Fotocraft Images: Blog en-us (C) Paul Heaton - Fotocraft Images (Fotocraft Images) Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:51:00 GMT Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:51:00 GMT Fotocraft Images: Blog 90 120 Lockdown photography challenge We lost many of our shows during 2020, and may well lose more in 2021. Restrictions on travel have also limited opportunities to visit my favourite scenic locations across Yorkshire and further afield. This is a minor inconvenience compared to the devastating losses and heartache that many have suffered during the pandemic. We have tried to comply with all of the restrictions  to keep ourselves safe, and help limit the spread of the virus and, as a result, I took very few photos and did not add many new images to my portfolio during 2020.

At the beginning of this year I decided to set myself a challenge to take a new photograph each day, while staying within the lockdown restrictions at the time. This has proved to be a spur to my creativity, as the weather has not always been kind. Days of continuous rain are not great for landscape photography and I have therefore included a number of different types of image in my selection, including photographs taken indoors with artificial light and some macro shots.

365 challengemontage of a sample of photos from the photo a day challenge

The photos can be seen each day on the Fotocraft Images instagram feed - (search #fotocraftimages) and if you like seeing the images each day, follow 'fotocraftimages' on Instagram.

This challenge has had many benefits for me. As well as stretching my creativity, it allows me to experiment with different techniques and as I have been unable to travel further afield, I have taken time  to explore corners of our local area that I had not previously visited during my daily exercise. I have also worked on some additional processing techniques, including converting images to black and white, and focus stacking to increase the depth of field on one or two macro photos.

A key element of all photography is the ability to "see" an image where others might not. I think this was illustrated on a recent cold walk. We came across lots of frozen puddles along the way, some with interesting patterns in the ice. 

For me however, the most striking image was a bit further along the walk where water flowing out from a field had created conditions for the growth of some striking and beautiful ice crystals next to the track.

Ice crystalsIce crystals formed above a small stream of water

I don't think I have ever noticed such long crystals, and I liked the pattern they created - almost like an explosion from the bottom left corner of the frame.

I liked this image so much that I felt it would be an interesting addition to my range as a cutting board or serving platter and as a mug. This is what it will look like:


Ice crystals chopping boardIce crystals chopping boardIce crystals chopping board Ice crystals ceramic mugIce crystals ceramic mugIce crystals ceramic mug What do you think?

(Fotocraft Images) board challenge chopping crystals ice mug photo Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:51:14 GMT
New products: Wooden coasters I have been aware for some time that there are many people who enjoy looking at my images at the shows and exhibitions I attend, but are unable to display the pictures in their own homes. More and more people rent their homes, and landlords can prevent their tenants from displaying pictures on the wall. Some people have filled up all their available wall space, or do not wish to change their current displays. We had many comments at shows indicating that  "I love this photograph, but can't display it" or "don't have space to display it". We spent time trying to find products that would allow people to have a copy of the picture they like, without having to display it on their walls. We introduced a range of sublimation printed coasters and mugs at our shows last year, to respond to this need, and these were well liked by visitors. 


In order to cover as many great locations as possible, we have now added over 200 different coaster designs to our website. The designs include many of the photographs that proved popular at our shows last year, such as Hawes in Wensleydale, the Yorkshire Three peaks, and the City of York. Our new images include less well known, but still attractive photos taken across the Yorkshire Dales and York and locations in West Yorkshire including Leeds, Bradford, Wetherby and Haworth.

You can see the current range by clicking on the following links: Yorkshire Dalesthe Yorkshire CoastYork and West Yorkshire. We are working on designs from other parts of North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire and these will be added to the website shortly.

The coasters are 9cm across, and have a durable and attractive glossy finish. They make a great reminder of a favourite place, or gift for somebody who likes particular locations within Yorkshire. We print the coasters to order in our studio in Boston Spa.

Covid 19 has limited our ability to visit the places we love, and to buy products that remind us of those places. These coasters offer a unique hand made gift from Yorkshire. They can be ordered directly from our website and will be with you in only a few days.

(Fotocraft Images) coast coasters dales West Yorkshire Yorkshire Thu, 16 Jul 2020 17:30:00 GMT
Rain, rain go away..... At the end of my Christmas show season I had developed pans for a number of winter photos I wanted to capture over the following couple of months. Unfortunately the weather gods have not been kind, and any snow has been restricted to the higher parts of Yorkshire, generally been transient and been followed by grey days. This hasn't made for great conditions for winter photography.

Recent weeks have, if anything, been even less promising, with a succession of deep low pressure systems with strong winds and heavy rain. The heavy rain has caused floods in several areas that have been devastating for some residents and businesses in Yorkshire. During last weekend it appeared that the River Wharfe was rising due to high rainfall totals higher up in the dales. I decided it might be worthwhile to have a look, and maybe capture some images.

flooded riverside footpath Boston Spa, West YorkshireFlooded River Wharfe at Boston Spa

I began with a walk down to the bridge across the River Wharfe linking Boston Spa and Thorp Arch. The riverside path next to the River Wharfe is a regular route for me. The waste bins on the riverside path give a good indication of how high the river is. This photograph shows the river is as high as I have  seen it. The river normally runs about 3m below the height of the path itself.

There is a farmhouse across the river that is always in the firing line when the river rises. The photo below shows the river has covered the whole of the garden and the steps leading up to the farmhouse doorways:

River Wharfe in flood flowing through Boston Spa in West YorkshireFlooded River Wharfe at Boston Spa and Thorp Arch, West Yorkshire

A slightly different angle from this same location shows the height of the water below the bridge linking Boston Sap and Thorp Arch:

High water levels at Thorp Arch bridge High water levels at Thorp Arch bridge

After seeing this level, I wondered how high the water was at Tadcaster bridge. This is the bridge that partially collapsed on 29 December 2015, and was subsequently rebuilt at a cost of more than £4million. This was the situation in Tadcaster:

High water levels at Tadcaster bridge: February 2020High water levels at Tadcaster bridge: February 2020 The bridge was coping with the volume of water, and there was no flooding in the town itself. On the other side of the bridge it was clear that the ground, stands and offices of Tadcaster Albion Football Club were again under water, for the second or third time in three weeks. The photograph of the bridge shows that there wasn't much margin to cope with a more severe flood. With all the evidence suggesting that man made global warming will give rise to more frequent and intense rainfall events, this must be a concern to the people of Tadcaster.

My final stop on this tour of my local area was the site of an abandoned village at Easedike which offers a view along the Wharfe valley between Boston Spa and Tadcsater. The panoramic view from his spot showed just how much of the fields making up the flood plain had been innundated - a  message perhaps that building houses on flood plains may not be the best idea!

Flooded fields between Boston Spa and Tadcaster in West YorkshireFlooded fields between Boston Spa and Tadcaster in West Yorkshire Overall this was a quite sobering trip around the area. We appear to have avoided the major problems that occurred in December 2015. However, some people will have to undertake significant clear up work, and local farmers, who are already under pressure, may suffer losses if crops are lost. I wish all those affected a speedy recovery.

(Fotocraft Images) Arch Boston Floods River Spa Tadcaster Thorp Wharfe Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:33:23 GMT
Christmas is coming! It might seem that Christmas is a long way off, as we cope with a grey and wet mid November. However, it will soon be upon us. The York Christmas Markets started yesterday, and we have begun our first stint in the "Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village".

The photographs below show our stand at the show:

Fotocraft Images stand at the 2019 Made in Yorkshire Yuletide MarketYork Christmas market standFotocraft Images stand at the 2019 Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Market Fotocraft Images stand at 2019 York Christmas marketFotocraft Images stand at 2019 York Christmas marketFotocraft Images stand at 2019 York Christmas market We are offering a wide range of mounted and framed photographs, including a number of new images we have added to the range this year. We are also offering the sublimation printed mugs and coasters we have recently started to make. Our designs include a number of York winter and Christmas scenes that are already proving popular. In addition, we have a range of York and Yorkshire Dales Christmas cards.

We will be in York every day from 15 November to 24 November, and returning again from 2 December to 22 December. Our stand is inside the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide market, located in the Shambles Market, just off Parliament street in the centre of York. The show is open from 10am to 5:30pm each day.

We would love to see you at the show if you can get to York. if not, remember that all of our products are available to order from our website.

(Fotocraft Images) Christmas dates exhibition location market show York Fri, 15 Nov 2019 08:35:48 GMT
Don't lose your memories I have recently been sorting through a suitcase of old family photographs, and came across two pictures from the nineteenth/early 20th century that set me thinking about what will happen in the future to the images we are creating today.

I guess the image below was taken in the mid/late 1890's in Cumbria:

nineteenth century family photographThe Jackson FamilyPhotograph of the Jackson Family taken in the mid 1890's This photograph features my great great grandparents, with eleven of their twelve surviving children, including my great grandmother. We were excited to find that this photograph takes images of our family back to the very beginning of the Victorian era, as James Jackson, the patriarch in this picture, was born in 1837.

The next photo has a February 1916 date on the back, and includes the next generation, with my great grandparents and my grandmother:

Nelson family photographNelson family 1916Photograph of the Nelson family taken in 1916

Looking at these well preserved images set me thinking about how our grandchildren will fare in fifty or a hundred years time. Our ancestors had far fewer photographs than we have today. However, they were expensive to produce and much more highly valued. Although they probably weren't aware at the time, the chemical processes used were relatively stable. Looking at these images gives a glimpse of the lives of our ancestors. Even images that have faded in sunlight can often be recovered using Photoshop or other similar programmes.

During the 20th century more and more photographs were produced - initially in black and white, and later in colour. The black and white photographs I have been looking at have fared relatively well. The colour images vary. Some are fine and bright, others have suffered colour shifts, and now look as if they have been cross processed.

I bought my first digital camera in 2003, and from around 2005 all of my photos were originated digitally. I guess that most people have primarily used digital cameras for photography for the last ten years, if not longer.

This gives two issues - first, there has been an explosion in the number of photographs, often with very little editing to sort the best or most important from the rest; and second, because the photographs are at risk of being lost through hardware failure, changes in technology and for many other possible reasons.

As a professional landscape photographer, the photographs I have taken are both the source of my income, and also a record of the development of my photography through time. I have therefore used various different backup strategies to minimise the risk of losing them. I started off creating backup DVD's. As my catalogue of images grew this became impractical. I then used USB hard drives for backup, but grew increasingly concerned that I only had two copies of each image, both in the same physical location.

My current solution is to use a Synology Network attached storage (NAS) with four 2TB discs configured with RAID as my primary backup. With this setup, if one of the 2TB hard discs fails, I can restore the information from the other three discs. I did suffer a disc failure shortly after I purchased the system, and the restoration worked, which was a great relief. The Raid storage is next to my main PC. I now use USB hard discs as an off site storage just in case of a major disaster. I generally bring theses discs home during my January/February off season to update this backup.

Synology NAS backupSynology NASSynology 4 bay NAS - my primary on site backup

These solutions are fine for the short or medium term, but may not enable long term storage: hard drives can fail, file formats change, dvd dyes break down and fat fingers or hackers can delete files.  The question is what to do.

Based on my own thoughts and research, my suggestions are as follows;

   1.  Edit your photos and retain the most interesting and significant images. Your family would probable not appreciate having to look through 25,000 images to find key people and events in your family's history;

   2.  Give the photos descriptive names - "DSC1539" for example doesn't give any information about an image whereas "John_Smith_Leeds" at least gives some context to an image;

   3.  Keep archived images in jpeg format. For my work, I always use RAW format images, and store my photographs in Tiff files, which is a lossless format. For long term preservation, it is important to use the most widely used image format that is the least likely to be overtaken by technological obsolesence as storage formats change;

   4.  Keep more than one copy of each picture at all times - preferably three copies. Use different storage methods for the different copies so that if one fails, the others will preserve the photos. The storage options include cloud storage, DVD or blue ray discs or hard discs. Whichever solution you choose, check the storage at least annually to make sure your images are safe. Also pay attention to technological changes - if it looks as if the days of the DVD are numbered, think about moving your photos to an alternative storage solution;

   5.  Consider making prints of your best and most significant photographs. The ninteeenth/early 20th century photos I hold are all from one line of my family. I have very few photos from the other lines of my family tree - not even a single image of my paternal grandfather or grandmother. Many high street photo shops will scan images to electronic files, or create prints from prints. Alternatively, most home copiers will also allow you to make scans of photos.  These can be printed individually, or combined together into a photo book, which can be distributed to siblings and children to ensure these memorable images are available to as many people as possible within the family.

