Winter sunset in Lymm, Cheshire / by Neil Alexander

Woolstencroft Cottage, Lymm

 Well I hope you all had a fun filled an over indulged Christmas and New Year. I know I certainly did. The older the kids get, the more fun it seems to be. Can't imagine that upward trend will continue forever so I make sure I enjoy whilst I can.....

So to the photographs. These two images were made on a trip out around the Lymm area of Cheshire late November. The cottage above had caught my eye previously but the light that day had been somewhat dull. But on this particular late winter afternoon with the sun due to set in under an hour's time, I knew that the light would be great and would really pick up the features of this little place. I don't believe that it was inhabited at the time, but within seconds of dropping my tripod's feet I was accosted by the local farmer demanding to know what I was doing. Fortunately a few placating words later, he left me in peace. Just as I'd made three bracketed frames for this image, out of the corner of my eye, I caught site of the cyclist below rounding the bend towards me. I quickly grabbed my other body which had the 70-200mm f2.8 on it  and fired off a few frames of him heading off into the distant sun. I knew the sky was going to be horrifically overexposed, but somehow it didn't matter. There was so much soft diffused golden light around to pick him out nicely that I don't think the lack of definition in the sky really matters one bit. There both up on my Cheshire gallery here if you want to see them larger, or get copies.

Winter cyclist, Lymm

Anyway, I've spent a not inconsiderable amount of time working on my business and marketing plans for 2012 over the festive break, some of which I'll share in a post in the not too distant future. But one of the immediate up-shots is that for the first few months of 2012, I'm going to be scaling back my posting a little. For the most part of 2011 I posted every Tuesday and Friday, and I also ran the "Image of the Week" Newsletter for the latter 3 months. I'm going to keep up with the newsletter which I'm going to enhance a little by including a little more news along with a concise tip or two each Friday, but I'm going to drop the Friday blog post. Fridays just seemed to be getting too hectic towards the end of last year, and often ended up eating into valuable shooting time. You could always sign up to my weekly email newsletter to make up for the lost post....

One final comment, and it's a little late as the offer has finished (DPS had a coupon to get 20% off) but I signed up for Kelby Training over Christmas and I'm blown away by the volume and quality of content they have available for Photographers and Photoshop users. I'm absorbed by Matt Kloskowski's Compositing book at the moment, and felt I ought to give the Kelby Training package a whirl whilst I was at it - and I'm very glad I did. There is such a wealth of knowledge available. Definitely worth a look.