A couple of years ago I lost my patience with my massive pro DSLR which weighs about a ton and gives me back-ache every time I try to go out with it. I bought the absolute smallest camera I could find which would shoot RAW and could be manually controlled. I bought the highest quality I could find in a really small compact. Image quality was a top priority. I want to continue to shoot images good enough to sell and to enter competitions (not that I have had the time). There were a few choices at that level but…

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  Living here in North Yorkshire I have a pretty fixed idea of what it is like to visit an abbey. We are spoiled for impressive stone ruins set in beautiful open green landscapes. Two of the nation’s stunners – Fountains Abbey and Bolton Abbey – are less than 30 minutes drive from Harrogate. Fontevraud Abbey Heritage I wish that I had cleared my head completely of these pre-conceived notions before visiting Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire Valley. It was a bit of a culture shock. Bear in mind, the French didn’t have Henry VIII so abbey ruins are not…

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#30 in the Judging a Photograph Series I have come to realise that portrait photography is outside of my comfort zone. As I’ve said before, I don’t find building a rapport with the subject a very easy thing to do and this one third of the battle. The next part of the battle is knowing what makes a good pose for the subject. If you search Pinterest for portrait posing advice you will find a baffling array of diagrams. I can’t commit them to memory so that’s a poor start. The last part of the battle in getting a great…

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#29 in the Judging a Photograph Series I’m frustrated when I can’t zoom in for a photo sometimes. We took the Staten Island Ferry when we were in New York. It’s free, and a good way to see the Statue of Liberty. It’s a great experience but I found it hard to photograph with a phone. I was using the iPhone7+ which has a great camera but no optical zoom at all. Phones are too flat and thin to contain the amount of glass needed for true optical zoom. Think of an ordinary camera and the circular lens that sticks…

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#28 in the Judging a Photograph Series .One of my favourite things about our self-drive trips to France has been the chance to stay in a few different places on one holiday. One time, after a week near Guerande in the Loire Atlantique region, we had a second week in western Brittany. On the drive between the two we stopped to see the Carnac Megaliths. These ancient avenues of stones are as old as Stonehenge but are smaller, irregular shapes. Around 3000 standing stones stretch in eleven lines for over one and a half kilometres. Roadtrain Tour We decided to…

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