I would encourage everybody who reads this post to spend a little time thinking about what you would like to preserve for the future, and how best to achieve that. If you don't, you could be the next person posting on social media that you have a hard disc crash has caused the loss of a chunk of your own family photos.

(Fotocraft Images) archiving Family history old photographs preservation Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:00:00 GMT
Looking for a view at Cragside I have recently spent a few days up in Northumberland on a short holiday break. The trip include a visit to Cragside, near Rothbury which is, according to TripAdvisor, the highest rated and most reviewed historic site in Northumberland.

The Cragside estate was created by Lord Armstrong in the nineteenth century, initially as a weekend retreat, expanded in stages to create a large country house of sufficient stature to host the Prince of Wales for a visit in 1884. The estate was also developed by Armstrong, with over seven million trees planted, 40 miles of footpaths through over 1,000 acres, a pinetum and locations linked to Armstrong's pioneering installation of hydraulic and hydro electric power at the estate and house.

There are two classic views of  the house at Cragside - looking from the Debdon burn past the iron bridge towards the house, and the view below of the house from the rockery:

Cragside viewCragside from the rockerySummer photograph of Cragside, Lord Armstrong's country house near Rothbury in Northumberland

There are however innumerable photo opportunities beyond the classic shots. During our visit we walked across to the formal garden. We didn't take in this part of the estate on our previous visit some 20 years ago, so this was a first for us, and well worth the 400m walk from the main path to the house. The formal garden covers about 3 acres, with views across to the Simonside Hills. The clock tower was built as the pay office for the estate workers, and makes an interesting feature for a photograph showing the variety of textures and colour in the garden borders in high summer:

Cragside clock totwerCragside clock tower an formal gardenCragside, near Rothbury, Northumberland - clock tower and formral garden

This particular viewpoint attracted me because of contrast between the wide range of different green tones in the various plants and trees, and consistent colours of the stones and tiles of the clock tower. The angular clock tower almost appears to be an artificial tree, reaching to the sky among the other trees and bushes. I deliberately composed the image so there was no overlap between the clock tower and the surrounding trees to give it some sense of separation from the rest of the scene.

While relaxing in the gardens, I was also fortunate to see a hummingbird hawkmoth feeding on Buddleia flowers - not something I have seen before:

hummingbird hawkmoth photoHummingbird hawkmoth at Cragside gardensHummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on buddliea flowers at Cragside near Rothbury Northumberland I couldn't see the exceptionally long proboscis of the moth with the naked eye, but is shows clearly in the photograph.

One of the most impressive natural features of the gardens at Cragside is the pinetum. The trees within the pinetum were planted around 140 years ago, and are now towering specimens along the Debdon Burn, including the tallest Scots pine in the UK, and a Coast Douglas fir measured at over 61m (200ft) high. I chose a viewpoint near the iron bridge to photograph the pinetum, with a gunnera and the rustic bridge acting as the foreground interest in the photograph, and the huge pine trees clustered around the Debdon burn leading through the composition of the picture. 

This viewpoint works impressively as a portrait shaped photograph:

Cragside pinetum photographRustic bridge and pinetum at Cragsidethe rustic bridge debdon burn at cragside near Rothbury Northumberland

and also with a landscape orientation:

Rustic bridge at CragsideRustic bridge and pinetum at Cragsidethe rustic bridge, Debdon Burn and pinetum at Cragside near Rothbury, Northumberland

I have included these photographs as additions to my Northumberland gallery .

Cragside is well worth a visit as a large estate funded by Victorian industry. However, it also has fascinating features reflecting very modern concerns about sustainability. It has a water powered hydraulic lift, and is the first home in the world to have been lit by hydro electric power. The estate and its landscape are far more mature now than they were when Lord Armstong died in 1900, giving innumerable opportunities to create interesting photographs.

(Fotocraft Images) Cragside landscape Northumberland photographs pinetum Rothbury Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:30:00 GMT
Peak Three Peaks Season The Yorkshire Three Peaks walk has become one of the UK's most popular challenge walks. It has been estimated that around 200,000 people currently attempt the walk each year. There are quite a few companies now offering guided walks around the circuit, and many people complete the walk to raise funds for charity. Many more do it without any ulterior motive, as a personal challenge or as an excuse to spend time out in the glorious countryside of the Yorkshire Dales.

The circuit of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside is around 24.5 miles long, and takes in about 1,600m (5,300 feet) of climbing. The recognised target for completing the circuit is twelve hours, although people have done it much more quickly, and more slowly. There is an annual three peaks race, and the record for the latest version of the course is a mere 2 hours 46 minutes and 3 seconds! 

After the climb, the view... IngleboroughView across to Whernside from IngleboroughOn a clear day the summit of Ingleborough is a tremendous viewpoint in all directions. This image shows the view Northwards, with Whernside prominent and Ribblehead Viaduct on the right of the photograph. The view stretches past Wild Boar Fell as far as Mickle Fell, over 30 miles distant.

Whatever speed it is completed at, the Three Peaks circuit must be approached with a proper preparation and forethought. The Cave Rescue Organisation deals with a steady stream of call outs from three peaks walkers, some of which could have been prevented if the walkers had only thought to use or take appropriate equipment with them - in particular a map and compass, head torch and proper footwear high enough to protect the ankles. The Yorkshire Dales National Park has prepared a code of conduct for three peaks walkers that can be seen through this link: Code of Conduct , and an outline route description available at this link: Three Peaks route description

People tackle the three peaks route throughout the year. The majority however complete the walk during the Summer months when the days are longer and the temperatures usually warmer. There can be hundreds of people on the summits on busy Summer weekends. This reduces the risk of navigation errors, but also reduces the peace and quiet of being out on the Yorkshire fells.

Provided the weather is good, there are extensive views from the summit of each of the three paeks, as this photograph from Whernside demonstrates:

View from Whernside summitPanoramic view from Whernside, Yorkshire DalesView South from the summit of Whernside annotated to show Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and other points of interest

Each of the three peaks has its own distinctive shape, but they are similar in appearance to some degree because they share a similar underlying geology. The rocks forming the peaks are flattish sedimantary rocks of carboniferous age - 300-360 million years old. The lower slopes consist of great scar limestone, and the upper sections of the hills a succession of limestone, mudstone and some sandstone of the Yoredale group. Differential weathering of these rocks, which vary in hardness, gives the distinctive stepped profile of the peaks.

Walking conditions along the route vary considerably. Some areas have delightful springy limestone pasture, while others have peaty soils and some blanket bog. The Yorkshire Dales National Park has carried out work along the route to reduce footpath erosion. There is now a bypass around the infamous "Black Dubb"- an area of bog along the route that was, in my opinion the worst path in the Dales until the new path was constructed. In spite of the improvements, there are some areas (Such as the descent from the summit ridge of Whernside where the path has spread into a broad swathe), and other areas can be pretty muddy after rain.


Many participants on the walk will take their own photographs during the day. A professional image can however act as a great reminder of a memorable day. We have photographs of all of the three peaks in both Summer and Winter that can provide a high quality souvenir of the day, and have sold many sets of pictures of each of the three peaks in matching mounts and frames. Our range of three peaks are photographs can be seen in this gallery: Three Peaks Gallery . 

We have recently designed some new products incorporating our three peaks photographs the can provide an attractive reminder of the day, and fitting gift for somebody who has completed the challenge. Our three peaks photo mug incorporates panoramic photographs of each of the three peaks with an appropriate slogan:

3-peaks-photo-mugI climbed Yorkshire's Three Peaks ceramic photo mugPerfect for anybody who loves the Three peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, or has completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge
This mug features High quality panoramic photographs of each of Yorkshire's Three Peaks (Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent)
The mug can be purchased from this page .

We also offer a coaster set. The four photographs on the coasters are of the three peaks -  Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside and the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct which is prominent along the route of the walk.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Coaster SetYorkshire Three Peaks Coaster SetA set of four wooden coasters featuring photographs taken along the route of the Yorkshire Three peaks challenge.
The images show each of the three peaks - Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside, with the fourth photo showing the iconic Ribblehead viaduct which is seen along the route of the walk.
The coasters are durable, wipe clean and heat resistant - perfect for both hot and cold drinks. The vibrant photographic images on the coasters make an attractive and practical gift. The coaster sets are supplied in a cardboard box.
The coaster set can be ordered here .






(Fotocraft Images) coasters mug peaks photographs Three Yorkshire Fri, 02 Aug 2019 17:53:08 GMT
A night out at Ribblehead Not a normal venue for a night out, but Ribblehead does have its attractions on a pleasant midsummer evening. My objective during this visit was to take advantage of the dark sky and lack of light pollution to take some photographs of the night sky with the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct as foreground interest.

I chose a moonless night, and then waited for a clear weather forecast to give me the best chance of capturing the images I wanted. On 3 July the Met Office was forecasting clear, and the BBC partly cloudy. I looked out of my window on a crystal clear late afternoon sky, and decided to trust the Met Office and make the trip.

The disadvantage with astrophotography in the Summer is that the sun sets late, twilight is extended, and it never gets fully dark. The advantage is that it is usually much warmer than in the winter, and the Milky Way is highest in the sky at this time of year.

After a pleasant evening drive through the Yorkshire Dales I at Ribblehead arrived in plenty of time to walk over from the parking area near the Station Hotel to the viaduct to decide where I wanted to be later to take my photographs. I discovered a couple of things at this time - first, although a light wind would reduce the risk of camera shake, it meant that the midges were out in force, and second, the iphone compass appeared to be absolutely useless - suggesting that north was in any sort of random direction. Note to self - remember to pack some midge repellent next time. Looking at the compass  issue the next day, I found that a magnetic clasp on a phone cover can throw the compass out. I should have thought of that!

Sunset was at around 9:45pm on the night of my visit, and I expected to be able to begin taking photographs with a dark sky about an hour later. It actually took much longer for the sky to really darken, so I decided to experiment, and take some shots of Ingleborough and the Ribblehead Viaduct.

I normally try to include as much of the sweep of the sky as possible in my astrophotography images. The wide angle perspective can cause distortion in the foreground. However, that distortion can itself sometimes add drama to a photograph.

This was my first effort of the night:

Ribblehead Viaduct at NightA night photograph of Ribblehead Viaduct against the background of a starry sky.
My next subject was Ingleborough:

Starry night over IngleboroughA starry night over Ingleborough seen from Ribblehead

As the sky darkened further I changed my viewpoint, setting up for three shots that would later be merged in Photoshop to give an even wider perspective than my 16mm lens can provide. First was a shot looking directly onto the viaduct:

Ribblehead Viaduct at nightRibblehead viaduct at night

Next, a shot from an angle looking more to the South, where I hoped to include the milky way in the image:

Starry Night at Ribblehead ViaductStarry Night at Ribblehead Viaduct There are a number of different options in the photomerge facility in Photoshop. This same image (created from three overlapping exposures) looks quite different with a different option selected:

Starry night at Ribblehead ViaductStarry night at Ribblehead Viaduct: panorama 2 I was pleased with the way the clouds near the horizon faded into the glow of the milky way in this image. However, most of the arches of the viaduct are lost against the surrounding hills from this viewpoint. My final location was therefore a compromise - showing more of the viaduct arches, but also giving prominence to the transition between wispy high level clouds and the glow of the stars of the milky way:

After taking these photographs, I discovered one of the other advantages of astrophotography around midsummer- it is quite easy to follow a footpath at 1:30am on a moonless, but starry night without using a headtorch!

After processing the images, I have decided that the final image above will be a worthwhile addition to my portfolio for shows and events. This is what it looks like as a 16 inch by 12 inch framed print in a charcoal frame:

Ribblehead nightRibblehead Viaduct Night SkyRibblehead viaduct night sky, with the milky way rising over the viaduct This photo can be seen in the Yorkshire Three Peaks gallery at the following address - Ribblehead at night .


(Fotocraft Images) Milky Way night photograph Ribblehead Viaduct yorkshire Wed, 10 Jul 2019 09:36:59 GMT
Flash Sale on box frame prints We have received a very limited opportunity to buy box frame prints at a discounted price from the company that makes these products for us. We have therefore been able to reduce the price for one week only. Savings during this promotion are at least 30% off our normal website prices.

The sale prices, discounts and full prices after the sale are as follows:

Box frame size (inches) A2 (16.5 x 23.4) 30x20 36x24 42x28 48x32
Sale Price £100.00 £120.00 £150.00 £190.00 £220.00
Normal website price £149.00 £180.00 £225.00 £275.00 £320.00
Discount % 32% 33% 33% 30% 31%

Cash saving







The above prices include UK postage and packing. All box frames ordered through this promotion will be delivered to you by courier in late January/early February.

