Time Passes

Since finishing our final event at the beginning of December last year much water has flowed under the bridge but I have had time to reflect on my decision to change direction and I have to say no regrets have surfaced. I never thought adjusting to full retirement would be so difficult but actually things are going quite nicely.


Finally last week I picked up my camera for a couple of sessions on the beach at Aldeburgh in Suffolk, evening and daybreak. Aldeburgh seldom fails to please and last week was no exception. I have read other landscape photographers say just how much being behind the camera takes their mind off just about everything else and I must concur with that. For a few brief hours I was alone with the light, weather and my camera and I made best use I could of what lay before me. Nothing spectacular but I do enjoy the soft tones before sunrise and after sunset. Aldeburgh is perfectly situated facing east to capture the best of the pre-dawn light.


Where i was on the beach the air was clear but a short distance to the south mist was starting to play around the buildings there, quite captivating as I watched, especially when the sun managed to illuminate parts of the scene.


There are more images from my Aldeburgh trip within ‘Selected’ gallery

Not sure yet what my next outing will be….I am sure something will arise.

Of course as I am finished attending events I do still have some stock available and if anyone has any interest in acquiring an individual item or a wholesale consideration please do get in touch.

Finally I think it is more than likely that I will close this web site before the end of the year. Time will tell.

Celebrating Our Oaks

Towards the end of last year I was delighted to have one of my images selected for a book, ‘Celebrating our Oaks’ published by The Woodland Trust.

I took the picture a few years ago during a dawn wander around Hatfield Forest in Essex. Setting off on my walk the air was clear but over a period of an hour or so pockets of mist started to form. By the time I came across this tree the sun was starting to pierce what mist was left and I was struck by the way the oak dominated the scene. I chose to crop square feeling it best suited the composition, not to mention my preference for the square format.


All Good Things Must Come to an End........

I have written previously about the benefits of scouting a new area before shooting. A case in point was a recent trip to Suffolk. I wanted some early Autumn mist at dawn on and around heathland. Such areas exist in Suffolk. Having decided the area I waited for the right signs from the forecast. Then I picked my date and booked somewhere local to stay. Of course by the evening before dawn the forecast no longer had any mention of mist. This is where my instinct kicked in; high pressure, clear skies, light winds. I was reasonably comfortable.

My instinct proved to be correct and this coupled to me scouting the area beforehand gave me perhaps one of the best two hours of dawn photography For many years. Mist, nice light (although being very picky I could have done with a bit more pink in the pre-sunrise sky). The changing light and drifting mist gave me no end of possibilities and I was delighted with my work, some of which will be available at the two shows we have coming up.

We are rapidly approaching our last two events of 2018, namely the ever excellent Essex Craft & Design Show at RHS Hyde Hall Gardens over consecutive weekends , 30th November to 2nd December and 7th to 9th December. Open each day 1000 - 1500.

As I always have done there will be new work and some archive never previously printed on sale.


So..…what is coming to an end? Well we have taken the decision to cease exhibiting and displaying after these two events so in all probability come Sunday 9th December that will be it. A sad day but I think it is time to put away the easels and hang up our browsers. Why you may ask; well the time feels right. I will not be ceasing photography though and my web site will remain active as will be my stock on Alamy.


We have had some not-so-good times exhibiting but these are greatly outweighed by the good times, most of which have been at Essex Craft & Design events run so professionally by Jan and Dave who work so hard to make their events a pleasure for visitors and artists. I am sure they will go on for years. A big thank you to them for putting up with us, having first exhibited in Rayleigh, October 2009.

If you wish to pre-order any image from the web site please let me know no later than Sunday 25th November to ensure your print available for collection from me at Hyde Hall.

Elaine and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Hyde Hall in November and December but if not to those who have given us so much support over the years, thank you very much.

Made in Essex at RHS Hyde Hall Gardens Flower Show 1st - 5th August

I wondered if the start of the Flower Show would ever get here, so long have I hoped we would one day be able to take part in this event. Thanks to the kind people of Essex Craft & Design Elaine and I will be in the 'Made in Essex marquee along with other local artists.


