Gallery: what is green?
Green is the colour of nature, the colour of spring and summer. It is restful on the eye and calming to the soul. I think it must have inspired more poets and authors than any other colour. And there are almost as many shades of green in our world as there are writers to describe them. Or indeed photographers to try to capture and preserve their beauty!
Dhofar, the Land of Frankincense
You can’t travel far in Oman without hearing the word frankincense. Every Omani home burns this fragrant resin daily, it is an intrinsic part of Omani life. Not only does it make the home smell nice, it also keeps flying insects such as mosquitoes at bay. The best quality frankincense is steeped overnight in water which is then drunk at breakfast time to treat a variety of ailments. And inhaling the smoke is said to be good for asthma.
Barking up the right tree in Costa Rica
In the cloud forest low-hanging clouds hover around the upper canopy before condensing onto the leaves of trees and dripping onto the plants below. Looking up you can barely see the sky; such is the denseness of the vegetation and the constant dripping of water. With less sunlight comes a slower rate of evaporation; the plants below thrive in the abundance of life-giving moisture.
Gallery: favourite nature and landscape photos of 2021
One of the many things I find difficult about photography is self-appraisal. Choosing my BEST images is often a challenge; but ask me to choose my favourites and the task becomes a little easier … but only a little!
Gallery: Ta Prohm, Angkor’s Royal Monastery
In a clearing in the jungles of Angkor the Buddhist king King Jayavarman VII built a monastery, Rajavihara, meaning ‘Royal Monastery’. We know it today as Ta Prohm. Here lived more than 12,500 people, including 18 high priests and 615 dancers. The temple was wealthy, amassing riches such as gold, pearls and silks.
Signs of autumn at Emmetts Garden
Autumn comes stealthily. A touch of orange on a leaf. A few berries on a tree or bush. Late summer flowers starting to dominate our gardens. Conkers falling and squirrels out foraging in our local parks. It's my favourite season, although I'd like it even more if it weren't followed by winter, my least favourite!
Gallery: lone trees in the landscape
'Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.' (Kahil Gebran) And if every tree is a poem, a tree that stands alone is perhaps a performance poem - a poem that is shouted to the heavens?
Gallery: barking up the wrong tree?
Photographing a tree, a complete tree, can be a challenge. Stand back to get it all in the frame and perhaps other trees may block your view, or the drama of the tree’s size be lost within the bigger picture. Sometimes you can capture its strength best by stepping closer and focusing on the details.
Gallery: on the Hall of Mosses trail
The Hoh rainforest is an ancient, almost enchanted place, green and mysterious. Some of its trees have stood here for over a thousand years, long before European explorers came to this continent. Draped with mosses and ferns they seem to stand outside time; a haven of stillness in an ever-shifting world.
A neighbourhood walk
When the architect Sir John Soane built his weekend retreat, Pitzhanger Manor, in what was then rural Ealing, his aim was to design a showcase for his own idiosyncratic architectural style with its stripped classical detail, radical colour schemes and inventive use of space and light. Here he would entertain some of the most influential people of the day.