Our box frame prints provide a stunning addition to any location. In a living room, a large 48 inch print will provide a great focal point above a sofa:

room display box frame photgraphroom display box frame photgraphA large box frame photograph provides a stunning centerpiece behind a sofa in a living room

The gap between a corner cupboard and two windows provides a perfect location for the display of two 30 inch by 20 inch portrait shape box frame prints in this dining room:

room display two box frame photographsroom display two box frame photographstwo portrait shape box frame prints provide an attractive display in the corner of a room around a corner cabinet

Place your order today to take advantage of this exceptional offer that may never be repeated! 

(Fotocraft Images) box display frame photograph room sale Sun, 13 Jan 2019 15:30:39 GMT
A presentation Gift I am always happy to make up groups of pictures in consistent or complimentary framing styles to help customers who may want a number of similar pictures to display on a particular wall, or within a room.

I recently had the opportunity to make up a set of pictures for Peter Hollis as a retirement gift. The pictures were in two different sizes. I used the same bright white mounts for all of the images and black frames. However, to balance the size of the pictures and the frames, I used a more substantial frame on the bigger pictures.

Peter Hollis PresentationPeter Hollis PresentationFramed presentation pictures group This type of presentation can be very helpful where a room has walls of varying sizes. The smaller pictures can be displayed on the narrower walls, possible one above the other to fill the space. Alternatively, the smaller pictures may be placed around a larger one to fill a wall. The possibilities are endless.

Thank you Peter for choosing my photographs for your retirement gift. I hope you enjoy them form many years to come.

If you would like to discuss choosing a group of pictures to fill a space, do not hesitate to call me on 01937 529613, and I will help in any way I can.

(Fotocraft Images) group pictures presentation Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:45:00 GMT
Winter into Spring around Harewood It seems that Spring has finally arrived! After one of the longest winters in recent years it appears that temperatures have started to rise, the daffodils are in flower, and there are definite signs of Spring as I walk around the local countryside.

I thought it might be quite interesting to show some of the changes we can expect to see over the next few weeks. There is a walk I have taken quite a few times around the Harewood Estate. It has a variety of landscape photography opportunities, including parkland, woodland and broader landscape views. I took photos around this walk a few years ago for a magazine article. These photos were taken at the end of Spring, when the trees had freshly opened leaves. I printed off some low resolution reference shots, and tried to find the same locations in early April this year, when there was little evidence of Spring in the air, or the landscape.

The map below shows the walk route:

Harewood Walk MapHarewood Walk MapMap of a walk around the Harewood estate in West Yorkshire

Map: © OpenStreetMap contributors

This is a pretty good winter walk as most (but not all) of the route is on relatively dry or metalled estate roads. The exception is the last leg through woodland, where some sections can be rather muddy.

My first comparison point was the carriage drive laid out by Capability Brown, which gives a succession of fantastic views across to Harewood House. The dramatic impact of the spring growth, and differences in the quality of light are clearly visible in the image below:

Harewood Carriage Dive - Winter and SpringHarewood Carriage Dive - Winter and SpringPhoto of the view from Harewood Estate's Carriage Drive in winter and spring

The walled drive of Church lane, which forms part of the third side of the square shape of this walk is pleasant to walk through, and also makes an attractive photographic subject, with the receding lines of the road and walls complemented by the varying colours of the trees and moss covered walls. Again, the view changes dramatically through the seasons. This view in particular would, I think, make an attractive Autumn picture as well, so it is on my list for a further return visit.

Harewood estate woodlands - Winter into SpringHarewood estate woodlands - Winter into SpringComparison photographs of a view on the Harewood estate taken in winter and Spring I have include the images above images, together with a couple of other comparison shots in the following short video. Click on the image below to watch the video on YouTube:

Winter into Spring Around HarewoodWinter into Spring Around HarewoodTitle for a video of Winter into Spring around Harewood



(Fotocraft Images) comparison harewood harewood estate harewood house photos spring winter Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:04:24 GMT
Taking advantage of snow in the Dales I normally begin my show programme in Hawes, in Wensleydale, in mid March each year. The weather can be marginal, but it gets me back into the swing of things, and the gives early season visitors something to do if the weather is poor. This year there was snow and strong winds over the show weekend. I decided to take advantage of the weather by setting off early, giving me about an hour and a half to take some photos along the A684 which runs up Wensleydale.

Fortunately there was a regular run of gritters up and down the road. This was great for keeping the road open, but did give me an impressive crusting of salt on the car by the end of the weekend!

I decided to use the video recording facility of my digital SLR cameras to show the landscape and some of the resulting photographs. You can see the resulting video by clicking on the image below:

Wensleydale Snow video titleWensleydale Snow video titleWensleydale Snow video title -link to a video and photos of snow in Wensleydale and Hawes

The weather was quite overcast, which would not normally make for great photo opportunities. However, working with the conditions, I found some opportunities to create almost monochrome pictures emphasising the shapes of the landscape, trees and other features. One of my favourite images from the morning is this shot taken near Middleham:

Snowy Fields near Middleham, WensleydaleSnowy Fields near Middleham, WensleydaleThis photo shows the contrast between the gentle curves of the hills in the background of the photo and the zig-zag of the stone walls in the foreground. A solitary ewe with two recently born lambs completes the scene. I liked the contrast between the humps in the valley side (which just don't show up until highlighted by the snow), and the stark grey of the stone walls in the foreground. The image is given a sense of scale by a single ewe and her two lambs just off centre in the picture.

The next two shots were taken from the same viewpoint near Bainbridge. This spot gives an attractive panoramic view of Upper Wensleydale in clear weather. The light snow falling limited the visibility, but helped isolate a farmhouse on a hillock in the centre of the valley from the surrounding hills:

Winter in WensleydaleWinter in WensleydaleLeafless trees, dry stone walls, fields and an isolated farmhouse on a hill are transformed by the flat light and slight mist in this Wensleydale winter view. It also gave a different perspective on a typical Yorkshire Dales stone field barn, with the snow covered track leading towards the barn entrance:

Dales Field Barn in the SnowDales Field Barn in the SnowStone walls and stone built field barns are two of the classic features of the Yorkshire Dales landscape. They look very different in the snow. An open gate , and a rough track lead the eye into this image. Finally, the leafless trees, with snow plastered to their trunks, provide a stark contrast to the white of the snow and sky in this shot:

Winter Tree in WensleydaleWinter Tree in WensleydaleA fall of snow completely changes the landscape. This tree is normally lost against a background of green fells. However, with a flat light, and a little snow falling the dramatic shapes are highlighted against a plain background. The Swaledale ewe in the foreground provides a splash of colour in an otherwise monochrome scene.

The stone wall,and the ewe with snow on her fleece help to place the shot in the Dales.

There were quite a few people staying in and around Hawes who called in to the show in the Market Hall, so it proved to be an all round successful day.



(Fotocraft Images) barns dales field leafless snow stone trees walls wensleydale winter yorkshire Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:02:37 GMT
A Perfect walk for the holidays The walk along the cliff top between Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby takes in some of the most spectacular landscapes along the Yorkshire Coast. It provides an envigorating contrast to the gentle pursuits of sitting on the beach, and eating fish and chips which many visitors to the Yorkshire coast will enjoy in the summertime.

One of the features I photographed and wrote for the now defunct Yorkshire Ridings magazine provided an illustrated guide to this walk, together with a route map.

You can see this article by clicking on the picture below:

Robin Hood's Bay WalkRobin Hood's Bay WalkArticle about a walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitny along the cliff top path - the Cleveland Way

I always submit a broader selection of photographs with an article than I expect to be published in the final feature. It is interesting to see which images the editor chooses, and the prominence given to each of the photographs. I am sometimes left thinking "I wouldn't have highlighted that photo", or "why wasn't that picture included - I felt it really worked with the text of the feature". That, I guess is why I take the photographs, rather than editing the article for publication or designing the layout!

I have been back to my original submission for this piece to see the full list of photos I sent for this article to remind myself what I submitted, compared to the pictures included in the published article. In this case the editor excluded this picture of St. Mary's Church in Whitby, which is mentioned in the article:

St Mary's Church WhitbySt Mary's Church WhitbySt Mary's Church Whitby

The final feature also excluded this image of Whitby lighthouse, which is one of the prominent landmarks on the walk:

Whitby lighthouseWhitby lighthouseWhitby lighthouse Yorkshire Coast Cleveland Way

The photographs I submitted included a picture of Whitby town, and this image of the harbour:

Whiby HarbourWhiby HarbourWhiby Harbour, Yorkshire Coast

I agree with the decision to include only one of the town/harbour photographs in the piece, but, if I had been choosing, I would probably have selected the one above rather than that actually chosen (particularly as the feature also includes a photograph taken from Whitby's famous 199 steps).

Finally, there are several pictures showing the height of the cliffs along this stretch of coast. Personally I felt that this image - excluded from the final selection - gave a good impression of the views along this dramatic stretch of coastline:

Whitby CliffsWhitby CliffsSea cliffs between Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby, North Yorkshire

There are no right and wrong decisions in  these cases. If you asked a dozen people to select the pictures for the piece, they would probably all choose two or three of the final selection, but everybody would have variation in the other pictures. The feature has to fit within a limited number of pages, and if the photographs are printed smaller, to fit more in, then they lose impact. Taking a photograph is often a compromise between shutter speed, aperture, sharpness and film speed. In a similar way, a magazine article has to strike a balance between impact, comprehensive coverage and the different natural and man made features along the way.

The presentation of the feature is important, but the walk itself is more important. It really is a magnificent outing, and, if you have the time and the stamina, I would encourage you to give it a try. If you have done this walk in the past or recently, let me know what you think in the comments.

(Fotocraft Images) coast robin hood's bay walk whitby yorkshire Sun, 27 Aug 2017 17:00:00 GMT
Photographing the milky way over Yorkshire I spent some time in 2016 photographing star trails over Almscliffe Crag. I was pleased with the resulting picture, which you can see here: Almscliffe Crag Star Trails. I wanted a new challenge, and decided a photograph of the Milky Way over the Yorkshire countryside would be an attractive companion piece, and an interesting addition to my portfolio.

After quite a lot of time and planning, this is the resulting photograph:

Milky Way over Leighton ReservoirMilky Way over Leighton ReservoirThis photograph shows some of the estimated 100 billion stars in our galaxy – the Milky Way. The photograph was taken near Leighton Reservoir, west of Masham – one of the places in Yorkshire where the sky is dark enough for the faint glow of the Milky Way to be seen.

The image can be appreciated on its own, but it is interesting to look at the planning involved in capturing it.

Several things have to come together to enable a photographer to capture the Milky Way - 

1. The Milky Way being prominent in the sky.

2. A dark sky with no moon.

3. Limited light pollution.

4. A clear night.

The Milky Way is most visible in the Summer time. However, this is also when the nights are shortest, and in the middle of Summer, it never becomes fully dark - the sun never gets more than 18 degrees below the horizon - the definition of fully dark, or the end of astronomical twilight. I used "The Photographer's Ephemeris" (discussed in this post) to determine that there was a period from 15 August through to 25 August when the moon would have set during the darkest part of the night. It also gave me the times of sunset, and the various different levels of twilight to help my planning.

The next stage of planning was to decide on a location for the photo. I selected two possible spots - The Cow and Calf Rocks near Ilkley, and Swinsty Reservoir in the Washburn Valley between Otley and Pateley Bridge. I knew that the centre of the Milky Way would be approximately SSW at the time when I was taking the pictures. Both of these locations would give an interesting foreground with the camera in this direction.

I followed the weather forecasts, and went out on 15 August to try my luck. This first trip was quite disappointing. The Milky Way is not the brightest feature in the sky and, with an exposure that would show it, I found all the images I shot had a great deal of light pollution - reducing the contrast, and degrading the photo. This image is typical of those I produced:

Swinsty Reservoir starsSwinsty Reservoir starsstarry night at Swinsty Reservoir Washburn Valley West Yorkshire

The Milky Way is only faintly visible in this image. Clearly I needed to find somewhere more remote, with a greater distance from the lights of West Yorkshire's major towns and cities. I also still wanted some interest in the foreground of the picture. My objective is to create a photograph of the Milky Way seen over Yorkshire, not a star picture which could be taken anywhere. I scoured my maps, and eventually decided to visit Leighton Reservoir, just next to a minor road running between Masham and Lofthouse in Nidderdale.

The image at the top of this post shows the results from this second trip a few days later. There is some light pollution still visible near the horizon. However, at this reduced level it is not so distracting. The main light pollution glow appears to originate to the South of my location, and probably comes from the town of Pateley Bridge, about 9 miles away. The shape of the Milky Way is clearly visible in this photograph, particularly away from the horizon, and the reservoir provides a pleasing composition leading towards the "base" of the Milky Way in the picture.

Standing beside my camera in this peaceful location, made me realise just how much we lose in our urban environment, when we may only see a few dozen stars on a clear night, and many people will never have seen the Milky Way "in the flesh", or paused to reflect on our place in the universe, when we are looking towards around 100 billion other stars in our galaxy.

The heading photograph from this post has now been included in my portfolio, and is available for purchase HERE. We will also have copies available in various sizes at future fairs and shows. This isn't however the end of the story. Part of my motivation in taking pictures is to continually improve, so I will keep on looking for opportunities to take more attractive images of the night sky.

Tips for photographing the Milky Way

You will need a sturdy tripod, preferably a cable release, and a camera which has manual exposure and focus facilities. A digital SLR will probably give the best results.

Achieving focus on the night sky can be difficult. it is best to set the camera to focus on infinity in advance of the shoot, and tape the focus ring with gaffer tape to prevent to prevent it from moving during the shoot. I did this from the top of a hill near to where I live.

Setup for astrophotographySetup for astrophotographySetting up infinity focus for astrophotography

Set your lens to its widest aperture, and set the shutter speed and ISO manually. The settings will depend on the characteristics of your lens and sensor. My starting point with my Nikon D800 was ISO 1600 and a shutter speed of 15 seconds with a 24mm f2.8 lens. The shot at the top of the page was taken at these settings.

Adjust the exposure and ISO during the shoot to generate the greatest level of detail in the image files. You do not want the stars to appear as star trails in these photographs. Use the magnifier in Live View to check this.

Experiment with montage images to capture a wider arc of the milky way than you can in a single image.

The photographs can be improved significantly in post processing to bring out detail which has been captured by the camera, but is is not easily visible in an unprocessed file. Do not however over process colours, as the resulting images can look very false.

Most important, enjoy the experience of seeing and capturing the night sky in all its glory, something which fewer and fewer people have the inclination or opportunity to do!

Since this post was written, I have made time to add some more night sky pictures to my portfolio. The blog post and photographs can be seen here: A Night Out at Ribblehead .

(Fotocraft Images) leighton masham milky north photograph way yorkshire Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:21:57 GMT
Memory card misadventures I have been using digital SLR cameras for more than twelve years and, until last weekend, had been lucky enough to never have a problem transferring images from a memory card to my computer. That changed after I returned from a day out with my family and inserted the Compact Flash card from my camera into my computer. Lightroom started up normally, but when I inserted the card into the built in  reader of my PC, it didn't appear on the upload screen.

Computers can be very frustrating when they don't work as expected, so I now needed to work through a series of troubleshooting steps to try to diagnose and solve the problem. My first step was to shut down and restart both the PC and Lightroom. Next, I tried removing and re-inserting the card in the reader. 

Wondering if it was just a fault with the reader, I put the card back in the camera, and the pictures still appeared. THIS WAS A MISTAKE. Unless you are sure about the card, do not put it back in the camera, If there is an obstruction in the card, it runs the risk of damaging the Compact Flash connector pins in the camera, which could result in an expensive repair being required.

Satisfied that the card was apparently OK, I took it out of the camera to connect to the computer with another card reader. THIS WAS ANOTHER MISTAKE! I should, at this stage have downloaded the photographs using a direct USB connection from my camera to the PC. When I connected the card to my spare reader it was again not recognised by the PC.

I now began to suspect that there was a problem with the memory card. Examining the contact holes on the card revealed apparent damage on the third pair of holes on the left of the card:

Compact Flash cardCompact Flash cardcompact flash card After seeing this, I looked at my spare compact flash reader with a bright light, and found the one of the contact pins on the reader was bent out of position. As a useful tip, the head torch I use for night shoots is extremely helpful in providing a bright directional light for any such close up work. I now had a sinking feeling about both the photos and my camera! 

My next step was to remove the cover from my spare compact flash card reader. I used a knife and pin to re-straighten the bent pin, although I couldn't see anything in the damaged compact flash card holes, I attempted to dislodge any foreign objects by rapping the card on a table, and then used a fine pin to confirm nothing appeared to be blocking the holes. Carefully inserting the card back into the reader, I tried to download the pictures again.

Compact flash card readerCompact flash card readerCompact flash card reader Unfortunately, the card was still not recognised. I found an old, low capacity card in a drawer and tried that card in the reader. It was recognised, confirming that the 32Gb card containing the photos was damaged. If the photographs on the card were irreplacable, I would have pursued other data recovery option. However, my wife was also taking pictures on our day out, so this was not necessary.

My next issue was to check my camera. A careful review (again using my headtorch) showed that there appeared to be no damage to the card pins in the camera.

Nikon D800 card slotsNikon D800 card slotsNikon D800 card slots

Finally, I needed a replacement card. The Nikon D800 I use as my principal camera has both CF and SD card slots. Although I have used CF cards without problems for over 12 years, I decided to try using an SD card instead.

The SD card terminals are larger and flat, so there is less risk from bent pins causing problems. Compact Flash cards on the other hand can offer higher data transfer speeds. This is where the specific use of the camera by each user will affect the decision making. The Nikon D800 has a buffer of 16 shots in RAW shooting mode. I have never filled the buffer in all the years I have been shooting, and over 90% of my images are shot on single shot mode. I therefore don't need an ultra fast card. I do however prefer to stick with an established brand, to avoid any reliability problems. I therefore chose the Sandisk Extreme 32GB card with a rated read speed of up to 90mb/s (the write speed is less than half this - up to 40mb/s).

Sandisk SDHC cardSandisk SDHC cardSandisk SDHC card  

After receiving the card, I decided to test its burst shooting capabilities. When set up for RAW shooting my Nikon D800 has a buffer capacity of 16 shots. I shot a high speed burst to find out how many photographs the camera would take before the buffer filled. I expected to take more than 16 shots, with some images being recorded to the card while I was shooting. This is not what happened. The camera worked through the buffer, then stopped shooting as it began to write to the card. The shots were much slower at this point, with a couple seconds between each shot as the previous images were transferred from the buffer to the memory card.

My conclusions from this experience are:

1. Insert compact flash cards carefully into a card reader, particularly if it has short rails and the card sits partly outside the reader when seated for data transfer

2. Compact flash card readers where the card sits well into the reader (and therefore has longer rails) are to be preferred

3. Choose both the size, speed and capacity of your card based on your individual shooting style. If I run into situations where I think I may need to shoot 16 or more shots as a burst, I will invest in a fast CF card. Based on my current shooting style and subjects however, this seems pretty unlikely to happen.

4. Think carefully about using ultra high capacity cards just in case something goes wrong. On holiday, for example, there is a trade off between the risk of mislaying a card separated from the camera and the risk of card failure.

5. Using a USB cable to transfer between the camera and PC eliminates the risk of bent pins, or foreign objects getting into card holes. However, it may be a slower way of transferring data, and could introduce other risks into the process (such as the camera falling during the data transfer). Based on the specific layout of my workspace, I have decided to continue to use a card reader to get my photos onto my PC.

If you have had any issues with memory cards, or thoughts on the issues raised, I would be interested in seeing them in the comments on this post.


(Fotocraft Images) card compact damage flash Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:47:38 GMT
Magnificent Malham: Limestone and Waterfall One-to-One Malham has been an inspiration for artists and poets for hundreds of years, and more recently has attracted film makers, including the Harry Potter crew, who filmed key sequences from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Malham Cove. The landscapes in the area are stunning and varied, and provide an ideal backdrop for a one-to one tuition day.

I provided a session at Malham recently for Colin, who shoots with a Panasonic G1 micro four thirds camera. Colin is an experienced amateur photographer, and wanted to work on landscape photography composition, working a location, use of a tripod for landscape photography and the use of filters during his session.

Malham is one of the Yorkshire Dales honeypot villages. In the Summer holiday period it can be difficult to find a parking space, especially at weekends. It is worth considering arriving early to give the best chance of finding a space. The town car park costs £2.50 for up to 2 hours, and £4.50 for the day. There are some free parking spaces on the left hand side of the road into Malham village from Kirkby Malham. much of the village and the surrounding lanes are narrow and have double yellow lines. There are periodic patrols to deal with cars parked illegally, so it is worth using the designated parking spots.

We started our one-to -one session in Malham village and walked along the delightful Malham Beck and then Gordale Beck to reach Janet's Foss. Colin worked on several different compositions at this location. One of the early images was taken from close to the approach path, using the rocks in the plunge pool to anchor the foreground:

Janet's FossJanet's FossJanet's Foss waterfall near Malham  The most satisfying however involved crossing the beck (carefully, but resulting in slightly wet feet) to find this viewpoint:

Janet's FossJanet's FossJanet's Foss waterfall near Malham

For both of these shots Colin used neutral density filters to extend the exposure and emphasise the shape of the water flowing over the waterfall. We used various different strengths of filter to compare the effect on the resulting images.

Gordale Scar is only a short walk from Janet's Foss.  It offers plenty of photo opportunities - the gorge itself and its approaching stream, the two waterfalls in the gorge, with their impressive tufa screens, and the steep sided ravine above the waterfalls. There are always other subjects to photograph in such locations, and a clifftop tree provided Colin's favourite shot from this location.

Tree at Gordale ScarTree at Gordale ScarTree at Gordale Scar Colin used a polarising filter on this shot to darken the blue sky and increase the contrast between the sky and the clouds. Getting to this spot requires a short scramble, and Colin said afterwards "I wasn't expecting to be climbing a waterfall, but the sense of achievement was incredible".

When we had finished at Gordale Scar we walked across to the top of Malham Cove, where took some further photographs using graduated neutral density filters to balance the bright sky and shadows in Malhamdale below the cove.

e"View from Malham Covee"View from Malham CoveView down Malhamdale from the lip of Malham Cove Finally, we drove up from Malham village to Malham Tarn to try to capture some sunset pictures. Mops of the sky was quite clear, bur one section included some attrative cloud formation which were lit up by the setting sun. The waters of the tarn were quite calm, and Colin used a neutral density filter to extend the exposure to improve the reflection in the images. The colour in the clouds kept on increasing, and Colin captured some dramatic shots, while dealing with swarms of small white flies which had chosen the evening of our visit to emerge.

Malham Tarn SunsetMalham Tarn SunsetMalham tarn at sunset

Malham Tarn SunsetMalham Tarn SunsetMalham Tarn Sunset

At the end of a tiring but productive day Colin was enthusiastic about the benefits of his one-to-one session, saying "I would recommend this to anyone, and already have. The feedback from friends and family on the images taken during the day are amazing". 


(Fotocraft Images) cove filters gordale malham one-to-one photography report scar tarn tuition Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:22:50 GMT
Location, location, location: planning landscape photography shoots Landscape photography is, at its simplest, the process of finding a great location, creating an arresting composition, and capturing the image in great light. A successful photograph is normally a combination of planning and a certain amount of good fortune with the weather and the quality of the light.

I try to plan carefully, to maximise my chances of capturing great images. There are a few items I use to help in this process -an Ordnance Survey map, my tablet with The Photographer's Ephemeris, sometimes google street view, and also the highways agency traffic camera website (and sometimes other webcams), and a Satmap Active 12 GPS.

Location planning toolsLocation planning toolsTools I use to help plan photo shoots

My planning process starts with my knowledge of the area I want to cover, and an ordnance survey map. Over the years I have accumulated a good collection of paper 1:25,000 maps. These maps give the most detailed view of the shape and features of the landscape. I prefer to use the paper maps for planning, as they cover a wider area. With practice it is possible to visualise the sort of view to be seen from a location, and evaluate possible issues such a woodland blocking the view or an inconveniently located industrial estate.

The next stage of my planning process uses a great little programme called The Photographer's Ephemeris. This combines a map with a display showing sunrise and sunset times and angles. This screenshot shows the main features of the programme:

The photographers ephemerisThe photographers ephemerismain features of The photographer's Ephemeris

The programme superimposes the sunrise and sunset times and angles on a configurable map. It also shows the sun direction at any chosen time of day, and the corresponding length and direction of shadows at the same time. For planning purposes the date can be changed. This allows for planning when the sunset will occur at a particular angle at any chosen location.