This afternoon we have been bust setting up and now I start to wonder if I have got the set-up and choice of work right. Worrying will not change anything now. I have work in print for teh first time as well as introducing some images printed on aluminium. These images just about blow me away, I am so pleased with the way they look. Just have to hope someone takes a liking to them!

We have visited the Flower Show for the last few years in order to get some plants for our garden....I can thoroughly recommend this event, many wonderful plants from excellent nurseries.

Anyway, the whole thing starts tomorrow 1st August at 0930 until 1700, same on Friday and Saturday with opening on Saturday and Sunday at 1000. The weather forecast is for warm and sunny weather throughout the 5 days, so no excuse for not visiting.

Family matters have curtailed our work this year so this is our first outing so I do hope to see some familiar faces as well as welcome new customers.

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Sometimes Photography Has To Take a Back Seat

My love of photography had until last year almost totally absorbed my life with little time for anything else; I worked on the premise that one only achieves anything through hard work. Well I still believe that but then life can take unexpected turns which can and, in my case did, turn things upside down. So it became necessary to focus on what really was important and as a result not only did my photography have to take a back seat but I came close to falling out of love with it. Fortunately time heals and gradually my mojo is returning.


One consequence was me having to pull out of The Essex Craft and Design Show at the beginning of May. Sorry to those of you who may have become used to seeing my work at these events.

Now I must give my attention to what will be my biggest ever event and one which I have long hoped I could be part of, namely the RHS Flower Show at Hyde Hall Gardens from Wednesday 1st August to Sunday 5th August, 1000 - 1700 daily.

I did not abandon my cameras completely and indeed a weather event I had long hoped for occurred in February and March, snow in Southend. Not the usual few flakes but by Essex standards a good dollop. In my minds eye I had always visualised beach huts in snow and so it came to pass. So successful were my outings in the snow-when it was at its heaviest-that I think about 5 images made it to various national newspapers. I really do enjoy it when a plan comes together and this time serendipity really did smile on me. 


A quick trip to Danbury Common in the snow was going so well until I fell in to a hole that the snow had covered. Mind you I did get the picture I was after immediately before having to beat a painful retreat. 


Much of my time has been spent back in my home town of Macclesfield but with little thought of photography although a couple of weeks ago I dusted off my Infrared camera and made use of it in the wonderful surroundings of Wildboarclough, I just wish I had had more time. Alas.


As an aside I did dabble with some photo restoration, something I had never attempted before; the picture below was taken around 1927 and is of my father and his 5 brothers, Dad being the youngest and only surviving brother. He turns 93 next month. The original picture measured about 3 x 2 inches, was badly cracked and flawed but a few hours of restorative work produced a much sharper and larger image. I was quite pleased with my efforts.


Anyway, that is it for now. Elaine and I are very much looking forward to the Garden Show and hope very much to see you there.

A Frozen Pool

Just about a year ago I stumbled upon a frozen pool on a very frosty and foggy day. It was not too far from home and only a stones throw from a road. Even though close to road it had sense of isolation and gloom. For me a pleasant surprise, the location and prevailing weather conditions presented some useful opportunities and I made as good a use of them while they existed. I am particularly attracted to winter colour, very muted.

It has taken me a year to decide whether or not the images would be worthy of displaying as a standalone gallery within my web site. I was pleased with the images but unsure as to whether or not they would appeal to non-photographers. By chance I posted one on Twitter and was pleasantly surprised by the positive responses to that image. So I decided to take the plunge.

It would be useful if I can go back there when similar conditions occur to see if I can improve on the images I captured last year.

I hope you will have a look but in the meantime here are a couple of those images.......


Decisions, decisions......

We all make them, constantly, many subconsciously but some are more necessary than others, so let me tell you about some recent ones of mine and what they led to.

