I was very pleased to find out last night that I've just received a Gold Award and a Highly Commended Award for my work at the SWPP Awards yet again. Its extremely humbling to receive this recognition. Its things like this that keep motivating me to continually work to improve my images every chance I get.
If you've been following my blogs, you'll maybe recognise this tree. It was a feature of my very first post back in July 2013. Certainly if you're local to Bangor, County Down and the surrounding area you will know it because you most probably drive past it a few times a week. On a larger scale, the tree became quite famous or should I say infamous due to the carryings-on of a certain pop star in 2012. Check 0:25 for the first glimpse.
The image above was taken at the same time as my initial shot in April 2013. However, this time, I decided that in moving closer to the tree, I wanted my focus (pardon the pun) to be on the tonal quality of the tree and sky, their textures and the contrasts between the roughness of the ground and tree bark and the smooth texture of the sky. In essence, I wanted to "get to know" the tree better. I really love this shot because unlike the earlier image, this is a personal shot. Its a tree-portrait. For me, the personality of the tree shows when you get a really good look at the textures of the bark, and I especially like the intricate twisted shapes of the branches as, when the light hits them you get a lovely range of varying light features and tones.
I really love this one because its intimate, and personal. The way it treats light, with its various twists and turns, tell me something about the character of this tree. The years have not been kind to it, but still, inspite of everything, it still stands. It makes me reflect on myself, my life and how we need to just lean into the wind, for that is how character is born...
I was also really pleased to receive a Highly Commended award in the SWPP Awards for this image from Portstewart Strand on the North Antrim coast. This is a shot from my last outing to Portstewart just a couple of weekends ago. As you can see, again, there was a fantastic range of tones throughout this shot. I'm hoping to return soon and take some more shots at the Strand using my new Hitech 10 Stop ND.