As an added bonus, the Photographer's Ephemeris also shows moonrise and set times and angles, and the times of the various types of twilight. This can be extremely useful in planning night photography in cities or countryside, and in setting up astrophotography shoots.

The Photographer's Ephemeris is available as a free desktop app through a webpage, and as a paid for app for Apple and Android devices. I use both - the desktop version for planning, and the apple version in the field, particularly if I need to change plans during the day.

Once I have planned through my maps and the Photographer's Ephemeris, I often have a quick look at the area with Google Street map. Although the age of the images on street map can vary, it can give useful information on the level of tree cover around a location, and on one occasion showed me that an area of coniferous trees had been felled, resulting in a change in my plans.

All of the above work can be completed days before a shoot. On the day before, and the day of a shoot, I look carefully at weather forecasts (both met office and the Mountain Weather Information Service "MWIS"). I also look at the rainfall radar history and forecast, and any webcams around the area I am planning to visit. The weather in hilly areas can be very different to the lowlands on some days. I have set off for the Yorkshire Dales quite a few times in bright sunshine, only to watch the weather close in as I approach my target location. There is a webcam near Ingleborough which can sometimes give useful information, and for some locations close to major roads, the traffic cameras on the Highways Agency website.

Traffic Camera weatherTraffic Camera weatherHighways England live traffic camera The screenshot above, from the Traffic England live traffic information system, usefully confirms that there are no queues or other delays on the M62 westbound over the Pennines, and that the weather at that camera appears to be a mixture of sunshine and showers, with some quite impressive cumulus clouds in the view. This image suggests there could be some interesting conditions in the area, so its probably time to pack up the car and go!

Once in the field, it is important to keep an eye on the broader conditions to take advantage of any opportunities. I use my Satmap Active 12 to help navigate to the locations I have planned to visit, and to estimate the time required to reach alternative viewpoints if I need to change my plans. The Active 12 is waterproof, and I have purchased the UK 1:25000 map pack, so I have access to detailed maps wherever I am in the country.

Planning helps, but it is only part of the process of taking landscape photos. Making the best of the location and conditions is equally important, and waiting (sometimes for a long time), is vital to capture the decisive moment when the view is at its best.

(Fotocraft Images) landscape maps photographer's ephemeris photography planning shoot Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:36:38 GMT
Lancaster over Wetherby They say that a change is as good as a rest. Well, yesterday I heard that the Battle Of Britain Memorial flight was making a flypast over Wetherby. The flight was organised to mark the dedication of a blue plaque for "Ginger" Lacey, a second world war fighter pilot who had the RAF's second highest total of German planes shot down in the Battle Of Britain. The plaque is placed where his birthplace used to stand. Ironically, the site is now occupied by an Aldi store - a German owned supermarket. I decided to make the short drive over to Wetherby to try to capture some photographs.

I do not have a regular need for a long telephoto lens for my work. I do however have a Canon 70-200mm F4L lens, and a 1.4x teleconverter which I hoped would be sufficient to capture some interesting shots. The weather was bright, but not strong sunshine, and the Lancaster bomber from the Memorial flight circled around the supermarket three times to give people at the ceremony several opportunities to see, hear and photograph this iconic plane.

These are a selection of the images I captured:

Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby

I did some planning when I arrived to try to obtain the best images possible. The flypast would be centred on the Aldi car park, so that seemed to offer the closest viewpoint given the limited reach of my telephoto lens. I chose a position in the car park away from light stands and trees to minimise the risk of unwanted distractions in the photos.  Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby

As the plane flew over, one of the spectators commented how small it was. Perhaps so compared to a Boeing 747, but I'm sue it appeared both large and powerful to any one who saw it during the war! Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby The hand of a pilot waving from the cockpit is just visible in the photo.

Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby

Lancaster Bomber over WetherbyLancaster Bomber over WetherbyA Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight over Wetherby

The process of capturing these photos was quite different to my normal landscape photography work. The time of the flypast was fixed, so there was no waiting for the best light to capture the image. Due to the moving subject, the shots were all hand held. My camera settings were chosen to maintain sharpness in the shots, so I shot at ISO 640. Composition was determined on the fly at the time, although I made some selective crops afterwards for shots where the plane was relatively small in the shot. The sky was significantly brighter than the plane, so I used a positive exposure compensation to retain detail in the black painted underside of the night bomber.

Overall, this was an interesting hour, and I was pleased with the results. What do you think?

Update 16 July 2019: I have had some interest in these images, and have put some of them onto one of our new range of photo mugs. You can see the result here: Lancaster Bomber photo Mug .

(Fotocraft Images) bomber lancaster raf wetherby Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:03:23 GMT
A recent one-to-one session Our one-to-one landscape photography tuition sessions are tailored exactly to the client's requirements, so no two days are the same. I will suggest possible shooting areas, but the area selected is also ultimately the client's choice. The two constants are that the days cover superb Yorkshire locations, and clients have always confirmed afterwards that they had a great day and learned a lot to improve the level of their photography.

At the conclusion of the tuition days, I ask clients to send me a small selection of the photographs they were most pleased with from the day. These images give a feel for the locations, and the quality of the images clients have produced during the session.

James is a complete photographic beginner, who bought a Canon G7x Mark II. He wanted to learn how to use the camera outside its fully automatic settings, and learn some of the key points of landscape photography composition. this one-to-one day took place at Bolton Abbey, which offers a huge range of landscape photography opportunities - "intimate landscapes" - including the famous money tree, woodland scenery in Strid Woods, the Strid itself, waterfalls at Posforth Gill and plenty of wider landscape views.

One of the locations we visited, Posforth Gill, gave James two of his favourite shots from the day. There are two waterfalls along Posforth Gill. The lower is visible from the popular footpath leading to the top of Simon's Seat, the second along an out and back path next to the stream. The waterfalls are quite different, with the upper waterfall having an angled slab of dark coloured rock which creates a fan of water, and the lower a split drop into a rocky pool.

This is James' photograph of the lower falls - taking advantage of a fallen tree as a frame:

Posforth Gill waterfallPosforth Gill waterfallWaterfall at Posforth Gill near Bolton Abbey. Photo by and copyright James Locke

The upper fall is a few minutes walk up the hill. This is James' image:

Posforth Gill waterfallPosforth Gill waterfallWaterfall at Posforth Gill near Bolton Abbey. Photo by and copyright James Locke The G7x does not have a filter ring - something of a limitation for this type of waterfall photography. We worked round this on this shot by holding one of my 77mm neutral density filters in front of the lens during the exposure. Not ideal,because of the risk of shake or stray reflections, but it did the job here!

During the session we spent a little time exploring the macro capabilities of the Canon G7X. James was pleased with this shot:

FoxglovesFoxglovesFoxglove near Bolton Abbey

At the conclusion of the session James said "I have a far better understanding of how to use the camera controls" and "A truly great introduction into photography. Paul’s session planning, and thoughtful way of teaching, provided a great experience to learn the functionality of my camera and the process of taking a photograph".

I think the photographs James produced show that the modern digital compact camera is capable of producing high qality landscape photographs if used properly - you do not need an SLR to create photographs you can be proud of.

(Fotocraft Images) abbey bolton one-to-one tuition Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:16:07 GMT
Walking to Yorkshire's Top Spot Now is the ideal time to climb Whernside, one of Yorkshire's three peaks. Long, warm days give plenty of time to appreciate both the natural and man made elements of the landscape. All of the photos in the article below were taken on a single day while completing the walk (and taking notes to allow me to write up the route).

I wanted to show off the highest part of the dales on a glorious Summer day in this article, and was lucky that the weather forecast was accurate. Although I pay close attention to the latest forecasts when planning days out photographing in the Dales, they are not always accurate. The hills have a tendency to create their own local weather, and it can sometimes be much greyer than expected by the time I have driven to a location. Fortunately this was not one of those days!

Whernside may not be the most attractive of Yorkshire's three peaks, but it is the loftiest. This in itself gives a reason to make the ascent. There are however plenty of other reasons to do so. There are superb views from the summit on a clear day, the route is clear throughout and it passes close to the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct. If you are lucky, you might see a steam train crossing the viaduct taking visitors along the magnificent Settle-Carlisle line.

The railway line was closed for over a year following a landslip in the wet winter of 2015/16 but, following a £23 million repair project it is now once again fully operational.

Click on the image below to view the full article which was originally published in Yorkshire Ridings Magazine.

Whernside WalkWhernside WalkWhernside walk article header

(Fotocraft Images) Ribblehead Viaduct Whernside Yorkshire three Peaks walk Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:10:32 GMT
A Walk from Cannon Hall - South Yorkshire I prepared a number of walk articles for Yorkshire Ridings magazine. The magazine itself has unfortunately been a victim of changes in the publishing industry, and is no more. I will however publish some of these articles on this blog so the walks and accompanying photographs remain available to anybody who is interested.

The walks features published in the magazine cover all parts of Yorkshire. This walk begins from Cannon Hall,  a country house museum located around 5 miles west of Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Cannon Hall Park, with its grassy meadow leading down to a series of ponds and cascades provides an attractive starting point for the walk, which continues through countryside and deciduous woodland. The walk is five miles long. It includes field and woodland paths which may be muddy after rain and several stiles, but no other difficulties.

The photographs for this feature were taken in the Autumn. The main shot is a classic "across the park" view framed by silhouetted oak leaves. The park features (ponds, cascades and a clapper style footbridge) provide interesting subjects for a number of supporting shots. The images are rounded off with photographs of deffer Woods, with beech leaves carpeting the woodland floor, a view across from the terrace of Cannon Hall towards Cawthorne and a view of Cannon Hall Farm - a well known petting farm and visitor attraction.

 Click on the image below to view the complete article (including a route map) as a pdf file: Cannon Hall Walk

(Fotocraft Images) Cannon Hall South Yorkshire article walk Mon, 06 Jun 2016 16:12:58 GMT
Harrogate Stray Cherry Tree Walk I have a list on my ipad of locations which I think would justify one or more photographs in my portfolio, but which i haven't yet captured. Sometimes I may miss the right conditions because I am unable to visit at the right time. alternatively, I may visit the location but find that the conditions on the ground weren't right, or the weather wasn't what I was looking for.

One of the shots which has been on the list for a number of years is the cherry tree walk at Harrogate stray. The cherry blossom is at its peak for only a few days each year, and can be quickly ruined by heavy rain or strong winds. I envisaged a shot in full sun to show the colour of the blossom to best effect with dappled sunlight to give interest under the avenue of trees. Each time I tried to capture the shot either the cherry blossom was past its peak or the clouds rolled in as I arrived in Harrogate.

This year I passed through Harrogate a couple of times in the weeks before the cherry trees came into flower, and guessed when the blossom would put in an appearance. The weather forecast was kind  for just one day during the week I had chosen, so I packed up and set off. When I arrived I was relieved to find the sun was still shining, and the blossom was showing, so I could get to work.

The cherry tree avenues in Harrogate were apparently planted to celebrate the Queen's coronation in 1953. Some of the trees have been lost subsequently, but fortunately Harrogate Borough Council has planted new trees to fill the gaps. The varying size of the trees gives opportunities for images setting the blossom against the sky, as well as images focusing on the tunnel of blossom underneath the trees.

These are four of the images from the morning, each with the path leading under the tunnel of cherry blossoms, but with variations from different viewpoints along the walk.

Cherry Tree Walk ICherry Tree Walk I100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk I

Cherry tree Walk IICherry tree Walk II100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk II

Cherry tree Walk IIICherry tree Walk III100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk III

Cherry Tree Walk IVCherry Tree Walk IV100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk IV

I have my own preferences among these photographs, but thought it would be interesting to carry out a straw poll at a recent craft fair to see which were favoured. Interestingly there was no clear consensus, and each of the images had its champions. However the most popular were II (with the daisies in the foreground, and a definite left to right journey along the path) and IV (with the greatest "tunnel of pink" impression).

Do add a comment below if you have a personal fovourite among the images above or any thoughts on this.

In addition to the "along the path" shots I also planned some images from outside the avenues of trees with a more panoramic feel. These are the results:

Cherry tree Walk Panorama I

Cherry Tree Walk panorama II

The contrast between the mature and more recently planted trees is much more noticeable in these images. I think that this composition will probably work much better when the more recently planted trees have grown more, so that, for example, the buildings do not show through in the centre of the second image. So, even though I have added some new photographs into my portfolio, the cherry tree walk will stay on my list of locations to visit, and hopefully I will be able to return and re-photograph this attractive location in a few years time.

