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Evocative Photographs celebrating England's beautiful north country

Landscape Photography Blog


Relics of a bygone era.

09/02/2011 08:04:00
by Roger Clegg
Our website serves two purposes. We hope you will enjoy our pictures and may wish to buy one. Equally we are very passionate about our region and want to introduce you to it. As you can see from this website the North East of England is place of stunning landscapes and interesting and beautiful cities, towns and villages. It also has an impressive industrial heritage. Our website includes pictures of the relics of this great era, often with explanatory comments. Consistent with our website the pictures will not only be informative, but creative and dramatic aswell.

Relics of a bygone era.

10/02/2011 08:06:00
by Roger Clegg
Catton, West Allendale, Northumberland
Of course our website exists in the hope that you will want to buy our pictures. However, there is a second and equally important side to it which is to introduce you to the fabulous North East of England...............

It is an area rich in stunning landscapes from the hills and rivers to the beautiful coast. The region also has a great industrial past, much of which is consigned to history. You will find that pictures of our industrial heritage are also included often with a note of explanation. Consistent with our photography of the landscape and communities, we endeavour to make them as creative, interesting and impactful as our landscapes.
You will find this picture and others if you put Catton in the "search" box.

Seeing the light

18/02/2011 11:04:00
by Roger Clegg
Headquarters Building, Housesteads, Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
I write a column in the excellent local publication “Tyne Valley Express”. If I think they could be of more general interest I will occasionally enter them into our blog. The first one is about my transformation from an amateur to what might loosely be called a “professional” ....................
As a result of tragedy, considerable family illness and redundancy, in 2001 I decided to transform my enthusiasm for photography as a hobby into a means of contributing to the family income. Did my attempt to enter the intensely competitive business of professional photography mean that I was a good photographer? Contrary to what you may imagine, my photography was rarely inspiring, more to the point in retrospect it was rubbish. I had a huge knowledge of equipment and photographic techniques but seldom ever produced a good picture.
Two things set the alarm bells ringing. My wife’s response to my pictures, the very few that did not end up in the bin first, was almost always “That sort of thing just leaves me cold!” Hmmmmm, surely one’s spouse should recognise one’s obvious ability!
Tynedale Council said they would buy some of my pictures if they were good enough. Amongst their requirements was Hadrian’s Wall. Easy I thought – got plenty of those. The more I looked through my pictures of the Wall the more I realised that almost all of my pictures of Hadrian’s Wall had one thing in common – you could not see Hadrian’s Wall. I had been leaning on it photographing over it or away from it, or it was frequently either out of sight over the top or round the corner of a crag; slightly worrying for my aspirations as a professional photographer. I could not even photograph what I thought I was photographing!
I have spent most of my working life in sales, marketing, and small business consultancy – it was now time to apply some of this business experience to myself.
I asked myself what did I want to photograph and why? What did I want my photographs to show people? Who did I want to see them? What did I want to tell them? Also, and very importantly, I wanted to do all this and enjoy doing it.
This column is not aimed at prospective professional photographers. In forthcoming issues of Tyne Valley Express we will look at simple ways in which you can improve your picture taking to get more enjoyment and satisfaction from your photographs. It is something I wish I had done as a hobbyist and a father who loved photographing his kids. If I had I would have enjoyed my hobby immeasurably more and not left my wife quite rightly feeling cold towards my pictures. She now thinks I am pretty good.
The picture at the top is from my first morning as the new me. I daren't show a "before" picture out of embarrassment.

