A good photograph is knowing where to stand - Ansel Adams

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Royal Photographic Society: Portfolio Two
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:23

I'm happy to announce that I've had an image included in the 2010 edition of the Royal Photographic Society's 'Portfolio' series. Portfolio Two will be a high quality full-colour hardback, and is set to be released in September. You can pre-order a copy of Portfolio Two direct from the RPS, or from Amazon.co.uk. More details will doubtless be available closer to the release date.

Castlerigg Stone Circle
Sunday, 13 June 2010 15:43

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Castlerigg Stone Circle

For me, along with doubtless many others, Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the most atmospheric spots in Cumbria. Picture a 100ft circle of metamorphic slate stones, the largest of which has been estimated to weigh 16 tons. Surrounded by Lakeland fells on all sides, and standing atop a 200m hill, this is one location where you can select your favoured background from amongst the many on offer. To the north there are the fells of Blencathra and Skiddaw, and perhaps my favoured view, to the south, consists of Castlerigg Fell and the far-off Helvellyn.

The circle dates from around 3200 BC, at a time when our late neolithic ancestors were still using stone tools to shape their environment. It's been suggested that the circle acted as a meeting place where these tools, often created at the nearby Langdale Axe Factory, were traded or exchanged. Evidence suggests that our ancestors placed great, perhaps even spiritual importance on these tools, and treated them with far greater reverance than mere utilitarian items. It's possible therefore, that those who like to assign a more ethereal character to stone circles are actually on to something. Certainly it's easy to see why they might assume a spiritual purpose to the circle, as you stand in it's midst and take in the surroundings.

Eilean Donan Castle
Saturday, 20 March 2010 12:09

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Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie

If you've ever eaten Scottish Shortbread, there is a reasonable chance you'll already be familiar with the image of Eilean Donan castle; as it has adorned nearly as many boxes as the obligatory kilted piper. Often called the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan is certainly situated in stunning surroundings. It sits on a small tidal island at the confluence of Lochs Duich, Alsh and Long, and is surrounded by mountains on three sides.

As dramatic as the castle's surroundings are, it's history speaks of equally dramatic events. In 1719, the castle was destroyed by three Royal Navy frigates after it was occupied by Spanish troops attempting to aid a Jacobite uprising. HMS Enterprise, Worcester and Flamborough under the command of one Captain Boyle, laid seige to the castle and defeated the Spaniards after a three day bombardment. On entering the castle, the government troops discovered a magazine of 343 barrels of gunpowder. Such was the difficulty in taking the castle, then defended by only 50 men, the decision was taken to light the magazine, destroying the castle.

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Many of the photographs on this site are available as high quality Giclée or Lambda prints. Prints can be supplied on a variety of medium and in a variety of sizes. Contact me at: contactme@iesmith.net.

Location Database

Looking for photographic possibilities in your vicinity? Try my Location Database, a comprehensive map of over 1600 potentially photogenic locations in the UK and Ireland. It's fully searchable based on your location, and contains a wealth of information on each location, including grid references, photographs, wikipedia articles and more.