France

Postcard from Paris by Neil Alexander

Last year I took a wee trip to Paris for the Paris Photo expo. The show itself was a bit of a let down, but the city never is. It's one of those places I could go back to again and again and again. Whilst the conditions, and in particular the light were far from ideal, I walked so far my feet hurt like hell, and I only got to a fraction of the places on my list, I had a great time wandering the streets. 

J'aime Paris.

My Best Photographs of 2013 by Neil Alexander

What a year that was eh? A new calendar is on the wall and there are my initials next to the date of every cheque I write for the next few weeks. So it's an ideal opportunity for a little reflection.

 Neist Point lighthouse on the Isle of Skye. One half decent morning of light if memory serves and that was it, but what an amazing place. My first trip proper here in 2013 and there's already a return trip in the diary for later this year. Blog post here.

I made around 20,000 images last year, although about a quarter of those were for timelapses. So it's nearer 15K of which a large proportion as always were filed under Trash. That makes it one of my lowest exposure counts to date. However, looking back over the last few years, an exercise I do every January, reinforced what I already felt to be my best year yet. Not necessarily from a business perspective (my financial year unfortunately ends in the middle of the summer) but certainly from a creative point of view. I feel that my work is of a better standard than ever before, which is extremely pleasing. Reflection over my previous years' work feels like I have the opportunity to take a baseball bat to the little demon that likes to pop up over my shoulder every now and then kindly shouting at me "You are crap and everything you're churning out is dirge". It's a very therapeutic exercise. It also provides me with the ability to see at the most elemental level how my direction as a photographer has changed. 

For your information, here are my previous years: 2012, 2011, 2010 & 2009

 

 Click on any of the images for a larger version.

 The Eiffel Tower, Paris. Seems ages ago I was there. It's only actually a couple of months ago. I went partly for the Paris Photo exhibition, which was a little disappointing, but the Parisienne streets and landmarks provided ample inspiration to more than make up for it.

 This was a really fun day out. These guys were headed up catch the ferry to the Isle of Man for a blokes weekend hurtling around the lanes. I joined them as they met up on the M6 and photographed them all the way culminating with this carefully choreographed rolling roadblock so that I could get a photograph of them all together. There's more here.

The finely manicured beach at Deauville in Northern France. This beach is so well maintained it is quite unbelievable. Every morning a team clear up all the debris left from previous day and then two tractors turn over the sand removing any previous sign of human presence whatsoever. Bizarre.

 

 Blea Tarn. A trip to the Lake District that provided a great deal of wind and rain, and very little else.

Boathouse on Wast Water. This image wasn't made in the best of circumstances. There were 2 Search and Rescue Sea Kings searching the lake going round and round in circles for over an hour whilst I was there. It later transpired that they were searching for a diver who didn't reappear after diving to a sunken wreck in England's deepest lake. 

 The Forth Road and Railway Bridges, Edinburgh. After scouting the shot the previous night, a spur of the moment decision saw me dashing to a different location in the hope of making this photograph. The light performed and it worked a treat. Blog post here.

 Technically, this photograph was actually made towards the end of 2012, but it took me some months to finish the composition that I'd initially had in my mind when making the original photograph. There's more details on the Photoshop work that went into this here.

 Spur of the moment decision one weekend to head up to Snowdonia and make some photographs of my wee car. It was cold, really cold. Blog post here.

Bamford edge in the high peeks at dawn. I've headed up here. I should still here in the half light of predawn hoping for some colour in the sky. When that didn't pan out I don't go out a couple of XP 900s and started playing with some of the camera flash. The full SP is here.

 

 Finally, many of these images are available as fine art prints from my print shop.

Desktop Wallpaper for September 2013 by Neil Alexander

Well I hope that your August has been as much fun as mine. We've actually had half-decent summer weather for once and it feels as if I've hardly spent any time at home this last month, what with trips to France, Belgium, Solfest in the Lake District and another trip to Scotland. Fortunately the schools go back in a few days, so normal service will shortly be resumed.   

September 2013 Desktop Wallpaper free for you to download and brighten up your computer.

This month's Image of the Month competition is a little different, but to be eligible and party to the competition details you need to be in my "Image of the Month" club. Sign up here - you've got to be in it to win it!

Normally I'd include a few of the links I've found worth sharing over the last month or so, but a rather painful lack of internet access whilst travelling has left me a little short this month. In fact, I've only managed to get a solitary blog post up with some more images from my last trip to Skye here.

Links to download the wallpaper are just below.

Enjoy. 

N. 

 

Download Instructions

Windows Users

Method 1:

1. Click on the link that matches your screen resolution to open the image in a new browser window (if you do not know what your screen resolution is you can find out by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop, select Properties, then the Settings tab, and it will show you the Screen Resolution on the right-hand side of the box)

2. In the new browser window that has opened with the image in it, right-click and select Set as Wallpaper or Set as Background.

3. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop

Method 2:

1. Follow the steps as above but instead of selecting Set as Background, select Save Image As. Change the file name if you with, and save the file wherever you wish to store it.

2. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop, select Properties, then the Background tab.

3. Click on the Browse button and find the image file where you saved it, select it, then click OK.

4. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop

Mac Users

1. Click on the link that matches your screen resolution to open the image in a new browser window (if you do not know what your screen resolution is you can find out by clicking on the apple, select System Preferences, then Displays).

2. Ctrl-click on the image in the new window, select Download Image to Disk and save in a place you will remember

3. Hold down Ctrl and - at the same time - click on your desktop

4. Choose Change Desktop Background and click on the Desktop tab in the Desktop & Screensaver pop-up menu.

5. Select Choose Folder, Desktop and navigate to the downloaded image then click Choose (bottom right) and close the Desktop & Screensaver menu. 6. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop