• Lumiere Durham 2019
    United Kingdom

    Lumiere Durham: The 10th Anniversary

    The UK’s largest light festival returns to light up the cold, dark streets of Durham this weekend and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.  Lumiere Durham is back for it’s 10th anniversary with a record 37 installations bringing back some classics (remember the snow globe?) along with exciting new commissions. It’s been eight years since my one and only trip to Lumiere Durham and, in that time, I’ve had many different homes and taken numerous flights across the world, but now I’m back and settled; it’s time to experience what my adopted hometown has to offer. Gratefully, I was invited by This is Durham, Artichoke Trust and…

  • Fujifilm 35mm f/2

    Two Months With The Fujifilm 35mm f/2

    I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t love this lens. How honest is that?  I’ve spent over two months with the Fujifilm 35mm f/2 and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts. *if you’re looking for a proper, detailed review, you won’t find it here.  Instead, I’ll just be rambling alongside some example shots that should help you make your mind up.  For a better review and some unbelievable photos, Jonas Rask is your man. Let’s start with the basics.  As you probably know, Fujifilm offer two 35mm lenses; the older f/1.4 version and it’s more modern, younger f/2 brother.  The f/1.4 lens is said to…

  • cork street art

    The Top Things To Do In Cork, Ireland

    A few months ago I visited Ireland for the first time with my family.  Instead of opting for the more expensive and much more popular Dublin, we set our sights on Cork in the south west of Ireland.  I knew that there was a sense of rivalry between the two cities but I hadn’t realised how strong this was.  Our taxi driver from the airport asked whether any of us had been to Ireland before.  My Dad and Sister replied that they’d been to Dublin to which the response was “Oh so you’ve never been to Ireland. Welcome to the real Ireland.” With such a short flight time from England, I’m…

  • Two Palm Trees in Kodachrome II

    A Week in Crete in Kodachrome II

    As you all know, I love the colours that come straight out of Fujifilm cameras; it’s why I shoot JPEG. Every couple of months, I’ll mix up my fifth custom setting slot and try something a little different. This time I was intrigued by Ritchie Roesch’s Kodachrome II settings and dialled them into my X-T2. The Kodachrome II ‘look’ was one that I thought would match the summer vibes of a week’s break in Crete. Clean, colourful and slightly vintage; my kind of style. Steve McCurry, a brilliant photographer most famous for the iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ portrait, used Kodachrome extensively. He shot the last roll of Kodachrome ever. He described…

  • View from the top of the central tower at Durham Cathedral
    United Kingdom

    Getting High at Durham Cathedral

    No, not that type of ‘high’ before you ask.  The Central Tower at Durham Cathedral has now re-opened after three years of pain-staking reconstruction.  For you and other travellers to the city, this means that you can experience the best views of Durham from the highest point.  You can also take in how hard the restoration must have been.  The particular stone used to build Durham Cathedral weathers very quickly.  So whilst the new stone might seem bright and very out of place, it won’t take long before it ages and this whole process starts again. Durham Cathedral is a must-do for any visitor to the city.  The interior is…

  • Fujifilm's Astia

    Fujifilm’s Astia: The Versatile Film Simulation

    I’ll admit, whilst Classic Chrome is probably my favourite of Fujifilm’s film simulations, Astia is the one I use almost on a daily basis.  It’s so versatile.  I’ve used this for weddings, travel, newborns and even corporate headshots.  If you’re looking for colours that will bring the best out of a range of scenes, Fujifilm’s Astia is the one. I realised recently that a lot of people are interested in my JPEG settings but many don’t see enough sample images to do them justice.  Over the next few weeks or so, I’ll start separating my images into blog posts based on film simulations.  If these posts don’t make you consider switching…

  • Exterior of Raby Castle, County Durham
    United Kingdom

    An Afternoon at Raby Castle

    As I mentioned in my last post, instead of travelling to far-away places I’ll be keeping things local and will be exploring much closer to home. For the time being at least. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a few trips with flights above six hours coming up but it’s definitely time to check out what’s on my doorstep. Far too often we forget and certainly take for granted what we already have. So, taking this into account, I recently drove just 15 minutes from my new front door (yes, I’ve just bought a house!) to visit Raby Castle in County Durham.  If you’re not familiar with the area,…

  • Spennymoor: The Norman Cornish Trail
    United Kingdom

    Spennymoor: The Norman Cornish Trail

    “Spennymoor has all that a painter needs in order to depict humanity.” The North East’s answer to Lowry, Norman Cornish is a well-regarded artist who painted at a time when black coal coursed through the veins of every family. Not being from the North East originally, I can’t say that I’ve heard of Cornish or seen his works. However, now that I’ve just bought a house in the area, I’ll be making more of an effort to explore local areas. To celebrate the centenary of Cornish’s birth, a trail has been created to take you around Spennymoor to see where Cornish took his inspiration from. Many of the locations have…

  • Fujifilm's Classic Chrome for Travel Photography

    Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome for Travel Photography

    If you’ve been following my photography journey, you’ll know that I shoot with a Fujifilm X-T2 and, 90% of the time, the 23mm f/2 lens. With Fujifilm’s incredible colours, I’ve learnt to rely solely on JPEGs and, over time, I’ve developed my own settings. Recently however, there’s one particular film simulation that has stood out for me. Classic Chrome. I use Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome for travel photography especially for urban scenes where the colour palette really shines. For me, Classic Chrome produces perfectly desaturated and gritty images. I’ve used it on the streets of Bangkok during monsoon season as well as cities closer to home including Edinburgh.  Even ‘pretty cities’…

  • How to find the cardwell spa pools

    How to Find the Cardwell Spa Pools

    At the halfway point between Townsville and Cairns lies Cardwell; a small coastal town in the Far North Tropics of Queensland.  If you’ve been heading north along the A1, this is probably the closest you’ll have driven to the sea for sometime.  Other than for a toilet stop and a place to stretch your legs, there would seem little else to do.  However, this little town holds a secret.  The Cardwell Spa Pools.  10km inland lies the brightest, bluest freshwater stream imaginable complete with a natural jacuzzi.  If you’re in the area, this is a must see and, if you’re lucky, you’ll have the place to yourselves!  The only difficulty…