Seeing the light- part two

27/02/2011 15:16:00
by Roger Clegg
Walltown Crags, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
In my last blog entry taken from the excellent Tyne Valley Express I recounted my rude awakening to the fact that, as an intended professional photographer, I rarely ever took a good picture. A matter of some concern!
As I spent many years as a consultant to small businesses I decided I needed to be that consultant to myself! The first thing was to think about was how I saw Hadrian’s Wall and what it meant to me. The next problem was how to show that to other people in my pictures.
So, what did Hadrian’s Wall mean to me? It is an ancient, imposing, solid monument on a grand scale. It represents a long history of people living in the area, particularly Romans, Norse Invaders, Normans, and Reivers. It is also associated with myth and legend; latest speculation on the origins of the legend of King Arthur suggests that Lucius Artorus Castius, a Roman military commander from the area around the more western parts of the Wall, is the most likely contender. There is also the major geological feature of the Great Whin Sill Fault. This gives rise to the dramatic scenery of the central section of Hadrian’s Wall and was exploited as an additional defensive feature by the Romans.
Then there are the plants and animals. The weather creates an ever changing landscape; it ranges from tranquil and benign to wild and dramatic. Another aspect of the changing faces of Hadrian’s Wall is the seasons. I revel in the autumn and winter, spring is alright and summer is the least interesting photographically; summer has a tendency to a lot of one colour – green.
Another consideration was that photography of Hadrian’s Wall was already well catered for, so I wanted to be different. I also wanted to create a story of Hadrian’s Wall in pictures, rather than just assorted photographs; this needed a consistent and systematic approach and style.
With the history, mystery, legend and drama the first thing to do was to avoid the traditional summer midday picture of lots of green with a bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds. The solution here was to get up well before sunrise or out until well after sunset. The beauty, colour and drama of the rising and setting sun gives a great atmosphere to a picture. Some types of bad weather have the same effect.
Finally, not only did I want pictures with impact, I also wanted pictures that contained information about Hadrian’s Wall. One of my selected uses (I hoped) for my Hadrian’s Wall pictures was to tell the world about Hadrian’s Wall Country. Somewhat ambitious for someone who hitherto had rarely taken a good picture!
If I had thought about it I could easily have gone through this process as an amateur photographer and enjoyed an enormously satisfying hobby. There is no reason why you cannot employ this thought process to your favourite subject, whether it be family, a sport, landscapes etc. If you do you may well find your photography much more rewarding.

After a prolonged break it is good to be back again...................
20 October 2015

If you would like to be able to take pictures like this one from Cuddy's Crags.................
20 February 2015

Unspectacular pictures can have their place.................
01 February 2015

Perseverance is a virtue for the landscape photographer .......
09 December 2014

The changing seasons allow many different pictures of the same place,,,,
05 May 2014

So far this winter we have had one light snowfall at lower levels..........
03 March 2014

Some of the best views are not immediately obvious.........
14 January 2014

There is more to landscape photography than the grand vistas.....
14 November 2013

Autumn can generate the most amazing sunsets..............
22 October 2013

A great day out ..............
12 August 2013

Blanchland in early summer .............
20 June 2013

Some people have some great ideas..........
21 March 2013

Reminiscent of the old masters............
04 January 2013

Castlerigg Stone Circle
10 November 2012

Bullfinch family at the nest
01 March 2012

The same place twice
20 February 2012

Northumberland National Park
18 November 2011

We try to make our pictures informative as well as good to look at......
11 November 2011

A Walk in the Woods
07 November 2011

Autumn is the time to marvel in Nature's colour palette
22 October 2011

Colours at the coast
24 September 2011

An explosion of autumn colour at Allen Banks, Northumberland
12 September 2011

We are delighted to welcome a new and outstanding photographer to our website.
21 July 2011

sceNE at the Biscuit Factory 2011
24 June 2011

The South Tynedale Narrow Gauge Railway
13 June 2011

sceNE at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne.........................
01 June 2011

Spring in North Tynedale
09 May 2011

Capturing Movement
22 April 2011

Sunrise over Hexham Abbey
05 April 2011

My part in the Eagle of the Ninth
24 March 2011

My part in the Eagle of the Ninth
23 March 2011

A late winter morning at Featherstone Castle, Northumberland
16 March 2011

The River Tyne at Corbridge early on a late winter morning.
11 March 2011

Temperature inversion and fog - March
05 March 2011

Seeing the light- part two
27 February 2011

Seeing the light
18 February 2011

Relics of a bygone era.
10 February 2011

Relics of a bygone era.
09 February 2011

Temperature inversion and heavy frost on Hotbank Crags
30 January 2011

Winter spectacle
29 January 2011

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2010 Competition
25 October 2010

sceNE in Northumberland National Park
29 September 2010

sceNE in Northumberland National Park
17 June 2010

One Second
13 April 2010

Patience is a Virtue
07 March 2010

Winter spectacle
30 December 2009

30 December 2009

Winter by the River
17 December 2009

Quayside Photograph commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2009
23 October 2009

The National Park
16 October 2009

Dunstanburgh Sunrise
24 September 2009

Newcastle Quayside
21 September 2009

Sugar Sands
19 September 2009

15 September 2009

07 September 2009

Tynemouth Pier
07 September 2009

St. Mary's Lighthouse
04 August 2009

Wide-angle Lens
17 July 2009

Low Light
14 July 2009

Coastal Sunset
10 July 2009

Hot Summer's Day
03 July 2009

A great idea
13 March 2009

How to remember your travels
11 March 2009

A great idea ...............
11 March 2009