Pursuit of Light Title Card

Pursuit of Light – Calendar 2022

It’s six years since I started producing a photographic calendar. It’s been a good way to look back at images of the previous 9 -12 months or so. I’ve found images I have enjoyed taking and ones I may have originally overlooked. The only rule I have with it is that the images must have been taken within the year from when I produced the previous calendar.

This year has not been plain sailing in terms of outdoor photography time. With stay at home lockdown restrictions, being tested COVID positive, crazy weather conditions and being furloughed. But that hasn’t stopped me from going out when we have been allowed, to capture the county that I love. It’s also seen me not visiting the coast for photography but focusing my eye on the vast woodlands of east Suffolk, to hone my craft of woodland photography. Although I have been out to the coast on the odd occasion.

There have been benefits in visiting some places more than once, almost getting a visual in my mind, on the way it could look. If there is a bit of mist, or the sunlight breaking through. I have been to many of our coastal locations over the years and certainly got a handle of the way they look and how I can capture them every time I visit.

The Pursuit of Light

A landscape and outdoor photographers’ job is to always to catch the world in its best light. Over the last year, it’s been a mission of mine to explore Suffolk and pursue that light, on our beautiful shorelines, in our ancient woodlands and on the edge of the many rivers that run through the county.

It’s been a lesson in patience, predicting weather and understanding how light works and moves but ultimately it’s been a chance to explore. Suffolk boasts so many opportunities as the sunrise county, and if you can brave the early mornings then a trip to the coast is certainly something to marvel at. It’s a great opportunity to witness some of the best lightshows around, but also it can be so good for a quieter moment if you like a little bit of time alone in nature. The woodlands are so vast that there are many moments to mix it up in an ancient woodland where our ancestors would have walked, or a commercial woodland with trees in perfect rows. I feel I have been able to bring together my collective experiences from this year into one set of 13 beautiful images.

The Stories Behind the Photos

Front Cover

Magnificence – River Orwell

Magnificence, River Orwell, Suffolk

This shot was taken at the start of November 2020, the forecast was for mist and I knew that this part of the riverbank could be a good option for a sunrise at this time of year. The cherry on the top for the trip were the sheep that proceeded to make their way up the rivers edge. The foggy conditions were great and as the sun rose this golden glow flooded the shoreline. I was so pleased to have gone there on this occasion, especially when the conditions all seem to be perfect for photography.


Inspirited – Suffolk

Inspirited, Suffolk

This was taken on the last day of 2020, during a magical walk around a local woodland with my family. I remember we planned to go for a walk, so in true form I’m a bit of a weather watcher, you have to be if you are in this game and the forecast was for mist and fog. As we wandered around the woodlands the sun started to break through the canopy. The forest was lit up with rays breaking through the trees.

It was one of my most successful trips around this particular woodland, and all the shots I took became favourites of mine and were all handheld. This particular shot, is on the edge of the woods and is a perfect spot for the sun to break through. On the day, there were a number of compositions to be had, so I was just snapping away along the whole of the journey. It isn’t a long walk but was certainly worthwhile going around. It’s a woodland I have carried on visiting over the year and I’m still finding new compositions. Now I know that the sun will break through in the way it did, the location has become one I will visit when the forecast is favourable.


Phenomenonal – Felixstowe

Phenomenal, Felixstowe

This shot nearly didn’t happen! I photographed it in July of this year (2021). It was one of those moments where I nearly just turned over to go back to sleep and choose not to go out. When I was on my way I knew it was going to be worth the trip. This stretch of Felixstowe beach has become the local place I go to if I don’t want to take time travelling. It’s only 20 mins away from my front door, so it’s a bit easier to get too.

I made my way up the coast and chose to try and capture the sun rising above Bawdsey. The sky was lighting up and the higher clouds were being lit by the sun rising over the horizon. The sea was so still and calm that it meant the sky reflected across it without interruption. The light, the colour and the stillness of the sea all add so much to the composition. As I took the image I knew it was well worthwhile getting out of bed for.


Delta – Bawdsey

Delta, Bawdsey

This was taken on one of my first trips out after lockdown had lifted, in April (2021). This stretch of the Suffolk coast is one I love to visit. The shoreline is lined with London clay deposits and remnants of old WWII defences with pillboxes that have now been taken by the sea. This place is great at both low and high tide. On this particular morning the tide was low, and as the sun rose, the clay deposits that would usually be engulfed by the sea were slowly being enveloped by the light.

