Winter sunshine

The British winter can be long and unrelenting. Sunlight is often in scant supply, the days are short – and it’s cold. If you’re prepared to travel, you can find guaranteed sunshine and summer temperatures. This country is a six-hour flight away, and about the closest place to find surefire fine weather.

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is now established as a winter getaway, but further north in the Arabian Gulf is the small emirate of Qatar. Daytime temperatures in January are around 25C and the skies remain largely blue. Its showpiece capital city Doha sits on the water, offering beaches and terraces for enjoying the favourable climate.

There’s plenty more to share from this dynamic nation, but this could be the winter destination you simply haven’t considered yet…

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Khor al AdaidClick to enlarge


16 of 2016

2016 has been dismissed as a bad vintage by some, thanks to Brexit, Trump and a large number of celebrity deaths.

But behind the camera, another year has passed with a great deal of photographs to show for it. I’ve picked out 16 that seem to have stood out from the pack, reflecting a year of travel to Abu Dhabi and Sri Lanka.

The foreign adventures were curtailed as I set about the task of leaving London and setting up home further north. There were some photo excursions along the way, including a blistering summer’s day in Broadstairs – and finally capturing the sumptuous staircase in an old London furniture store.

2017 looks likely to be filled with new northern adventures in and around Manchester, with some travel thrown in. Thank you for another year of visits, appreciation and support – a Happy New Year to you and yours.

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Gallery entrance

Moonlight over Manchester

My urban view of Manchester doesn’t fail to enthrall. The soaring grace of Beetham Tower, the twinkly lights of canalside Castlefield and the trams passing overhead. One night recently there was a spectacular bonus – a large moon against a slightly clouded sky, rising into the sky and passing behind the city’s tallest building on its travels. Time for a spot of howlingly enjoyable long exposure photography…

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The Photo Shop

Salford in lights

During these long winter nights, Salford Quays is a blaze of light with its brightly illuminated modern high rises. But it’s been enhanced with a series of art installations around MediaCityUK which come into their own after dark. There are astronauts and Doctor Who icons, plastic trees and a mesmerising flotilla of little boats on the water which are bringing more visitors than usual to this corner of Manchester.

There are plenty of photographers among them, trooping around the quays with their tripods in tow. This spectacle is on the doorstep of my workplace, so I just had to join the crowd. If you’re quick you can catch the last night of Lightwaves 2016 on 18 December.

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Welcome to Castlefield

My neighbourhood is a short stride away from Manchester city centre, but has been called a village in the middle of an urban sprawl. Castlefield has Roman origins, but came into its own during the Industrial Revolution. Set on a confluence of canals, it’s a knot of railway viaducts, bridges and cobbles. The area wears its heritage on its sleeve, but is now a vibrant residential area studded with bars and restaurants.

A short walk in any direction from my building brings you to water, narrowboats gently puffing wood smoke and the canal towpaths. This is just a glimpse of the area, and it’s no wonder tourists always find their way here…

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