(Fotocraft Images) Cherry Harrogate blossom cherry spring sunshine tree walk Tue, 24 May 2016 15:03:25 GMT
York Christmas Show Today is the first day of my major Christmas show. I will be showing my pictures, calendar and cards on Parliament Street in York right up to 23 December. 

The two key issues with this type of show are:

1. Deciding how to set up the stand to best show my work; and

2. Planning what stock to hold for the full length of the show.

The photos  below show my stand - with a mixture of larger and smaller a images on display, and space for showing my Christmas and everyday cards and our 2016 Yorkshire calendars.

York Christmas chaletYork Christmas chaletFotocraft Images chalet at the York Christmas market on Parliament Street York Christmas chaletYork Christmas chaletFotocraft Images chalet at the York Christmas market on Parliament Street



I have records of what my sales were in previous years. However, the one thing I have learned from over ten years of attending shows in Yorkshire is that this year's show will be different to last year. I always tend to stock more York images at shows in York, but beyond that it is very difficult to predict in detail what will be popular this time round. This can result in some late nights re-stocking popular products, which tend to immediately stop selling as soon as the new stock is available!

The great thing about this show is that my images are seen by both locals and visitors who would not otherwise be aware of my work. If any readers of this post are in York between now and Christmas do call in and make yourself known. My stand is right in the centre of York, close to the (now dry) fountain on Parliament street.

(Fotocraft Images) Chalet Christmas York show Thu, 19 Nov 2015 23:21:34 GMT
2016 Yorkshire Calendar Our 2016 Yorkshire Calendar follows the same layout and format as the last three years, with A4 size pages folding out to give an A3 size picture/date grid display. As postal charges have increased, we have made sure that the calendar fits within the Post Office's "large letter" size limit and, when posted, weighs just under the 250g price break in the Post Office's pricing schedule.


I always find it interesting to hear customers' reactions to the photographs in the calendar (and would appreciate readers' thoughts on any of  this year's images).


This year, I have already received lots of comments about my image of Castle Hill - both reminiscences about visits to the hill, and recollections about the pub and bowling green which used to be on the summit (and comments about plans for a new development on the site). Personally, I feel that great care is required before imposing a modern development on such an iconic location.

Photo of Castle Hill near HuddersfieldCastle Hill, near HuddersfieldPhoto of Castle Hill , near Huddersfield from the Fotocraft Images 2016 Yorkshire Calendar.

Another picture which has generated some comments is the June image of Ribblehead. I learned from a visitor to the Great Yorkshire Show that the meadows in the foreground of this image are being managed to restore the traditional hay meadows which were once common across the country, but are now only seen in a select few areas. All I could say was that these efforts certainly seem to be paying off. I have walked the path across to Ribblehead Viaduct quite a few times over the years, and the wildflower display this year was undoubtedly the best I have seen from this location.

Photo of Ribblehead, Yorkshire DalesButtecup meadows at Ribblehead, Yorkshire DalesButtercup meadows at Ribblehead - photo from Fotocraft Images 2016 Yorkshire Calendar

A third photograph which seems worthy of comment is the November image of an impressive beech tree next to the path around Swinsty Reservoir. The reservoir is one of a string running down the Washburn valley (located between Harrogate and Skipton). The path around Swinsty (and also Fewston, the next reservoir up the valley) are maintained by Yorkshire Water. It offers an attractive walk all the year round. I have walked the circuit in the winter after particularly wet periods when many of my regular routes can be very muddy. The gravel path is pretty well drained, so the walk remains relatively firm when many other routes are a quagmire.

Photo of beech tree at Swinsty Reservoir, Washburn ValleyAutumn beech tree at Swinsty Reservoir, Washburn Valley, North YorkshirePhoto of a beech tree on the path round Swinsty Reservoir included in the Fotocraft Images 2016 Yorkshire Calendar.

The large beech tree curves gracefully over the path, with the path fence diverted around the tree - emphasised by the shadows of the fence rails.


The calendar is now available to order from the 2016 calendar page of our website. We have maintained the price of our calendars at only £7.50 each, including UK postage and packing, for the fourth year in succession.

(Fotocraft Images) 2016 Yorkshire calendar Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:00:15 GMT
Try, try and try again All landscape photographs require a combination of planning and good fortune in different combinations. Sometimes, the light and the location just work together, and a photograph can be made in a single trip. On other occasions either the light or the location isn't right, and multiple visits may be required to capture the shot.

One of my most frustrating challenges in recent years has been to obtain a winter photograph of Ingleborough covered with snow. I found a location with a view I liked in the summer, and kept both a written and mental note to return when there was snow on the ground. The view is from Crina Bottom, with a track and river valley providing a frame for Ingleborough's summit.

On my first three visits to this spot in winter I didn't even take my camera out of its bag! The first time there was much less snow than I was expecting, and the view was disappointing. The second time the summit of Ingleborough was in cloud, and the third time there was a stubborn sheet of stratus cloud flattening the light. This trip was even more frustrating, as the cloud was in the North and West and over Ingleborough itself, but I could see that there would be good light elsewhere in the Dales. I waited for a couple of hours for the cloud to clear, but it was one of those days when it never did.

On my fourth visit there was some better light and I did take some photographs. However, the images were rather flat, and once again the snow cover wasn't perfect. This is one of the images from this fourth visit:

Ingleborough from Crina BottomIngleborough from Crina BottomWinter view of Ingleborough from Crina Bottom

I worked the location for a while, but the angles didn't really work, and the images didn't have the impact I had envisaged.

At this point I could have just given up, with a view to coming at a different time. However, I decided to walk round Ingleborough to try to give myself more of a sidelight to work with. Most of the higher fells in the Dales are access land, so I could wander across the landscape at will. My target was White Scars - the area of limestone pavement behind the farmhouse in the photo above.

I climbed the steep slope onto the flat limestone pavement, and began looking for some feature (maybe a glacial erratic or tree) to anchor the foreground of the photo I was now planning. My search was fruitless, so my next option was to walk over to the far side of the limestone pavement to see if I could find a crag to act as foreground. I spotted a couple of possibilities, but nothing that screamed "that's it" and then, finally, spotted the feature which made the day - a miniature partly frozen tarn.

The tarn itself is an anomaly, as limestone pavements are usually dry. Some glacial till may be acting as a natural pond liner to allow the water to accumulate. As I approached, I realised that this small sheet of water and ice was exactly what I had been looking for - providing colour, shape and texture in the foreground of the final image. One lesson I have learned from experience is to think ahead when taking shots across snow, ice and sand. It is all too easy to walk across a spot which would have made a perfect foreground for an image, so I walked around and carefully approached towards Ingleborough's summit.

After finding the location, and setting up the shot I began the waiting game for the light. There was probably around 40% cloud cover. I wanted the foreground and the summit of Ingleborough to be sunlit, and I also wanted some clouds in the sky, but not too much. After the best part of an hour, I got the shots I was looking for. This was the result:

Ingleborouh from White ScarsIngleborough from White ScarsPhoto of Ingleborough from White Scars

An unexpected bonus was a nearly full moon above the summit of Ingleborough.

I also took a portrait image from nearby:

Ingleborough from White ScarsIngleborough from White ScarsPhoto of Ingleborough from White Scars

and, finally, looking around, decided to take a telephoto shot of Whernside - highlighting the emptiness of the moorland around the highest point in Yorkshire.

Whernside from White ScarsWhernside from White ScarsPhoto of Whernside from White Scars

The small pool in this image is the same one which dominates the foreground of the previous two photographs.

These photographs are all now part of my range, and can be ordered in a variety of sizes in the three peaks gallery (

The landscape image is also included as the January photograph in the 2016 Fotocraft Images Yorkshire calendar - see


(Fotocraft Images) Ingleborough landscape photograph snow winter Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:09:20 GMT
2015 Calendar One of the more difficult decisions I have to make during the year is selecting the photographs for the Fotocraft Images Yorkshire  calendar.

We have published a Yorkshire calendar for the last five years. It has evolved in style through that time - it started as an A4 view, with the photographs and date grid each a little less than A5 size. We use the calendar ourselves, and our own thoughts, and feedback from friends and other users, was that the images and space for writing appointments were too small. The last three calendars have been A3 view, with both the images and date grid on an A4 size sheet. This gives a better image and grid size, but still fits within the Post Office's large letter size limit to minimise the postage cost for buyers who send the calendar to friends and family.

We have also learned from experience about the value of a good printer. The calendars are now printed by a local litho printer who has provided us with good quality service (for prompt proofing and colour matching - one of the most difficult aspects of the whole process) and a quality final product we can be proud of.

As we offer a Yorkshire calendar, the photographs must cover the huge variety of locations across the county. I prefer to include a mixture of familiar landscapes and slightly "off the beaten track" photos that may prompt people seeing the calendar to say "I like that, I think i may go out and visit that spot". The images must also refect the seasons appropriately.

The 2015 calendar includes "classic" views of York, Robin Hood's Bay and Bolton Priory. Less well known is, for example, the October image of the River Ure valley at Hackfall, near Masham. Afternoon sunlight emphasises the zig zag of the river thrugh the gorge at Hackfall, and the trees show a range of Autumn colour. Hackfall is a Woodland Trust property. it was developed as a pleasure ground by the Aislabie family (who also owned Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal) in the eighteenth century, and has recently been restored with funding from the National Lottery and others.

Hackfall WoodsHackfallPhoto of Hackfall woods, near Masham included in Fotocraft Images 2015 Yorkshire Calendar

Several visitors to shows who have seen the calendar have commented that they have been to Hackfall, but many others have asked about where it is, so they can plan a visit. With superb woodland, follies, waterfalls and a fountain, it is certainly worth a trip.

All of the calendar photographs can be seen on the 2015 calendar page of our website, and the calendar can be bought for only £7.50 per copy including UK postage and packing.

We would be interested to see your comments on our selection of images for the 2015 calendar.


(Fotocraft Images) Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:52:25 GMT
Beverley Westwood Walk I try to provide as much variety as possible in the walks articles I write for Yorkshire Ridings Magazine. Last month's article was a countryside walk around Sutton Bank in the North York Moors with long distance views, and some climbing. In contrast, this walk is virtually flat, and includes an attractive town and the surrounding common land. It offers a circuit of Beverley Westwood starting from the town centre. Beverley is one of those towns which appears to have avoided ugly moden redevelopment of its town centre. The walk links the attractive streets of the town centre with the racecourse and the Westwood. It finishes close to Beverley minster, one of the most impressive gothic churches in the country.

I took the photographs for the walk on a day of mixed sunshine and cloud - generally more cloud than sunshine. There is an attractiveview over the town centre an Minster from the Westwood. With the right light, it would stand out as a photograph. I spent some time waiting near the golf clubhouse hoping for better light, and was finally rewarded when one of the bright patches caught the town centre, and then the West front of the Minster.

I felt that this was the best image among those I submitted, and was pleased to see that the editor chose to print it across two pages as the featured image for the article.

Click on the image below to view the complete article as a pdf file:

Beverley Westwood WalkBeverley Westwood Walk articleYorkshire Ridings article by photographer Paul Heaton on a walk around Beverley Westwood

(Fotocraft Images) Beverley Westwood Yorkshire Yorkshire Ridings Magazine article walk Tue, 03 Jun 2014 16:12:58 GMT
Walking in a quiet corner of the Lake District The Lake district apparently attracts about 14.8 million visitors each year. If you walk some of the more popular routes in the centre of the National Park, or the "honeypot" towns and villages (Keswick, Kendal, Windermere, Grasmere etc) you can well believe this. There are however less visited areas which have their own distinctive character and charm. The Eastern most part of the National Park, which is quite easily accessible from where I live in Yorkshire, is one of these areas.

I have just returned from a couple of days walking in this part of the Lake District. The weather wasn't great for photography - cloudy throughout, with one or two showers, but it was good for walking. On the first day (Sunday) we walked the Naddle Horseshoe (an 8 mile route described in Wainwright's Outlying Fells book). The walking was good, with views over Haweswater towards High Street and its surrounding fells, with Riggindale Crag prominent in the view. The remarkable thing about this walk was that over the five hours between setting off from the car and returning we didn't see a soul, either close up or in the distance.

