Weekly Photo Challenge – Inspiration

My Inspiration is and always will be the sea and the sky. They are ever-changing, forceful and constantly pose the most challenges for me in my photography journey.

This week has been all about the ‘Blue Moon’ but for me has been more about the fact that the moon is no longer in my back garden happily facing the sea and quite easy to photograph. Now it is at its best and brightest but in my front garden where street lights, house lights and car lights make it ever more tricky to photograph.

Gone now are all my go to settings of the last few months and now I start again trying to suss it all out to get even close to a semi decent photograph. Tonight I lost the will to live trying to get a sharp, detailed photograph and as the cloud was so nice I threw away the fast shutter rule and opted for a longer exposure.

Blue moon with cloud it is then.

More entries to this challenge here.



Ten Orbits of the Sun – out now on Amazon.


Ten orbits of the sun, short stories.

My collection of short stories is now available on Amazon.

And, why should you care about this? Well, you shouldn’t really. Unless you like exciting and challenging stories. Or, maybe, even want to support a destitute writer, with two young girls to support.

Is that begging? I guess it is. But it’s begging whilst giving.

There are 13 tantalising short tales and a chilling excerpt from my second novel, Peripheral Vision, which I’m hoping to publish later this year.


Ten Orbits of the Sun is a collection of contemporary short stories touching on diverse subjects, from dystopian fantasy to serial dog killers. Sometimes darkly humorous, occasionally macabre, but always evocative and visceral. Ten Orbits of the Sun is brimming with concepts that are tender, heart-wrenching and challenging.


1. Classic Mercedes Requires Garage.

Wedding day jitters told from both protagonists’ point of view.

2. The Music of Butterflies.

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Weekly Photo Challenge -Half and Half

Half occupied.  I love it when a recent photograph fits the challenge.


More entries to the challenge here. 

Symbol of Urban Art.

A few shots of the Sand, Sea and Spray urban artists in action today in Blackpool. I didn’t manage to get around it all, yet. Such massive talent and a feeling that our town is just a little bit special.

Click on the first picture to view gallery.

More from this weeks challenge here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Muse

A Stroll down the beach denoise edited 5 240dpi

My Muse is not a person, it is not a tangible thing. It has always without doubt been based on very deep emotion at any given time in my life and is therefore a fickle and changeable thing.

I took this photograph after I had made a decision that I was going to move to where I am now. In those early days when I look back at my photographs they were without a doubt taken from a very hopeful point of view, yet tinged with a little bit of doubt which I shouted over with.. ‘Hey, This is me, I am going it alone with my kids and we are going to be ok, we will always be ok.’

And we are.

My muse (for want of a better word) comes from within. It is born from strength, pain, happiness, loss, hope, despair, love and longing. Basically just bloody raw emotion and without that we would not have any great art, books or photographs.

That sums muse up for me and this photograph is the epitome of that because the subject, lighting and texture of it can still transport me right back to every second of that moment in time and exactly how I felt when I closed the shutter, each and every time I see it.

More entries to this photo challenge here

Weekly Photo Challenge – Off Season

Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid

I went out today to try and get a shot just for this challenge. This is the one I went with from the local car show, which was so packed it was difficult to get anything other than just go for up close and personal.

More entries here. 


The RAF Red Arrows came back to Blackpool.

If there is one thing that sends tingles down my spine and butterflies in my tummy it is a good old airshow. I love them. Especially when the RAF Red Arrows are involved. Today I was able to photograph them again as they did a show above the pleasure beach for the opening of the new ride Skyforce.

Now, there is not a chance in hell that you would get me on the ride but it was a great opportunity to see these amazing pilots in action.

All taken with my Tamron 18-270 lens which is my absolute go to lens for airshow shots.

Click a photo to view  the full gallery.

The Dancers are Still Dancing

I haven’t posted a broken photo yet but in the meantime here is one from Jill showing her photographs and talking about an amazing local artist.. We are so lucky where we live to have such a rich tapestry of talent.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Broken.”