Circumstances beyond my control this year have restricted my landscape activities but I was determined to try and find time to get some Autumn light and colour but I wanted the right conditions. The easy decision was where; Epping Forest, the when dependent on circumstances and the weather forecast.

Ideal weather at dawn, frost and mist with some nice low sun. So far so good. As luck would have it a couple of weeks ago the first hard frost was forecast although no mention of mist, it was worth a punt and I had a free day so decision taken, alarm set, flask ready and waiting I went to bed full of hope……mist is not unusual on frosty mornings, especially around wooded areas, the sky was clear, the wind barely perceptible.

Now a slight flaw in my decision making process brought about by my increasing years; I admit it getting up early in a morning is getting harder, warm, cosy, comfy. So about an hour before my alarm I made another decision and turned the alarm off. Then I could not get back to sleep because I was castigating myself, the mind knew what would be the correct decision but the body was not in agreement. I suppose the thought of driving along A127 and M25 on a Monday morning might just have crept in to my thinking.

Anyway after a guilt-ridden doze I reasoned that if I decided not to go I might just regret it so 20 minutes later than planned I was up and out of the house a short time later. I was not wrong about the drive, even at that early hour more stop than go. I was encouraged though to see patches of mist over the fields. My indecision meant the traffic was just heavier than it would have been so by the time I got to my chosen location the sun was up but well below the tree-line.

There is no point in going somewhere particularly as early as this without having made a concrete decision as to exactly where to be and what type of composition I was thinking about. Whilst there is still leaves on the trees it would be unusual to expect to see frost on the ground so ideally an open area on the edge of the forest was where I wanted to be and I had decided the day before where I was aiming for.

Just about everything came together, frost, low sun and even a hint of mist; I was able to get the images I wanted before the frost lifted. Conditions almost perfect. I had to work quickly given that I had wasted time through indecision. This is where familiarity with equipment and technique is so important, it enables me to work quickly and effectively when the situation demands and of course knowing precisely where I wanted to be at a given time of equal importance. A good decision.


Frosty shots captured I moved in to the forest and enjoyed what I think was one of my most productive couple of hours for a long time. The wonderful side-lighting piercing the trees and mist and helping to create some memorable sights.


That was not the end of the decision making process; in fact on balance the next decisions were the most difficult. Which images to print in readiness for my final event of the year namely The Made in Essex Show at RHS Gardens Hyde Hall on 2nd and 3rd of December.


Probably the best show of its kind in Essex, never to be missed. Lovely gardens as well!


I said difficult; it was. So many worthy images but I had to decide which might be the most saleable. Of course if I knew the secret to that I might be a millionaire, well not really but you get the idea I think. The number of times I have been asked ‘what is your best seller’ or ‘what sells’. Photographers look at images from a different perspective than non-photographers so I have to try and decide what combination of colour and composition might attract attention. Would I have this picture on my wall has to be a consideration. After that it really is out of my hands, I must hope I have made the right decision or should that be decisions!!??


As ever I am really grateful to those who take the time to read the ramblings of an ageing photographer!!

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 Competition

Its that time of year again, in fact it is the 11th year results of the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition have been announced, along with publication of the book containing all the winners, highly commended and commended. It is always a joyous collection of some of the best landscape photographs from amateurs and professionals. That does come with a caveat; not everyone agrees with those chosen and surprisingly to say even at the short-listing phase in early August much hubris was spouted across various social media outlets. Probably best if I keep my thoughts to myself.

All forms of art are judged subjectively once those with technical flaws are discounted; what one person may think is fabulous another may not. I know of one successful image this year which had been discounted last year: different judges, different perspective. In any case how many people run in the London Marathon? Hundreds of thousands yet there are few winners, (male, female and para) but I bet the rest are thrilled just to have taken part and crossed the line. This is how I think one should react to photo competitions. From my perspective I have had far more rejects than successes but it just spurs me on.

This year I was lucky enough to have two entries short-listed but it was only two days that I received the good news that ‘Frost & Fog’ had been commended and would be in the annual book, published yesterday. So pleased. So pleased to be amongst outstanding work from many fabulous photographers.