The following morning we decided on a stroll around Knipescar Common. The landscape here was much more reminiscent of the Craven Dales rather than the Lake District, with limestone scars with glacial erratic boulders and smooth grass meadows rather than the tussock grass we negotiated on the previous day. Knipescar Common rises to a modest 1,118 feet (342m), but offers attractive views towards Haweswater and the fells around High Street. A moody sky with the odd brighter patch gave interest in the landscape to allow me to create the image below, which exemplifies the weekend:


1501-Knipescar-viewHigh Street and surrounding fells from Knipescar CommonThe far eastern part of the Lake District National Park. A view from Knipescar Common towards Haweswater, the fells to the east of High Street and the distinctive limestone walls and pastures of this quiet cormer of the lakes.

From time to time we all come across comical sights on our travels. We saw one of these in the field behind the trees in the photograph above. A large white goose was sitting in the smallest duck pond I have ever seen (actually a spring which emerged near a gate, only to almost immediately disappear again). The goose was most put out that we had the temerity to look at the view from her gate, and made it clear that she would defend her pond agressively:

1503-white-goose1503-white-gooseWhite goose on tiny pond at Scarside in the Lake District National Park.

Having succesfully intimidated us to leave, she settled down to enjoy her kingdom, honking rather grumpily!

(Fotocraft Images) High Street Lake District Naddle Horseshoe Wainwright fells outlying photo Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:18:20 GMT
Sutton Bank walk This walk is another in my regular series of articles published in Yorkshire Ridings Magazine. The walk is 6 miles long, starting from one of the car parks below the Kilburn White Horse, walking along the top of Sutton Bank on the outward journey, descending to Gormire Lake, and returning through the col between Ropulston Scar and Hood Hill.

There are great views across the Vale of Mowbray and Vale of York along the way, and plenty of photo opportunities.

Click on the photo below to view a pdf version of the article:

Sutton Bank WalkSutton Bank Walk

I will normally submit a dozen or so photographs to Yorkshire Ridings magazine with these articles. Most of the time I have a pretty good idea which photos are likely to be selected for publication. Occasionally however the editor and designers surprise me by printing pictures much larger or smaller than I expected, or by overlooking photographs which I felt were particularly strong, or representative of the walk I was illustrating.  Apart from personal taste, the selections can be down to the orientation of the image, interaction with other pictures in the piece, and even similar pictures accompanying other articles in the magazine. This happened with the Sutton Bank feature I included the following picture taken from the path running around the perimeter of the Yorkshire Gliging club across Roulson Scar to the Vale of Mowbray, which didn't make the cut:

Sutton BankSutton Bank

I liked the Rowan berries giving a splash of colour in the foreground of this image, and the variation in the colours of the fields in the middle ground. As a result, I have decided to add this image to my show range to guage visitors reactions to the "one that got away".

(Fotocraft Images) Bank Moors North Sutton York walk Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:43:38 GMT
A walk from Ripon to Studley Royal Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a great place to visit. It is also a starting point or destination for several interesting walks. This option starts from Ripon, and works its way up to Studley Royal beside the River Skell then through the Chinese Wood, and up the seven bridges valley. The return is down the long straight driveway of Studley Royal deer park, with a superb view which includes the distant Ripon Cathedral as part of the planned vista. The walk has no substantial hills, and can be completed in an afternoon, so it  is an ideal winter walk. The added bonus is the National trust tea room near the lake, and plenty of refreshment locations in Ripon. Enjoy!

Click on the image below to read the article:


Ripon Studley Royal articleRipon Studley Royal articleYorkshire Ridings article on a walk fgrom Ripon to Studley Royal










(Fotocraft Images) Ridings Ripon Yorkshire article studley Royal walk Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:22:45 GMT
Pen-y-Ghent fron Horton in Ribblesdale: a Dales classic For the second article in my regular feature in Yorkshire Ridings Magazine I chose a dales classic - the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale.This walk can be very busy on Summer weekends when streams of "Three Peaks Challenge" walkers use parts of the route. To me it is a much more pleasant walk on a weekday, or outside the main season. You are never likely to be completely alone on such a popular route. However, when it is quieter I feel more inclined to savour the wonderful scenery. It is one of my all time favourite dales walks.

The day I took the pictures for this walk started very clear, but gradually clouded over. This is reflected in the photographs, with more cloud showing on the pictures from the summit and descent than from the initial climb. After waiting for about 45 minutes at Hull Pot, I was lucky enough that one of the few reaining patches of sunlight lit up the hole, giving some suitably dramatic light for this impressive feature. This image is on the final page of the article, and both Hull Pot and Hunt Pot (not visited on this walk) are definitely worth the short detours from the main route.

After finishing the walk I visited the Pen-y-Ghent cafe for a hot drink and some cake. I was surprised to see two sets of people come into the cafe asking for directions on how to climb Pen-y-Ghent.(The path starts just down the road from the cafe). Neither seemed very well equipped for fell walking. The cafe staff were helpful to both, and did gently point out that it could be  much colder and windier on top of the hill than at the bottom - which didn't seen to put off the visitors. On this day the clouds were well above the summit, but I could see the cafe staff would be in a more difficult position when the conditions were worse, or the weather forecast was poor. People walking in the hills have to take prime resopnsibility for their own safety, but I wouldn't like to find out later that I had directed somebody onto a route where they had later got into difficulties.

The article can be seen by clicking on the image below:


Pen-y-Ghent walk article picturePen-y-Ghent walk articlePen-y-Ghent walk article


(Fotocraft Images) article Pen-y-Ghent walk Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Ridings Fri, 11 Oct 2013 13:42:19 GMT
A day in the Lake District In addition to my love of photography I am keen on fell walking. I have been looking for an opportunity to walk the Fairfield Horseshoe in the Lake District for quite some time. The last few times I have had a day available the weather has been poor. Last week I finally manged to find a day when the weather forecast was reasonable, and I could get across to Ambleside/Rydal for the walk.

This wasn't planned primarily as a photographic trip. however, I always carry a camera on these walks, and am on the lookout for images. When I  have set out to take one or more images to add to my portfolio I might spend hours waiting for the light to make an image I am happy with. I didn't have that luxury on this walk - with about 18km of walking and around 1250m of ascent planned during the day. However, the light was good during the day, with mixed cloud and sunshine and very clear air. Strong winds on the tops gave some problems, but nevertheless I obtained some images which, to me give a good impression of this classic lakeland round and an illustration of why the lakes are such a magnet for fell walkers.

The first photograph I have processed is a panoramic shot from near the top of Hart Crag:

Rydale from Hart CragFairfield Round from Hart CragFairfield Round from Hart Crag

This view shows the majority of the Fairfield Horseshoe walk, with Low Pike, High Pike, Dove Crag and Hart Crag to the left, and Great Rigg, Rydal Fell and Heron Pike to the Right. Fairfield itself is behind me on my right in this view. Windermere is clearly visible beyond the end of the valley.

There are good views across to the Hellvellyn fells from the top of Fairfied. however, the light wasn't good for making a photo when I was there, so the next image is taken from the slopes of great Rigg on the descent:

great rigg viewLakeland panoramaCentral lakeland panorama from Great Rigg

This is a stitched panorama from three photographs looking across the central lakeland fells. The light was crystal clear at the time, the fells were green from rain the day before, and the sky gave interest without cloud shadows dominating key parts of the view.

Finally, I walked down to Stone Arthur, to take in the classic view across Grasmere. This hill has a very low prominence, but was included on Wainwright's list of lakeland fells, I guess primarily because of this view:

Grasmere viewGrasmere ViewGrasmere view from Stone Arthur, Lake District

Most of my work tends to be focused in Yorkshire. However, I do enjoy working in other areas as well. The Lake District fells have a different feel to the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors - the landcapes are rougher, the mountains are higher, and the views will often encompass the various lakes as well as the mountains.

The fact that they are different dosen't make one better or worse than the other. The key for me is to enjoy visiting as many attractive landscapes as possible, and to keep on trying to capture them at their best with my camera.

(Fotocraft Images) Fairfield Horseshoe Lake District panoramic views Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:03:19 GMT
Fairburn Ings Walk Article I have have taken photographs for more years than I care to remember, and have walked the hills of Britain for a similar time. My portfolio includes plenty of images captured in following both of these passions. I have published a number of illustrated features in Yorkshire Ridings magazine, including some Yorkshire walks articles. I was therefore very pleased when the magazine's editor asked me to provide a regular walks feature for Yorkshire Ridings Magazine. There are so many stunning landscapes across Yorkshire. I hope that these articles will enable me to encourage readers to go out and about to visit places they may not have bee to previously, while also allowing me to explore walks I have not done before, and re-visit some old favourites.

For the first of these articles I decided on a walk around Fairburn Ings, an RSPB reserve near Castleford, and the historic villages of Ledsham and Fairburn. This is a great family walk - plenty of interest around the RSPB reserve, and not too long or too steep for young legs.

Yorkshire Ridings publishes older issues online, and I am also planning to post the articles on this blog after they are published in the magazine.

The full Fairburn Ings article can be seen as a pdf document by clicking on this preview image:

Fairburn ings walk articleFairburn Ings Walk

(Fotocraft Images) Fairburn Ings Yorkshire article magazine walks Sun, 08 Sep 2013 11:33:20 GMT
Rock formation on Cyfrwy Cyfrwy is a subsidiary peak of Cader Idris. I visited it last week, and was struck by this rock formation seen from the summit cairn:

Rock formation on CyfrwyA question - Cyfrwy summit rocks

I am always interested in the geology and geomorphology of the landscape, and wondered how the structure was formed.

Starting from what I know, research on the interernet indicates the Cader Idris is formed from rocks of Ordovician age (485-443 million years ago) - An article in Geological Consevation Review - gives a geological map and details of the rocks of Cader Idris. Comparing the geological map with the Ordnance survey 1:25,000 map suggests that the rocks at the summit of Cyfrwy are microgranite intrusions. The text of this article on Cader Idris states that

   "The Cadair Idris microgranite, previously referred to as ‘granophyre' (Davies, 1959), is for much of its outcrop a sill up to 600 m thick. It forms a prominent escarpment immediately north of Cyfrwy, Penygadair and Mynydd Moel, with columnar jointing evident in the escarpment cliffs."

So far so good. Columnar jointing I can understand. However, well known examples of columnar jointing (such as Fingal's cave and the Giant's Causeway) are vertical, but these rocks seem to explode out of the rock face almost horizontally (the main part of the picture), inclined more steeply down at the bottom of the exposure, and pointing towards the sky on the top of the slope.

If any geologists read this I would be very interested to hear any possible explanation of how this has arisen....

(Fotocraft Images) Cader Idris Cyfrwy microgranite Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:50:36 GMT
Holiday snaps I spotted an interesting article on the BBC website today about the way people use cameras on holiday, asking the question does taking photographs devalue the actual experience. You can see the article at:

I regard holidays as very much family time. My wife and children have to put up with my odd working hours, and frequent absences at weekends when I am attending shows for 50 weeks of the year. I try to give them priority when we are on holiday. That being said, I do love taking photographs, and I like to have images to look at to remind us of enjoyable times and interesting places - so I do carry a camera with me. On recent trips this has tended to be my "second" camera - a Canon 5D Mark II, with one lens - a 24-70L. Unless there is something specific where a tripod will be necessary, I do not take one.

I also change the way I take pictures when I am on holiday. My objective is to capture what we have experienced rather than to strive to take pictures to add to my portfolio. On the other hand, I do like to have one or two images which would be suitable for display on our walls should we choose to do so. I will "tweak" the programme a little from time to time to give me the opportunity to take photos I would be happy to include in my portfolio.

A good example of this occurred on a trip to New York last year. We bought a three day New York pass to allow us to visit key attractions in the city. My "tweak" was to plan that we would visit the Top of the Rock at dusk on the day with the best weather out of the three. this took a little planning - what time is sunset, and where can I find a three day weather forecast. However, the family were happy - if the view looked good to me, it would look good to everybody, and it didnt stop us from doing anything else we had planned.

I wasn't carrying a tripod on this trip, and there would have been no space to use it. When we arrived, the observation deck was packed. Surprisingly as the light levels dropped to give the crossover lighting I love to use at dusk the crowds thinned. I was able to find a spot by one of the flat concrete posts holding the barrier glass panels and use it as a camera support. The resulting stitched panorama is this image:

Manhattan panoramaManhattan pano blog It is often the case that good planning combined with a touch of good fortune can give a special image. In this case, the broken cloud pattern was exactly what I was looking for, with the unexpected bonus of the rising moon on the left of the photograph, and the last light of the day from the right. This photograph is displayed as a large box frame print in my home and to me encapsulated a magical few days in a vibrant and exciting city.