I had worked my way up the coast, but as I looked back, southward, I saw the light just starting to hit the edges of the clay. I was drawn to take this shot. I felt that the image would benefit from the pillbox being part of it. I loved the way the eye was drawn from the foreground by the clay to pillbox there is a great set of leading lines to the main focal point at the back. I remember thinking the sky was not what I had expected. I’ve seen so many good conditions when walking along here and I’m glad I found this shot as the focus was not on the way the sky looked.


Efflorescence – Freston

Efflorecence, Freston Tower

Shot down on the banks of the River Orwell, As I went out for a walk with a mate of mine. As we walked along the river, the grass on the shore was carpeted with sea thrift. I have started to explore this area a bit more. The aim has been to try and capture a few more places. We took a longer walk along footpaths that head you past Freston Tower. The tree in the foreground is a great one to photograph too.


Susurrus – Suffolk

Sussurus, Suffolk

This shot was about three or four weeks and a couple of years in the making. The location in questions is one of the best places to see bluebells in bloom. I had been trying to get there for a couple of weeks, and every time I visited the car park was too full. I had also tried the same sort of images a couple of years ago, but didn’t have the same ability I do now with a camera to capture what I was seeing. The carpet of purples surrounding the old ancient trees, the light and the conditions all came together and I was in my element as the sun rose through a small gap in the trees on the edge of the woodland.

I walked around and bagged quite a few shots, compared to the weeks before the weather and light was perfect. Although the bluebells were later than usual, it was to my benefit not to miss them this year, unlike lockdown in 2020 when I missed that whole season. The location in question is one I’ve visited, with family members over the years and also felt it was special, because of the way it has given some magical, special moments. This woodland has a herd of deer, that live on the grounds and on a number of occasions I have been greeted with the deer as I have walked into the woodland, its even more magical when the world is still asleep and there is no other soul around.

I have chosen not to disclose the exact location, to keep the place in good shape for years to come. It’s an ancient woodland and the bluebells thrive, but they don’t survive very well when they are not treated properly. They also are protected by the wildlife and countryside act of 1981. The aim is to protect them so that generations into the future will be able to enjoy the way they dominate the ancient woodland floors.


Carmine – Shingle Street

Carmine, Shingle Street

I have been visiting Shingle Street for a number of years and most of the time I focus on the cottages on the shoreline. On this occasion I walked along the beach to capture the pink valerian. I worked my way along the shoreline first and then walked further up onto the beach to capture the plants as the sun started to breakthrough. Yes the cottages are still included and I felt that it should have some feature in the shot. The valerian grows really well along the Suffolk coastline with a number of good displays at Aldeburgh and Felixstowe Ferry.


Peaches and Cream – Felixstowe

Peaches and Cream, Felixstowe

This is a location I have visited a lot over the years being a stretch of beach where I learnt how to handle long exposures and predicting waves. It is down at the cliff end of Felixstowe between Felixstowe Ferry and Cobbold Point.

On this occasion in 2020 I was looking to go out and because I know stretch so well, it’s an easy option. The weather was spot on to visit with the sky slowly lighting up as I worked my way along to the groynes, framing up for a long exposure. This was the shot I took before the long exposure. It’s one of the regular things I do before a longer exposure, to ensure I’m happy with the composition.

It also means if I’m not happy with any parts of the images I can always make a composite version with parts of the same composition. The key to these sorts of images is to freeze the water as it makes it way around the obstacles on the beach. In this case the groyne that over the years has been battered by the shingle that is ever present along the Suffolk Coast.


Eulogize – Blaxhall Common

Eulogize, Blaxhall Heath

The heather being in bloom is one of the things I wanted to capture, having visited so many places in the previous year, I thought I should find a location closer to home. I chose to scout this place on another trip to the adjacent forest and as I walked around I knew it would be a great place to capture the sunrise, with the heather in bloom. As we arrived, the sky was pretty bleak, but there was an ounce of a chance the mist could appear.

