One of our most loved areas for local photography is Stanton Moor. Just a fifteen minute drive from Matlock, the ancient landscape offers solitude and excellent photo opportunities; indeed we often use the location to test new gear and it provided great subject matter for a bunch of recently acquired and little used (as yet) lenses. Displayed here are some of our favourites, taken with some of our favourites, notably the Pentax FA 31mm f1.8 limited, Leica TL 35mm f1.4 and Leica TL11-23 f3.5-4.5 lenses.
High on exposed moorland above Glossop and within a couple of miles of the Snake Pass, lies the forlorn wreck of the B29 Superfortress “Overexposed”. One of many aircraft wrecks that litter the area of Bleaklow, Kinder Scout and Derwent Edge, Overexposed is the most dramatic due to the size of the aircraft. The crash site is large, windswept and an unwelcoming mix of ancient peat groughs and bogs…home to Arctic Hare and Red Grouse.
Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to receive two very special items that have been on my wish list for a very long time. The first is a Pentax Limited 31mm f1.8 lens and the second is an Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar… greedy I know! What you see below is the result of me combining these two passions together. All images have been taken with my Pentax K-3 with both my new 31mm and my Pentax 100mm Macro. The collection stars my Epiphone Custom Les Paul Pro in Ebony, SX Stratocaster in Sunburst, Ashton acoustic and VOX VT100X Amplifier.
In November 1986 I was walking through a ploughed field a couple of miles south of Newhaven, Derbyshire, when something sticking up from the soil caught my eye. Kneeling down I pulled a small and almost perfect flint arrowhead from the ground. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for the light reflecting from the artefact, it would have gone unnoticed. I cleaned the arrowhead in a little water I had with me, which revealed a beautifully translucent and finely knapped item.
Revisiting a subject first aired in 2013 and, being the keen walkers that we are, it was inevitable that over the years, we would find ourselves with an expanding collection of inane subject matter. Sorting through such vacuous output we noticed there were some hidden gems buried within, which formed a (vague) collection we had no idea we owned. Ladies and Gents, we present to you our signposts: the sequel collection!
One of photography’s greatest strengths as a profession or hobby, is its ability to allow the photographer the opportunity to diversify their skills into more specialist areas. One of these categories Ethan holds particularly dear to him is the world of the panorama. When we are out on a shoot he is often found mapping out huge vistas with the intent of recreating the view on a grand scale back at home. It has been a couple of years since the last pano collection was published, in which time there have been many opportunities to create more. Shown here are another ten of his favourites.
For the last couple of winters we have had a project on the back burner that involved photographing Birmingham’s canal basin area in low winter light. Each time the trip was scheduled it had to be postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions. Finally, during the 2016 Christmas and New Year break, a window of opportunity arose that gave us the conditions we were looking for. It also gave us an opportunity to try out two newly acquired optics; a Pentax 31mm f1.8 and Leica TL Summilux 35mm f1.4 lens. The images for this collection were made mostly with these two lenses. This project was the second one involving the Pentax 31mm (Prague being the first), and the first outing for our Leica 35mm. Both lenses performed superbly, displaying high levels of micro contrast and being very resistant to flare. More detailed reviews of both will follow in the coming months when we have had more time to get acquainted with them.
To get into the Christmas festivities, we decided to spend a few days in Prague which not only allowed for plenty of sightseeing and shopping, but provided us with a new photographic canvas. As usual, we took far more images than was necessary but spent time ruthlessly editing them in camera and back at home, which gave us a more manageable collection. We walked around forty miles over five days in temperatures that did not rise above freezing. Consequently every evening saw long spells in, and great reluctance to leave a hot shower in search of traditional Czech cuisine. Ethan used his Pentax K-3 Prestige body, 15mm lens and his newly acquired 31mm limited lens (to be fully reviewed at a later date). I used my workhorse Leica X Typ 113.
At the beginning of 2016 I decided to create a year long project recording occasional images using my 13-year-old Olympus E-1. For many years it has seldom been used so I thought it would be good fun to introduce it to the modern world and see how it stands up to today’s technology. The only lens I now have is the original Four Thirds Zuiko 50mm f2 macro, which has always been my favourite, hence the reason I still own it.