A cold, foggy and frosty morning back in January found me wandering Danbury Common in Essex looking for suitable compositions in conditions heaven sent for the likes of me. I was spoilt for choice. What attracted me to this composition? The first element I noticed was the finely frosted grasses, from there the rich colour of the bracken in the foreground helped the grasses stand out. My gaze worked through the composition with the fog-shrouded trees in the background seeming to continue drawing my vision up and through the image. It was just then about ensuring I had composed correctly. I did have in mind at the time outputting the image as a square, one of my favourite formats.

A fellow photographer whose work and opinion I greatly admire did observe earlier today that ‘Frost & Fog’ had ‘compositional echoes to my previous LPOTY success’, ‘Winter’ in 2014. Quite correct, although at the time of shooting it is fair to say this was achieved more by accident than design. Perhaps though a recognisable style is emerging. That would be good.

I will have ‘Frost & Fog’ in print at my only remaining 2017 event, namely The Made in Essex Show as part of RHS Garden Hyde Hall Christmas Show on 2nd and 3rd of December. Of course you do not have to wait until then. If you interested in acquiring a print of ‘Frost & Fog’ please do not hesitate to get in touch and let me know your requirement; size, media and so forth. Print, mounted or framed, Acrylic or even a canvas. If you would like to have a print available to collect at Hyde hall in December please also let me know.

Finally the exhibition of winning images will start at Waterloo Station on 20th November and run until 4th February 2018. I am sure you will not be disappointed and of course having seen a number of the winning entries I can safely say that the book will be well worth acquiring. Some stunning work deserves as wide an audience as possible.

a new web site


Why on earth have I put myself through the rigours of finding a new supplier and then tiptoeing through the minefield of options to reach a point where I am happy with the outcome? Well I tend not to accept the status quo for too long and I really was looking for a site which would show my images off to better effect. At the same time I decided to reduce the number of images as well as the number of pages. Simplification plus better projection.

So here we are. Getting here though was a struggle. I think these layouts, templates and instructions, are designed by people who were probably presented with a laptop or PC as a gift at birth with not too much consideration for those of us born in the 1950's. Well the easy option would have been for me to do nothing but I do not really like shirking a challenge. For me it is akin to wading through waist high water. I think I have reached dry land.

The proof will be in the pudding. What is the purpose of a website? To display my work and hopefully be attractive enough to encourage print purchase or for anyone, individual or company, to think my work good enough to attract an enquiry about a commission. Does it work? Well I remember having a conversation some years ago with a highly renowned and respected photographer who surprised me by saying he did not sell much direct from his site but that it was essential as his shop window. Importantly he added that he ensured it was kept up to date with new work added. There is nothing worse than someone having a look one month, returning a month later only to see the same images. I review my content on a frequent basis. The more I can get out the greater the opportunity to add new work worthy of promotion. Trouble is I am not very good at promoting my work, a common trap photographers and artists fall in to. We seem to believe that our work will sell itself. True to a point. In a previous life I was a director selling contracts worth millions but do it for myself? Oh dear.

Anyway when in one of my galleries, hovering over an image will display the title; to look at any single image just click on the image to open it on a new page. When you have finished just click on the 'x' in top right hand corner to return to the gallery page. No doubt I will continue to tinker with the site until I am completely happy, for a while!

I have also acquired a new Domain Name www.timothysmith.photography......no .com....no co.uk, just .photography

September was really all taken up with a geographically large commission, planned and executed to time. I have always considered it important to communicate with clients during such work and keeping them updated of progress. Whatever I have done in my working life has been determined by giving of my best; now when I am behind the camera that remains the objective and it is no different in front of my PC and final delivery of a commission. I like to think clients can be assured of my wholehearted attention.

I do hope you approve of the change and enjoy looking at my work, who knows it might encourage a sale or enquiry!! Now I must put the finishing touches to my site. I would welcome comments or observations about the new look. You can use the Contact page to send a message.

Thank you.