took a walk by the side of the river Teifi this evening to see if anything caught my eye. 1 roll of film taken - and it is hanging up to dry. Not sure if this will become my next year-long project or not.

20th april
The last couple of days have been spent working on the Poppit booklet and searching the net for new ideas for next years project. I have a few thoughts knocking about and I hope to drive to these places next week to check them out.

15th April
Visited Poppit again yesterday but no shots were keepers. The sun was quite low and I had flare in almost all of the shots.
I had confirmation today that one of my Holga images is to be published in The Independent newspaper's 'Extras' section probably this Friday. They had run a competition for Holga images and 25 people got through to get their photos printed.

12th April
None of the Ceibwr photos came out ok. The light was too harsh. However, two of the Poppit photos are keepers. I have been studying Poppit now for a year and still I find new shots to take - and there are great big chunks of it that I have not explored yet.
I am still working on the booklet that will accompany the exhibition of Poppit - and I am working out shots to take with regards to a YouTube short film about the place.

10th April
I spent another evening at Ceibwr - and then last night I went back to Poppit as it was low tide. 2 rolls of film used and they are drying as I type this.
None of the snow shots came out ok. The contrast was far too high - next time no red filter.
The weather looks pretty bleak for the next few days so back to admin duties.

6th April
The Ceibwr shots came out well - with one keeper. It was snowing this morning at 6 am so I drove to a nearby landmark and took a roll of film just of one subject. It will be interesting to see how the limited light effects the pictures.

5th April
The past few days have been spent working on booklets for the exhibition and spotting shots. I went to Ceibwr yesterday with the Hasselblad and had a couple of problems with it - the 50mm lens wouldn't snap into place - a hard poke with a screwdriver in the right place fixed that, and then my lightmeter's battery ran out - so I had to guess the exposure. I'll see how well I did later on today.

March 2008

31st March
A lot of admin work has been done in the past few days. Now that I am selling through a number of galleries I am finding that I need to keep on top of my limited edition numbers. I have also been working on the design and layout of the booklet to accompany the exhibition at Pendre in August.
It looks like I now have a third gallery representing me - this one is in Shropshire - I am visiting them next week to go through the details.

28th March
Developed the final 2 rolls today - and out of 4 rolls there isn't one keeper shot. A few ok shots - but none with that special something.

27th March
The last three days have been perfect for Poppit. I took the Holga out for a spin two days ago - using a tripod - with limited success. Yesterday I took out the Hasselblad - and it was a joy to use after the Mamiya - and today it was warm and there was no wind - so I took out the Mamiya - and it was like a different camera. Overall, 4 rolls taken - two still to be developed.
Also, my prints at IceTwice are being framed and they will be on display there from 1st April to 31st May. I am looking forward to seeing how well they do. Check out the web page in my links section.

19th March
I took the Mamiya out to the Presili Hills this evening to see what I could do with it out there. My first mistake was to choose such a cold day - as the Mamiya needs the focus screen removing for each shot which is quite fiddly - and after a few minutes I just couldn't feel my fingers. I may put it away until the weather gets warmer - and return to the Hasselblad.
I have had interest in my work from another gallery outside Wales - I will be sending some test prints to them this weekend to see what they think.

16th March
The last few days have been spent working on my new printer - the Epson 3800. It is an amazing thing - I unwrapped it, plugged it in and within half an hour I was getting A2 prints - letting me see things in my photos that I had not seen before. It really does bring some of them to life. I would happliy print out all my work but the cost of ink and paper is really high - so this printer is strictly for exhibition work.
My selection of prints for Icetwice is nearly ready - I should be sending them off to the gallery tomorrow.

12th March
Managed to get to Poppit at the right time today. I tested the new 6x9 back as well as my latest modification to the camera - I used an elastic band to attach an old black T-shirt to the focusing screen - as a dark cloth. It made everything so much easier - I have developed the film and we will see what it looks like when it is dry.
No more good Poppit days for a while now - so back to the admin duties.

11th March
Went to Poppit yesterday to test the Mamiya properly. I was expecting the images to be somewhat different to the Hasselblad - but interestingly, apart from the obvious 6x7 format difference, the quality seems to be as good. I found the focusing screen very hard to work with but after developing the negatives it seems that most things are in focus when I wanted them to be and out of focus at the right points too. Out of 10 shots 2 were keepers for the moment.
I learned yesterday that the BBC Mid Wales website now has an article about me on it - see my links page for the link.

7th March
The weather has been working against me today - and I am itching to get the Mamiya out onto the beach to see what it can do. The low tide just can't come quick enough.
Also, I secured gallery representation at ICETWICE Gallery in Buckinghamshire. I will be sending them a selection of 17 prints to frame and display in the next week.

6th March
More test work done with the Mamiya. There will be a low tide at Poppit over the weekend so I'll take it on its first proper trial then. I have ordered the Epson 3800 A2 printer - allowing me to produce my own large prints for exhibition. This should save me money and allow me to get my prints to the gallery quickly.

5th March
Took the Mamiya out again - this time in better light. I find that I have to repeat the procedure of taking photos with this camera over and over again - until finally I will be able to do it without thinking. I am finding focusing with the ground glass back difficult - but hopefully a dark cloth will help with this. I have also ordered a 6x9 back for those extra long negatives.
On another note - I was contacted by The BBC Mid Wales asking if I wanted to write an article about my work for their webpage. I should get that done this week and it will run with a slideshow of some of my Poppit work online.