A cardboard box. Broken chalks and pastels, every shade, nestling in powdery remains.  A scrap of paper, blue and creased. An empty coffee mug, stained with colour, half full of muddy liquid, abandoned in a burst of inspiration.

Who would have thought that these tiny damaged chalky stubs could be transformed into images of such energy and verve? Such vivacity. Artist and dancer, Sam, sweeps colours over paper, lost in creativity.   A dancer begins to take shape, flies across the page, head thrown back, limbs wide, feet off the floor…..pure joy.



The pastels might be broken but the dancers are still dancing…….

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Forces of Nature

I have posted this photograph before but it is perfect for this challenge so here it is again. I was asked recently by someone if I ‘photoshopped’ this shot. (How very dare they!) The answer is no, what you see is what was captured and I spent many, many hours in the wind, cold and rain to capture it. I process my photographs in the same way that most other photographers do (I shoot in Raw mostly with seascapes so usually tweaks in contrast, highlights, curves if required and conversion to black and white in Camera Raw.) However, I am very firm on the fact that I never add anything that wasn’t there or manipulate an image and to be honest I am not really that competent with editing to do that. This is simply an example how much of a force of nature our sea can be.


More forces of nature here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Intricate

Weekly Photo Challenge – Motion

Weekly Photo Challenge – Afloat

Weekly Photo Challenge – Blur (2)

Weekly photo challenge – Blur

I was in London recently and although I loved it I have always struggled with crowds. I get hot and disoriented and start to feel a bit panicky. One thing about London is that there is no shortage of people.

I took this in the National History Museum at the top of a set of stairs. As I looked down to the sea of people I was about to become enveloped in that feeling of panic started to set in.

In order to try to capture that feeling I put the camera on a post and slowed the shutter down to introduce some motion blur. Although it isn’t as sharp as I would have liked at the focal point, I think I captured how I felt.

More contributions to this challenge here.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Fresh

We have a saying here in the North if you venture out in the cold, particularly by the sea and that is ‘By ‘Eck, it’s a bit fresh out there.’  Which of course means ‘Goodness me, it is rather chilly’ 🙂


More contributions here.

Wall of water

More weekly photo challenges here  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/wall/

I have a new camera so I am practicing with focus, shutter speed and all manner of things that you have to do when you take that step up. Just now I feel like I am grasping it but other times I feel like I am banging my head against a wall. My go to scene when I have to step up, down or change the focus fast is always the sea and it delighted me with a wall (albeit a small one) of curves and patterns. I hope this counts.

When I properly got into photography I bought the only SLR I could afford which was the D3000 and I have just handed that to my daughter in the hope she takes the same journey of learning that I did. I got some great photographs with that camera and it was the body I used to learn how to actually use a camera properly, in manual. (Not always I am not a slave. I use Shutter and Aperture priority a lot depending on the scene.) I feel after four years of knowing every setting on that camera I have now earned an upgrade. The upgrade is a Nikon D7000 and I am already more than a tiny bit in love with it.


Sometimes I feel as if I am talking to a Brick Wall.. WPC

Honestly I just don’t take photographs of walls so I had to go outside of the box again for this challenge with a photograph of my daughter. This is the usual, headphones on, lost in music with messy beach hair. It is no good trying to have a conversation with her because I may as well be talking to a brick wall. I remember being exactly the same at her age but with much larger headphones. 🙂

More Weekly Photo Challenge Photos here.


Weekly photo challenge – What colour is this sunset?

Honestly they are not yellow, they are orange. It’s like that dress malarkey all over again. My son sees them as blue and white and my daughter see them as yellow and white. I am just kidding because this is a tiny bit of a cheat as these are the closest thing to orange that I have shot this week (tonight actually) so I am using them regardless. One thing this challenge has made me realise is that I generally do not take photographs of orange things.

More weekly photo challenges here






Rule of Thirds 3 – High Tide

Another two recent shots from this weeks walk about that might fit this theme. In the first shot the sea was quite calm compared to ten minutes later. As you can see in the next one it was a pretty high tide and I did at one point get absolutely drenched. Still, if you are not there you won’t get the shot.



More Rule of Thirds here.