Luckily it did! The mist rolled in as we walked into the heathland engulfing the heather and giving me a lot of opportunity to capture the atmosphere it brings with it. The atmosphere was the one thing I wanted to have along with the heather. Over the years I have rocked up at a number of locations like Westleton and Dunwich. The weather hasn’t always been great, so this opportunity was one I couldn’t wait to get stuck into.

So, as the mist was slowly being burned by the heat of the sun, the brightness of it started to cover the heather and it was just a great thing to witness. This area has a number of heathland and particular areas of heather.


Sumptuous – Snape Maltings

Sumptous, Snape Maltings

Here is another location I have visited since I was a child. As a family we used to walk through to Snape Maltings on the local footpaths. I have loved those visits and this was one of the locations I thought I needed to photograph. Having driven past on my way to work a few years ago I knew it was a great place to capture. I even planned my visit in the diary for this month. I pre-planned ahead as to where the sun would be around a few weekends in September.

My plan was based on whether the sun would be rising along the river, both to capture the reflection and to have the highlights on the Maltings covered with the creeping ivy that was changing with the seasons. Then it was just to find a weekend where the weather would play ball. On this trip I was blessed with the sun rising in the place I thought it would and the sun shone through the small amount of clouds on the horizon and covered the river in this perfect light and it slightly caught the ivy too. I will probably go back again next year, with the hope of some mist and fog to add a different dimension to the shot.


Phantoms – Pin Mill

Phantoms, Pin Mill

Pin Mill, a place I have visited frequently and I seemed to always come back disappointed, until this trip. Previously the conditions, the tides and the location have all been against against me and what I had planned. I had always wanted to get down to visit the wrecks, while the tides were higher. I spent my first few moments setting up for a long exposure and took my shot to get the composition correct and then went for it. It ended up being a 3 minute exposure.

There is a little waiting around for these sorts of images, so I usually try and spend a few moments looking for other compositions. You could argue this location doesn’t have loads of chance as the boats can be quite chaotic when you aren’t seeing them in order as you do here.

This image was also chosen in the ‘Lee filters your view’ collection for August 2021.


Saffron – Suffolk

Saffron Suffolk

Now this location has been a place I have visited a number of times in the past few years. As I have been around there are so many nooks and crannies that are great for photography. It’s been a place to learn about the changing of seasons, and last year I took a trip early one morning in the mist. It was one of those mornings where you could barely see 20 feet in front of you when driving.

I was just put back on furlough so my time needed to be filled, I planned to capture this woodland in these conditions. The mist had engulfed the woodland and it was great to explore. I walked through the woodland down to a small pond area. It’s a great example of where the worlds of two habitats collide and the trees were starting to change colour. The autumn was really starting to set in and the colour of the leaves were just great. The pond area was pretty still and was perfect to capture the stillness of the moment. But as I walked toward this treeline line leading into the surrounding farmland I loved the way the trees took so much of the composition area and I felt I needed to capture it along with the narrow pathway that leads into the local farmland. The mist stuck around for a good couple of hours and it was great to explore. And all before breakfast!


Patina – Ipswich

Patina, Ipswich

As we came into 2021, we were plunged back into another lockdown. And within days I had tested positive for COVID 19. So the isolation began, and rolled forward a few days. The weather took a turn towards a cold snap and the snow came. The one thing I wanted to do was get out with the camera and capture the snow in a local park. Obviously I was diligent and stayed home and finished my isolation and crossed my fingers that another would show up. Luckily at the start of February we were greeted with a further snow storm. It was an opportunity to get out and explore within the rules. I used my exercise time as a chance to walk down to the local park.

The park had transformed into a winter wonderland and there were a number of opportunities to capture the park in the snow. I was careful not to include people in the shots and aimed to walk towards areas where there was less footfall too. As I walked along, the one place I knew would be a good to capture was the small bridge next to the duck pond, with the willow tree in the middle. The willow tree had a beautiful orange tinge almost like rust to it. That and the bridge with the trees surrounding the area was spot on.

I chose to shoot the images that day handheld, as I felt it would be wrong to carry too much gear and particularly a tripod.

The calendars are available from my website and from The Gallery Box in Felixstowe.

So there are the images from the calendar. They all have their own story and memories about how they were taken. If you’ve purchased the calendar then Thank you so much.


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Graphic Designer and Photographer
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