You can see a larger version of this photograph in the "Other" gallery (, and copies of it can be purchased.

Moving forward almost exactly a year, we have just spent a few days in mid Wales, staying in a very comfortable and well equipped cottage in Dolgellau. I was keen to climb Cader Idris while we were there, and my family were happy to spend a day walking up the pony path from Ty-Nant. After the recent heatwave broke the weather has been more mixed. We tried to choose the best day for the walk, but there was no guarantee of views. Part way up the hill the clouds came down, and it seemed this type of photo would be the best from the day:

Cader Idris cloud0582 cader idris cloud

Fortunately this was in fact the worst of the day, and as we climbed the cloud lifted giving some spectacular views down into Cader Idris' corries, and along the ridge line towards the coast at Barmouth. These are two examples of photos taken from high on the flanks of this impressive Welsh mountain:

Cader Idris viewView from Cader Idris

Cader Idris viewCyfrwy ridge from Cader Idris I haven't yet printed any of these photos for display at home, but after reviewing the images on screen, I decided that a number of the photos from the trip did justify a more permanent presence on the Fotocraft images website - hence the new Wales gallery on the site (

So my conclusion on the isssue of take photos or not on holiday - yes take photos, but don't allow the photography to dominate the holiday - that woudn't be fair on the rest of the family.



(Fotocraft Images) Cader Idris Manhattan New York Wales holiday photography Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:50:58 GMT
Portrait or landscape - Photographer's Dilemma Usually when I see a location I know whether it will lend itself most readily to a portrait or landscape shot. If I am shooting for a magazine I will often work to create both a portrait and landscape image. This gives the editor and designer flexibility when laying out the article. Yorkshire Ridings Magazine, which I shoot for each month,  will often use one picture at full page size in an article, so I work to find one or two portrait shape images when I am taking photos for their features.

Occasionally, when I am shooting a view seems to work equally well as both a portrait and landscape shot. If this happens, I quite often find that when processing pictures for my website, one or other version stands out slightly, so I will use that one. Even more rarely, I find it difficult to choose, and I am left with either tossing a coin to decide which to include in the range, or putting both on my website and in my range at craft fairs, and allowing customers to decide which they prefer.

This situation arose with some photographs taken an the River Ure in Wensleydale near Aysgarth. The two images are shown below:

River Ure and Lady Hill, Wensleydale9523 Lady Hill

River Ure and Lady Hill, Wensleydale9531 Lady Hill


When I set out to Wensleydale on this mid January morning I was hoping for a bright morning. After reviewing the resulting photographs, I concluded that the bright, but not sunny conditions gave more atmospheric photographs.

I solved the problem of which of these images I preferred by using both of them, but in different ways. The portrait image has been added to the photos I exhibit at craft fairs and events, and has proved very popular. One customer saw it across the room, and came over saying he had to have it - it was winter Grayling fishing in Wensleydale.   The landscape photo is included as the January photograph in my 2014 Yorkshire Calendar.

I would be interested in hearing what you think about these two alternative images from the same viewpoint.

(Fotocraft Images) Hill Lady River Ure ice snow winter Sun, 28 Jul 2013 15:09:09 GMT
Discount coupon I am planning to use the Fotocraft Images Facebook page to offer discounts on our website prices from time to time. I have just posted a code which will offer 15% off any products ordered from the "recently added" gallery of this website. I would plan that photos will remain on the recently added page for a couple of months after they are uploaded. The discount code itself is time limited, and will terminate on 30 June.

If you wish to be notified of future offers you may want to "like" the facebook page, and it will be added to your pages feed.

(Fotocraft Images) Discount coupon recently added photos Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:34:39 GMT
Starry Night at Clifford's Tower Today's modern digital SLR cameras are remarkably sophisticated. However, in some situations they do struggle to see places in a similar way to an even more remakable optical instrument - the human eye.

I do not often worry about colour balance when taking photographs. The automatic white balance will most often reproduce an image as I have seen it and, if it does not, I can make minor adjustments in post production without loss of quality. I always shoot in Raw format, which allows me to "develop" images from the original data captured by the camera sensor as I reqire to give me the best possible final image quality.

For evening and night shots I also rarely make white balance adjustments. These photographs often have mixed light sources, and correcting for one can distort another element of an image. The result is not likely to be exactly as our eye would see it, but it is a faithful reflection of the light present when I took the photograph.

There is however one situation when I would always need to make a white balance adjustment to give an acceptable image. This is when an evening or night shot is lit by one type of light, and that light gives a severe colour cast to the image. I recently decided to try to take a photo of Clifford's Tower with a clear, star filled sky behind it. I knew there would be light pollution in the centre of York, and didn't have a clue whether I would be able to capture anything interesting. However, unless you try, you will not achieve anything, so I decided on a morning when there was no moon in the sky and a clear weather forecast, set the alarm early, and kept my fingers crossed!

I was rewarded with a clear sky, which was great. However, Clifford's Tower was lit by a line of sodium street lights. The view looked OK to the naked eye, but I knew from previous experience that the street lights would give a rather ugly colour cast to the photographs. I adjusted my camera to give the best chance of recording the starlit sky, took a few images and moved on to my next target location.

When I looked at the downloaded photographs the colours were as yellow as I anticipated. This is the unprocessed image:


I wasn't surprised by the colour cast in this image, but I was surprised by the number of stars visible in the night sky. This is one area where the camera sees much more than the naked eye. I decided to carry out some work to reduce the colour cast in the photograph. I feel that this type of shot can never look entirely natural. It is lit by atrificial lights from several directions. Our sensibilities would however expect grass to look a shade of green rather than a rather orangey yellow. Adjusting the colour temperature and contrast, and making a minor crop of the foreground gave this result:

Cliffords Tower York at Night9444 Cliffords Tower A4

My reference point for the adjustment was the colour of the stonework of the tower. this is a slightly warm grey colour in daylight, and if I could reproduce this in the image, then the rest of the picture should look more natural. This adjustment gave a deep blue colour to the sky in the image. I could have eliminated this in post production, but decided that our eyes would accept that - after all, the sky is blue in the daytime!

I was astonished by the sheer number of stars I could see in the full resolution version of this photograph. Here is a full resolution crop from the area near the top of the tower:

Clifford9444 crop

This may not be impressive in comparison to a photograph taken on a dark night in the countryside where there is no light pollution. However, for a city centre photo I was both surprised and pleased with the result.

The photograph was a 30 second exposure. The final interesting fact I learned from that shot is that even over this period the rotation of the earth will turn the light from the stars from a point light source into a curved trail, cented on the pole star.

I hope that I never stop learning as a photographer. I certainly learned a few things from this shot. It also generated some ideas for other photographs I would like to take in the future, when the opportunity arises.


(Fotocraft Images) Clifford's Tower York night sky starry Mon, 04 Mar 2013 09:47:15 GMT
York Minster and Walls - The story of a picture There are two stories to every photograph - the story told by the image itself, and the story of the creation of the photo. I have a clear memory of the circumstances leading up to each of the photos in my portfolio - the extent to which the photo was planned, whether anybody was with me when I took it, and the thoughts I had about composition and light. All of my photographs tend to be a combination of planning and a certain amount of good fortune. I place myself in the position to take the photo at the right time to do so, and hope that the light will be suitable for the photo I want to create.

York is an attractive city with history around every corner. It is a place where I have taken many photographs - for my own portfolio and for various articles in Yorkshire Ridings magazine. There is one view, looking along the city walls from near station Road over Lendal Bridge towards the Minster, which I have photographed several times without producing an image I was happy with. In the daytime the view lacked impact to my eye. I tried an evening shot, but a floodlight spoiled the view. I therefore decided to try an early morning shot, with dawn breaking behind the minster.

This is the result:

York walls and Minster9463-minster-and-walls

You can see a larger version of this photograph in the York gallery here.

My first planning decision for this photo was the time of year to take the picture, I decided that winter would be best. I find that for this type of dawn or dusk shot trees without leaves give a more pleasing image than when they are in full leaf. In summer at this time of the day, the tree canopy can appear as very dark blocks in the image. The next consideration was the weather. I knew that the foreground of the picture would have plenty of interest, so a clear sky, with graduated blues would work. My first piece of good fortune on this day was that the weather was as forecast.

York's city walls are locked overnight, except for a small section which appears in the middle ground of this photo. I set my tripod up at that point and took a couple of photos. This view was "OK", but didn't work as I really wanted - if I took the shot from the path next to the walls, a tree covered more than I wanted of the Minster, and if I moved the viewpoint away from the walls onto the adjacent steps, the image didn't give the impression that the viewer could walk into the photograph.

At this point, my second piece of good fortune appeared - a man on a bike whose job was to open the gates of the walls for the day. Luckily he started his rounds where I was standing. I moved further along the walls to give longer lead in lines to the Minster and a higher viewpoint, revealing more of the Minster's illuminated West Front. I took a series of shots from this spot - balancing the exposure and looking at the pattern of traffic trails in each image. I was happy to have the traffic trails to give atmosphere, but didn't really want any stationary cars or buses distracting from the composition.

I took this shot, which I felt worked, and thirty seconds later the floodlights on the west front of the minster switched off - my third piece of good fortune.  Without the lights on the Minster its significance as a focal point in the composition diminishes enormously.

One of the fascinating aspects of photography is that each photographer approaches a place with their own viewpoint. When I get to know a place and visit it time and again I will tend to look at it slightly differently each time. In fact, looking at this image, and thinking about the way the walls run at this point, there are several other possibilities I may well explore on a future visit. I hope however that this image gives the viewer the impression of walking along the walls on a stunning, crisp winter morning.

(Fotocraft Images) York Minster York walls dawn Tue, 19 Feb 2013 11:30:00 GMT
Show Dates We have now received confirmation of our Made in Yorkshire show dates for 2013. The shows and events page has been updated with dates through to early July, and will be revised with dates of other shows as the year progresses.

(Fotocraft Images) 2013 dates show Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:58:05 GMT
Yorkshire Ridings Magazine Article I am commisioned each month to take photographs for Yorkshire Ridings Magazine. This is always interesting, and can sometimes be a challenge - especially when the weather seems to be permanently grey, and the submission deadline approaches.

I have also written a number of articles for Yorkshire Ridings describing walks of varying lengths across Yorkshire illustrated with my photos. The photgraphs in these articles tend to be a combination of images from my files and photographs taken specifically for the article.

My recent articles have featured walks in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and Yorkshire Coast, all quite a drive from home. My latest piece is however a complete contrast - featuring a walk by the riverside in Boston Spa, which is attractive and interesting, and also accessible straight from my door! I included a number of snow pictures in the article, which seems especially appropriate given our recent weather. These were however all taken in previous years, as the text and images were submitted several weeks ago to meet the publication deadline.

The first page of the article is below. Click on this photograph if you would like to read the complete piece and see all the photographs. the full article will open as a pdf file. Use the back button on your browser to return to my blog.

Boston Spa riverside Walk ArticleBoston Spa article

(Fotocraft Images) Boston Spa Yorkshire Ridings Magazine article photographs Sat, 02 Feb 2013 08:41:46 GMT
New website Welcome to the new Fotocraft Images website, and to our blog.

Our original website was launched in 1994. I coded it by hand in HTML. Over time it has developed and grown. However, managing the site has become increasingly cumbersome - changing a single menu option, for example, became a major task, as each page where the item appeared had to be changed by hand. I also felt that the layout of the site was becoming very dated. The final straw for the old site was the difficulty of complying in a non intrusive way with the EU cookie law.

We have no craft shows in the first couple of months of each year, and it is therefore an ideal time to undertake projects such as developing a new site. I looked at many different options - develpong a more elegant site myself, using a template site and engaging a web development company to create a site for me. After a great deal of research and thought I decided to use Zenfolio, an extensively customisable template system as the basis for the new Fotocraft images site.

Zenfolio has allowed me to introduce new features such as slide shows of photographs and this blog. The website is a work in progress. I would welcome comments - both positive and suggestions for improvement - to help me to make it more interesting and relevant for you, the visitors to the site.

I have also taken the opporunity to thin out the number of photographs on the site. As a photographer I am always trying to improve the quality of my work. There were a number of pictures on the old site which seemed fine when I originally posted them. However, looking at them now, with more experience, I don't respond to them in the same way. Starting with a smaller online portfolio will give me the incentive and opportunity to add more images which I am truly happy with to the site over the coming months and years.


(Fotocraft Images) fotocraft images new website welcome Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:06:02 GMT