I’m proud to say that for the third year in a row I’ve made it into the Surrey Life Calendar. My image of a rather aggressive looking Red Deer Stag taken during the annual stag rut last year has been selected to represent November. The theme this year is ‘Icons of Surrey’ and features such locations as Newlands Corner, Mayfield Lavender, Box Hill, Denbies Vineyard, Winkworth Aboretum and Frensham Little Pond, helping to highlight some of the great locations we have here. Richmond Park, where my shot was taken, is of course not actually in Surrey, but it is part of the ‘old Surrey’, and Surrey Life retain it firmly in their remit, with a large number of their readers from this area.
I was very chuffed when Outdoor Photography contacted me and asked if I’d like to write an article for them for their ‘Lie of the Land’ feature. I didn’t need to think about it much! Below is the unedited version in full…
At the beginning of 2014 I made a resolution to get out into the Surrey Hills more with my camera. The Surrey Hills is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty, and forms part of the North Downs Way. Newlands Corner, Box Hill, Leith Hill and far more besides offer fantastic views that stretch for miles, and there are many photogenic hotspots in between. I’ve spent a fair amount of time photographing at Newlands Corner, and a little at Denbies Vineyard and the Hogs Back, but beyond that I hadn’t really done it justice.
I’d always been of the opinion that when you get shortlisted it’s better to keep it under wraps. After all, it’s not as if you’ve actually won anything at this stage, and you wouldn’t want to ‘jinx’ the result by telling everyone only to end up empty handed.
But the longer I go on, and the more competitions I enter, the more my attitude is changing. As the level in competition pushes ever higher, the harder it is to get through, so to make it to the shortlist is in itself an achievement.
I’m proud to say that for the second year running I’ve made it into the Surrey Life Calendar. My image of a backlit tree taken in the Valley Gardens at Virginia Waters earlier this year has been selected to represent March. Rather fitting as that’s my birthday month! (Tenuous I know). A total of 35 winning and selected entries will once again be exhibited at Denbies Vineyard in Dorking from Monday January 19th until Sunday January 25th, so plenty of time to pay a visit.
It’s that time of year again, the annual Red Deer Stag Rut, and as I missed it last year I didn’t want to miss it this year. I met up with Daniel Hannabuss, a photographer whose website I’d built a couple of years ago, but had never actually met in person. So it was good to finally meet up and go out taking shots together. We met up outside Richmond Gate at 6.30 and walked in to be greeted by some nice mist and a group of hinds with a large Stag to the left. The sun hadn’t yet come up, and after staying a little while we headed toward Pen Ponds.