TMP Blog

Landscape photography with a difference!


Polemic spleen venting blood boiling verbose banal diatribe from an Aspergic point-of-view! Or not, as the case may be!

Leica Hiatus!


How I hate Winter!

Short days, bad light and bad weather.

It can, however, result in an albeit few crisp and bright days. The glimmer in the darkness.

When I shoot with film I like the conditions to be just-so. The light just right. In my enthusiasm since picking up the Leica in August, I totally forgot about the Winter.  In those dark depressing months (when I should be in the Algarve) the film photography is packed away and on those few days where I actually feel like venturing forth I use the DSLR. Why? Mainly because the lack of Sunlight reduces my motivation substantially and I just don't have the mental energy required to shoot and process film. In the unrelenting and unremitting grey of a Welsh Winter, I find the burst of digital colour lifts the mood and breaks the stranglehold of bland monotony.

Over the years, I have used so many digital cameras that it is rather embarrassing. I still, however, keep coming back to my third DSLR, the Olympus E-1. Mine is 12 years old and still in stunning condition. The five megapixel RAW files are more than adequate for A3 printing, and considering I rarely print to this size anything more than five megapixels is a waste. I really like the colour rendition and feel of the Kodak sensor in the E-1 and the sheer quality of those Digital Zuiko lenses. I recently purchased a second body, also in immaculate condition, for £70. Even better, this particular body still had firmware 1.1 and a shutter count of 282. Once in a while, I use an E-3 and also have a retired E-300.

I don't set out to produce competition winners or masterpieces even if I was good enough. I do all of this for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment, to see fantastic views, to walk some big hills and to appreciate the wonderful gift that is colour and light. I rarely spend more than ten minutes on a picture, contrast, levels, saturation and a little burn here and there. You won't see me with an ND grad or a tripod or using Fauxtoshop!

Not to worry, it will be spring soon, Summer is on the way and the Leica is already fully loaded with Ilford Pan F+ and ready to go!

So, if you don't like digital and colour now is the time to turn away and use the sick bucket













Ysgyryd Fawr Summit

A tonic for the jaded - the iPhone 6 Plus


In light of my recent berating of all things digital and Fauxtoshop, a few friends have asked me how do I reconcile the use of the iPhone as a photographic tool.

A few years ago a friend of mine purchased a Samsung Note 2. We happened to be sitting in a local coffee house while he had this huge thing glued to his ear. Of course I had to have a play. Now, I don’t like Android, but I did like that huge real-estate screen. Secretly, I coveted it (in a round-a-bout wholesome way may I add). So when Apple announced the iPhone 6  Plus I just knew the 6 Plus was my next phone.

In March of this year 2015, it came time to retire my iPhone 4S. Being three years old it was beginning to look a little worse for wear and one of the switches was starting to behave erratically. Despite these little failings the battery life was still excellent, despite three years of constant use and abuse. 

My hands are not the largest and I was concerned that the 6 Plus would be too big. Not a problem at all. In fact, when I pick up my wife’s iPhone 5S I think “Wow! That’s is just sooooo small, the screen is just sooooo small, it’s TINY. However did I cope with my 4S?”. Yes, you become very accustomed to that large area of real estate. And what real estate it is, a very impressive screen! In fact, it could do with being a little larger!

To be able to take your photos, edit them and then upload them to a cloud service, Facebook, Instagram, Revel or whatever all on one device is just amazing. In fact, I would not be surprised if in a few years mirrorless and DSLR’s will be able to do the same. It is the way it is all going.

I can’t fault the performance of the iPhone 6 Plus camera. The colour, white balance, exposure and sharpness are all of a very high quality. I would like more dynamic range though, stuff more pixels, I want more dynamic range! Another thing I would like is a dual lens arrangement with the focal lengths of 35mm and 135mm. That would be fab!

I love iPhone photography! The essence of the matter is that the iPhone provides a welcome break from my usual work. My approach to iPhone photography is very different from using, what I call, "real cameras". It is very therapeutic. Of course, you don’t need an iPhone, any phone with a camera and editing apps will do! Yes, that includes you Android people!

When I am bored, feeling jaded or fed up or just need a break or some fresh approach, enter the iPhone. With it I commit all sorts of photographic sins. My iPhone photography is blasphemous, heretical and breaks every rule in the book. I like producing absolutely adulterated imagery. It’s dirty and sordid and I love it!

This is what I like doing with the iPhone…

Pen Cerrig Calch from Sugar Loaf.

Pen y Fan and Corn Du.

The Second Severn Crossing.

Reflection, Chepstow.

Pen y Fan and Corn Du from Cribyn.

Swrd yr Eira near Ystradfellte.

My home town - Chepstow.

Cloud above Pen y Fan.

The winding path up Corn Du.

365 Steps.

The mighty South Ridge, Snowdon.

The Awesome Crib Goch from Snowdon Summit.

Yr Aran.

Crib Goch.

Stairs near Chepstow.

Hay-on-Wye market.

Sudbrook wall.

Chepstow Castle.

St. Mary's street, Chepstow.

Sugar Loaf from Table Mountain.