Languid Lofoten

You would think that even in these days of meteorological uncertainty, snow above the Arctic Circle could be relied upon in February. Alas no. The normally snow-laden Lofoten Islands in northern Norway were bare this year; naked; bereft of their white mantle; lacking in the wow factor that I’ve become accustomed to. Still, there’s no point in griping (although I’ve always found it helps), one has to do one’s best. Continue reading

Worth grousing about

As the lekking season draws nearer, Mark Hamblin talks about his long-term love affair with black grouse.

I have a love-hate relationship with black grouse. Mostly, I love them. The hate bit comes in when the alarm goes off in the middle of the night and the last thing I want to do is get out of bed and drive for an hour and stomp across a wet moorland in the dark to sit in a cold hide. Continue reading

“A retrenchment to core activities”

August 1998. It was a nervous morning as Mark Hamblin and I sat in my kitchen drinking coffee like it was going out of fashion, awaiting the arrival of our first guest on our first photo tour in our first year of collaboration. We had no track record, no model on which to base the tour content and no idea how we would be received. By late afternoon the now familiar Wing-and-a-Prayer approach kicked in and somehow we seemed to pull it off. Continue reading

A.M.A.N.D.A. Jan’ 14

As regular readers will know and as family and friends will testify, Christmas is never a good time in our household. I love it and I think Sam our son would too had he not been poisoned (no it’s not too strong a word) over the years by Scrooge himself. Continue reading

2014: A year for doing?

Although I’ve never fully understood the significance of New Year as a watershed for reflection, evaluation, goal-setting, I nevertheless find myself doing exactly that around this time. 2013 was a busy old year with precious little time to come up for air, but it also turned out to be a bit of a turning point. Continue reading

Fresh or fodder?

On a recent photo tour I overheard my co-guide Mark Hamblin being asked about his favourite image. Mark replied that he tended towards images he’d recently taken, implying that ‘freshness’ equated to enduring ‘quality’. It’s inevitable that when photographers, even established pros like Mark, acquire new images, especially from a place that they’ve never before photographed, there is an emotional attachment to those images: Continue reading

Pine marten (martes martes) in flowering heather, Scotland (Peter Cairns)

20 Nature & Wildlife Photography Tips

Now let’s be straight, there are plenty of good books and DVDs out there showing you how to become a better nature photographer.  So why are these tips any different?  Well rather than it being a full-blown banquet of information, it’s more of a drop-in buffet bar – tasty snippets of helpful advice in bite-size chunks.  I’m no techie-expert but I do have a few years of making lots of mistakes (and hopefully learning from them) under my belt. Continue reading

New Shoots

James Shooter is a young photographer and conservationist who came to our attention through the A Focus on Nature project. We were so impressed we gave him a job! A month in James tells us what he’s been up to. Over to you James…

My first month at Northshots has been interesting to say the least. Continue reading

Highland Odyssey

You can wax lyrical about the Scottish Highlands but the fact is that in autumn, it rains. It sometimes snows too but it always rains. OK, once we’re over that hurdle we can look at the positives. Rain brings discomfort it’s true; it also brings on premature insanity for landscape photographers (there’s only so many times you can wipe your filters dry) but very often, it brings spectacular light against spectacular skies. Continue reading

Rewilding: Is it time?

Mention the ‘R’ word in some circles and hackles rise. Visions of out-of-control wolves on a killing spree spring to mind and primeval fears mixed with deep-seated cultural resentment of change, bubble to the surface. Politics too, is inextricably linked to the potential, or otherwise, for rewilding. Continue reading