4th March
The Mamiya Super 23 press camera arrived yesterday and I have been out in not too perfect weather just to give it a test. The way it works is totally different to the Hasselblad - much more of a manual camera. I am very interested in being able the tilt the camera's back to get selective focusing - but I need to practice this as my first few efforts were useless. I will need to really get to grips with this camera and its unusual ways.

Feb 2008

25th Feb
A very short trip to Poppit yesterday - it was the lowest tide I have seen there. After 1 roll was used I went home and developed it - with one good shot. Interestingly, the shot lends itself to being portrait format - not square. I wonder if I am getting myself ready for the Mamiya which will give me 6x7 negs rather than the Hasselblad 6x6?

20th Feb
A good low tide today - so I attempted another crack at the rocky parts of Poppit. The new subject gave me new ideas and after about 20 minutes I was in the swing of things. Nearly two rolls used - I'll develop them tomorrow.

19th Feb
No low tides for a few days now so I have been working on the exhibition and looking for new ideas. One big step taken two days ago was the purchase of a Mamiya Press 23 camera from ebay. This camera will allow me to try a couple of different formats (6x7 and 6x9) as well as giving me the shifts and tilts that I have always wanted. I am now considering what will be my next project after Poppit Sands - I am sure that this new camera will feature heavily in it.

13th Feb
As I had hoped - my last visit to Poppit gave me three keepers - a nice feeling after weeks of nothing. I have been looking at cameras with 'tilt' to see if there are any out there that are reasonably cheap and rugged - and the Mamiya Super Press 23 seems to fit the bill.

11th Feb
Another low tide and I went out a little bit later today. Interestingly this helped a lot - as when the sun had finally gone down I carried on looking for shots - and the whole place came alive with possibilities. I had been wondering why my recent shots had been coming out a bit harsh - and this was the reason - I had just been too keen and I had been going out too early - and finishing too soon. I need to take a chance and wait for the twilight magic.

9th Feb
A very low tide at Poppit and a sunny day meant that I had quite a long time on the sands to pick and choose my shots today. I have been trying out some different filter combinations. 2 Rolls taken - I'll develop them tomorrow.

8th Feb
Met up with Chris Tancock today at Pendre Art. Listening to Chris made me realise how much is out there to photograph and it got all my juices going again after the weeks of overcast weather. Tomorrow looks like it will be a good low tide day for Poppit.

7th Feb
The weather has been overcast for most of the week so far - but suddenly today was a lovely sunny day - so with maybe a bit too much excitement I rushed down to the low tide at Poppit - and once again I made the mistake of catching the light too soon. 1 roll of film used - with no shots worth keeping.

Jan 2008

31st Jan
The weather has been quite wild here for a few days so I am using any spare time that I have to organise my work and future exhibitions. I am looking to get a new Epson 3800 printer to handle my A2 prints - this will actually work out cheaper than getting someone to do it for me.
My shots of the rocks on 29th all came out drab and flat. Not one good one amongst them. That will teach me to go out when the light is bad.

29th Jan
I have been exploring the southern side of Poppit today and I have been trying a few new things with rocks and filters. The sky was overcast but I am interested in seeing some quieter shots without the bright glare that I have been getting during the sunny days. I found that as I had plenty of time to wander I used different lenses and filters and spent time figuring out shots rather than going on gut instinct. I will develop the film today and see what this approach has given me.
I have also had it confirmed that I am having an exhibition at Pendre Art in August. This is a perfect time to show the cumulation of all my Poppit work.

24th Jan
Everything was perfect for Poppit today - a very low tide and good weather meant that I had plenty to choose from on the beach. I almost had the whole place to myself so I wandered from pool to pool finding shots, I have used up nearly three rolls - very unusual for just one session.

23rd Jan
My A2 print arrived of one of my Poppit negatives. I hate to be over critical but it just doesn't seem to have the punch of the A3 prints that I do - I guess that this could be down to the quality of the scan that I am using or maybe the sharpness was never there in the first place. I need to get it framed and ask a few more opinions - but I need to get this right.

21st Jan
The weather still has not improved so I am spending my days sending emails and trying to plan a few ideas. However, this coming Friday looks like a great day for Poppit if the weather gets better.

18th Jan
I have been getting my plans together for an exhibition in the Summer. I want to show a full year of photos of Poppit Sands - either in a gallery or outside somehow - so I have ordered a print of one of my photos at A2 size to see how it looks, how much it costs to frame etc and also to show anyone interested who may be able to help.
I also found out today that I am a finalist in the 'Hasselblad Masters 2008' selection.

14th Jan
Managed to get out to Poppit this evening. It was a rush to get there before the sun went down - but I had the beach to myself. 1 roll of film taken with my fixed 50mm lens. I will develop it tomorrow.

13th Jan
Not much work done in the last few days because my son was being born! He popped out today at 5.19am - so the next few weeks will be rushing around after him.

7th Jan
Finally my 50mm lens has been fixed - I will pop into town to collect it this week. Also, a second polariser has arrived - no need to switch around filters whenever I change lenses now. The weather has been rotten so no trips out to Poppit at all - my fingers are getting twitchy.

3rd Jan
The tide times have not been favourable at Poppit so I am testing out some new procedures, along with getting my admin sorted out for the new year. I have a number of ideas rolling about in my head so once everything has calmed down here I will start to get things moving. One new technique for me will be processing at home my own colour film. It will be interesting to see what this produces.

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