Friday, 28 January 2011

Shell 4 Villages Half Marathon

This post isn't about the landscape, light or for that matter about photography at all. This post is about my eldest daughter Kate who ran in the Shell 4 Villages Half Marathon last Sunday. Running a half marathon may not seem much of a feat to many people but it's something I have never done and it's something Kate had never done either - before last week. Kate is not a runner. At least, she wasn't before she made the decision in October to run in this annual race. I'm not exactly sure what initially prompted the decision to run but it was quickly followed by the idea to run in aid of Cancer Research in memory of her Grandmother (my Mum) who died of cancer in September.

Kate trained consistantly, even through the awful December, running in snow and ice. Unfortunately she picked up a strain about three weeks before the race and was unable to train after that. Consequently, come the day of the half marathon, the furthest Kate had run was 8 miles.

The 4 Villages is not the easiest race of it's type being a fairly hilly course and, of course, run at a time of year when the weather is often not good. On Sunday, however, the conditions were about as good as you could possibly hope for.

Kate finished the run in a really impressive time of 1 hr 55 mins and raised around £400 for cancer research. At the finish line, she was totally shattered and had to be held up. She was utterly determined to finish and I could not be more proud of her. I also know her Grandmother would be very, very proud of her too. I am also very grateful to our friend and neighbour L (1566 above) who ran with and encouraged Kate all the way.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

It's been a good start to my photographic year - I have an image published in the January issues of two photographic magazines. Of course, it wouldn't be me if there wasn't a slight fear that it was more about peaking too early than a good start.

This photograph is featured in the Viewpoints section of Outdoor Photography. Sadly my suggestion for this part of the Clwydian Range didn't make it into the main Viewpoints and it is only reproduced as a very small picture but I going to be positive and regard it as a foot in the door. It's not the first attempt I've made at getting something into this magazine so it's good to have finally succeeded, even in such a small way.

The photograph was made in January of last year. I was able to make it into the Clwydian hills on the morning following a fresh and heavy snowfall. I spent a full day walking in the area, enjoying the most amazing conditions and, in the process, was able to make half a dozen images that I am really happy with.

This picture is published in the January edition of Professional Photographer magazine and is even more pleasing as it comes from being shortlisted for the Architecture category of their 2010 competition. The competition attracts entries worldwide so I can only be pleased with even getting close to winning.

In case you are wondering what this is of; it is the walkway between the multi-story car park and John Lewis at the Liverpool One shopping centre. I've been through it on many occasions but this was the fist time the sun was at just the right angle to complete the scene by casting shadows that echo the roof. I would like to be able to claim that I previsualised this on a previous visit but I'm afraid that would be a lie. It was pure, dumb luck that I was there at the right time.

A good start but the trick now is to build on that.