Scotland’s Mountains by Joe Cornish

During some recent email correspondence with my friend from Iceland Daniel Bergmann; he recommended a book by Photographer Joe Cornish titled ‘Scotland’s Mountains’ with the sub title ‘A Landscape Photographers View’. I subsequently purchased the hard-back book from Amazon on his recommendation and have to say that it has been one of the most enjoyable and wonderful photographic books I have owned.

Scotland’s Mountains follows on from Joe’s previous book ‘Scotland’s Coast’; which I ordered immediately upon receiving his ‘Mountains’ book from Amazon. It has not as yet arrived; but I am eagerly looking forward to spending some time going through the photographs when it does. I particularly enjoyed reading the included ‘field notes’ at the end of the book. As a landscape photographer its always interesting to read how another photographer composed, metered, exposed and dealt with the environmental conditions at the time the photograph was made.

I knew of Joe Cornish’s work through the internet but it took the medium of the printed page to really bring home to me how much I enjoy his photography – Another timely reminder that photography really is all about the print. Photographed almost exclusively on a 5×4 camera with film (yes film – although there are a few digital captures amongst the images) the quality of the photographs and printing are superb. So often I feel a sense of deflation upon seeing beautiful photography printed really badly by the book publisher – it unfortunately happens all to often. Thankfully in this case Aurum press have done a wonderful job.

I do not intend for my blog post to be a review of Joe’s book or work. His photography is wonderful and no more need be said in this regard. Instead this post is more of a ‘shout-out’ to check out his work and in particular his book/s if you have not done so. If you have an interest in photography or even just in Scotland I highly recommend Joe’s Book.

Mungo and Walls of China – Take Three

It is better than a rain dance – but I am trying again to get to the Walls of China at Mungo this weekend. The weather forecast is reasonable to good, the road is currently open and accessible, the moon almost full and the planets just about aligned. So all with all systems go for launch I am heading off for the 6-hour drive to Mildura and then onto the Walls of China late this Friday for a few days of photography.

I wont belabour the point again – but Mungo and the Walls of China is a part of Victoria I have not visited before and have wanted to photograph for some time. My last two attempts have ended in total wash-outs and wasted or aborted trips. This time I feel nervously confident it will come off. We shall soon see. See you in a few days.


A couple of weeks ago I licensed some of my photography to a New Zealand company named Black Fish that produces high quality calendars that contain iconic images of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The Calendar should be available for purchase around the middle of this year 2011 in New Zealand. At this stage I am unsure if copies will be available outside of New Zealand in retail outlets – however, it will no doubt be possible to purchase copies online for various online e-tailers. Or, I will have several copies which I am happy to make available to any readers who wish to purchase one. Revisiting my 2009 photography from New Zealand’s South Island for this calendar project has been a very enjoyable experience for me – almost as enjoyable as actually being there. I am now very much looking forward to going back in July this year. This photograph was one of my favourites from my last trip to the South Island. Taken by helicopter as the sun was setting across Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. We had removed the doors from the helicopter to enable better viewing for photography. My primary memory is how cold it was. It was-19 degrees celsius ambient air temperature and a fair bit colder with wind chill; but the scenery was stunning, the conditions perfect and the frost nipped fingers well worth the effort.


The 2011 calendar project was a last minute inspiration idea that I picked up from Matt over at the website Lightroom Killer Tips. Using an Adobe Lightroom pre-set for calendars I have created a calendar for 2011 with some of my favourite photographs from my time in Iceland last year. Please feel free to DOWNLOAD and print a copy for yourself. The web version is relatively low resolution and is restricted to printing at 150dpi, but I am making a high resolution fine art printed version available for anyone who would like to purchase one. Calendars are printed on Moab Somerset Museum Rag 13″ x19″ paper and are hand signed open edition. The price is $100 Australian dollars plus postage and handling.


I know we all say this every year ; but boy oh boy…where did 2010 go? As each year drifts by it seems the foot of life  gets pressed ever so slightly harder on the accelerator pedal. I really would like it if the world just slowed down a little once in a while. The frenetic pace of life is not at all conducive to contemplative landscape photography. Whilst the recent trip to Daylesford was relaxing and was a good chance to slow down and unwind I did not unfortunately get any photography of substance accomplished. The light and weather were unco-operative which resulted in cold grey mornings devoid of colour and interest – such is life. Regardless, it was a relaxing enjoyable trip full of good food and wine.

So whats in store for 2011?

Well, 2011 is slated to be a big year for me for my photography. I have a trip booked for Antarctica late 2011 which departs from Ushuaia in Argentina in late November. I have a tentative trip booked to the South Island of New Zealand for a week in July (I love winter in the South Island) as well a trip to Tasmania in February. Amongst it all I intend to try to get to Mungo and The Walls of China (third times a charm as they say) if the weather holds out and I can score a free weekend when it isnt going to rain. I still want to spend more time photographing down the Great Ocean Road as well as the Victorian High Country. I have some very preliminary ideas for a photographic trip to the Pinnacles in Western Australia as well as central Australia. Wether I get the time and opportunity to cultivate these ideas into trips for 2011 is as yet unknown. What I do know is that it is unlikely I will make it back to Iceland in 2011. Long terms plans are to head back to Iceland in 2012 as an add on to a holiday to France with my wife – but thats still a long way off and there are many clicks of the shutter to be had between then and now. I will likely also head to Easter Island on the return from Antarctica and Buenos Aires if time permits.

Antarctica is the planned highlight for 2011. This is a trip I have wanted to make for many years and it is very exciting to be finally booked and going (even if it is still eleven months away). I am going to stay a few days in Buenos Aires before the expedition departs from Ushuaia and meet up with my friend Martyn with whom I spent a couple of weeks photographing in Iceland mid 2010. Martyn has photographed in Buenos Aires before so I am looking forward to capitalising on his prior experience and recommended locations. I am also going to spend an extra day or so in Ushuaia before the boat leaves for Antarctica. It is a two day journey across the Drake passage; which is one of the roughest stretches of water in the world before arrival in Antarctica – I must remember to pack some sea sick pills.

I also have an exhibition of my 2010 Iceland photography coming up; which is slated for March and will kick off in Brighton at Source Photographica before touring the country. I will post dates and details as soon as they are confirmed.

New Camera Gear for 2011?

My trusty Canon 1DS MKIII has served me very well since I purchased it not long after they were first released back in 2008 – I did not actually take delivery of mine until February 2009. Today in early 2011 the 1DSMKIII is still at the top of the Canon tree in terms of their flagship camera. Although I dont usually partake in the rumour mill it is worth noting that there has been very little in the way of replacement rumours. The current ‘thinking’ and ‘rumour’ appears to be that Canon are going to depart from the traditional 1DS model to something entirely new. This would make good logical sense since the 5D MKII has significantly eaten into 1DS sales. A quick side note: I have tried a couple of different 5D MKII’s and in both cases have prefered the ‘look’ of the files from the 1DSMKIII. I personally believe it is likely that Canon will come to market with a new offering late 2011 which will likely be similar to the Leica S2 – a sort of cross between medium format and traditional 35mm. We shall see in the fullness of time – in the meantime I will continue to shoot with and enjoy Canons most excellent 1DS MKIII. I may well end up purchasing a second body before I leave for Antarctica; either an additional 1DS or a 1DMK IV – I have not as yet decided.

I am currently working on a folio project as well as an overdue calendar for 2011 and hope to have these projects completed shortly.