La chapelle du Saint Eutrope, near Andabre, Languedoc

The only way to get to this French mountain chapel is on foot… a steep climb along some increasingly hairy paths through chestnut forests and over bare rock. And, despite us setting off in late afternoon, it was well over 30°c. As the photographer, I was paying for my art – carrying camera and kit, compared to the water bottles being clutched by everyone else – so I was doubly relieved to climb the final set of steps over the final false peak, and collapse on the stone flagging by the building.

Inside, the chapel was delightfully cool, well maintained and calm. I snapped a trio of HDR panoramas as we enjoyed the view of the hills around us being lit up by the golden evening light; the still warm air suffused with the smell of herbs and hot earth. Well worth the climb to enjoy this kind of view…

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Friends of Mine Festival, Cheshire

This is the deserted Bowl Stage at the Friends of Mine festival after the acts had finished on the Friday night. Although I was predominantly on the lookout for good stills at the festival I couldn’t help but stop to grab this panorama. I was taken by the desolate emptiness of the space, and the contrast between the starry sky and the bright lights and litter of the performance area below, with the Elizabethan stately home in the background. It’s rare to catch a space like this so bereft of festival-goers, but a late night, long exposure treatment caught the moment well.

I’d won a pair of tickets to the event, held at the stately Capesthorne Hall in the bucolic, rolling Cheshire countryside, so a mate and I rocked up with a tent and enough food and beer for the weekend. The weather constantly threatened the festival, but largely held off blighting the performances, confined largely to nightime showers and winds.

The festival was a little underattended, but we caught some good acts and managed to get a few nice snaps as well. Spending the weekend in the great outdoors with good beer, good company and a varied soundtrack was the perfect spring tonic… even if the sunshine was somewhat lacking!

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England’s highest beach

Two spring evenings at Gaddings Dam, on Langfield Moor above Todmorden. I’d previously shot a couple of panoramas up here in worse weather, but warmer spring evenings have been tempting me out to enjoy the hills again recently.

This expanse of water reflects the great bowl of the sky above, and these photos capture those hazy ephemeral moments as the sun drops out of sight towards the Irish Sea in the west on two evenings. Pity it doesn’t capture the sounds of curlews and other birds breaking the silence. Gaddings Beach, or Tod beach as it’s also affectionately refered to, is sometimes called ‘England’s highest beach’ and is a great spot for enjoying the summer sun, far from the madding crowds of the valley.

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Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

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Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

An early welcome to the Pleasure Dome

The day before the Royal Wedding was absolutely glorious: clear, warm and sunny across the country. I was up way too early, on the train from Manchester to London for work, but had spotted this funfair the day before and had resolved to shoot it. Fairground are rather odd places, and it’s rare to see them empty, so I left the house fifteen minutes early, fortified by coffee.

The first tremulous rays of dawn broke over the reservoir just as I arrived: I quickly set up my kit and snatched this shot without attracting anyone’s attention. I’m definitely not a morning person, but there’s something rewarding about being up early to see such delicate light and such an absence of people paired with such intense paintwork.

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Whitby Abbey: vampires optional…

This is the impressive ruined Benedictine abbey which sits on the hilltop above Whitby, the delightfully picturesque fishing town on the coast of the North Yorkshire moors. The abbey forms an impressively moody sight in its own right, overlooking the North Sea and the quaint fishing harbour below.

However it (and the town below) found literary fame after Bram Stoker set part of his novel ‘Dracula’ in Whitby. The fictional count preyed on Lucy on the East Cliff, just a few yards from this abbey. 120 years after Bram Stoker wrote his gothic masterpiece, Whitby has become a regular place of gathering for goths from across the country. We arrived there on one such weekend, the day after Halloween, and the site was dotted with impressively-dressed goths checking out the ruins. The spectral figures added to the sense of other-worldliness. The skies were exactly what one would hope for in a setting like this: turbulent and rolling clouds, with shafts of sunlight breaking out above the autumnal moorland. Very evocative…

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