Feature in Black and White Magazine

signing books at a launch on Vancouver Island

I wrote a short piece for Black and White Photography Magazine on self publishing for a feature on Promotion

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Snowfall in Hampstead Heath

The heavy snow last month provided some fresh photographic opportunities on the Heath. The robins were particularly active in the South Wood area, they are so brave which makes getting close not an issue – for me, staying warm in the sub-zero temperatures certainly was.

This robin was unfazed by my telephoto lens allowing me to get in close and grab this portrait

My intention when shooting these birds was to keep the compostition as clean as possible without distracting backgrounds, showing off the wonderful red breast of the robin against the white of the snow.

another robin flew in challenging this robin to make itself big and stand its ground

I placed my camera in the wall of the bridge. Shooting remotely they were a bit nervous of the camera click but it didn’t stop them coming back for a closer look.

the curious nature of the robin had it checking out my camera

Snow normally doesn’t last too long in London so I wanted to capture a whole range of pictures during this time. I am getting more comfortable with the landscape and learning where good photo opportunities lie.

The heavy blanket of snow dampens the environment, creating a wonderful quietness.

Thinking in black and white helped me to focus on keeping the composition simple and look for shape and tone within the frame

The Heath is a place for everyone, for a multitude of activities, come rain, shine or snow. Thanks to Rowena for perservering in the cold for this shoot!

The landscape at South Wood is big and hard to believe it exists just 7km from the city center

 

The extreme weather doesn't deter the hardcore runners.

All the images featured on this Blog are available as fine art prints. For pricing and more information email info@matthewmaran.com.

Feel free to leave feedback and don’t forget to share and like us on Facebook.

Cheers!

 

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Weekend in North Norfolk

We had beautiful weather last week on the North Norfolk coast. Chilly, and seriously windy but wonderful low light over the sand dunes at Holkham Bay.

A two second shutter catches the movement of the grasses on a very windy night

Sunset at Holkham Bay, North Norfolk

Winter is a great time to visit,  on a sunny day you can have the place for yourself and the beach views appear endless.

 

 

 

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Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is one of the most visited green spaces in London drawing millions of people every year.  It provides a home for a wide variety of plants and animals and offers fantastic views of central London. ‘The Heath’ as it is locally known, has been labelled the ‘Countryside for Londoners’  and just 7km from the city centre walkers, runners, swimmers, artists, among others, come to connect with nature and escape from the busyness of urban living.

Snowfall highlights nature in a simple way and presents many diferent ways of seeing

I’ve been visiting Hampstead Heath for as long as I can remember. We used to have family picnics as kids in the summer and take a sledge up there in the winter. I share this love of the Heath with millions of others  who, like me, regularly return to breathe fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery.

It’s nice to now return with a photographic eye as the options for landscape photography are endless.

Stands of mature Beech Trees

I will be spending many hours over the winter months gathering content from the Heath – maybe see you up there?

Silver birch detail

Watch this space for more images and information and your comments are greatly appreciated throughout the development of these projects

Cheers,

Matt

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Winter 2012 Projects

Camley Street and Hampstead Heath.

This winter I’m stepping up my latest photography project which looks at nature in London and explores the importance of green spaces in an urban setting and the habitats they provide for wildlife, plants and recreation for people

After travelling to the west coast of Canada from London for many years I liked the idea of keeping things local – hopping on the bus or riding my bike to visit some of the most well-known parks,  unknown hidden treasures and back gardens in London and to document them in a new and innovative way.

I am a big lover of foxes, since I was a kid I always got a buzz seeing one roaming the streets and have wanted to get decent photos of these enigmatic creatures. I am impressed with their survival instinct and ability to live alongside people in a busy city against all the odds.

 

A fox checking me out from the roof of a garden shed

A common response when you tell people you are searching for foxes to take a picture is “oh I see them all the time” or “you should come to my garden they’re always there” Seeing a fox is one thing, taking a decent picture is another. A fox sighting is usually a fleeting glimpse, they have an incredible ability to disappear. Their very existence in the city is due to their cunning nature and to capture them on film presents many challenges.

Most foxes are nocturnal so using natural light is tricky, secondly they don’t hang around, once they are on the move, searching for food is the main priority and they travel quickly, keeping up is not easy. On top of this there is no shortage of great fox photos out there so capturing something new will be tough.

To help with some of these challenges I have teamed up with the London WildlifeTrust at Camley Street Natural Park. Camley Street is a two acre nature reserve situated on the banks of Regents Canal  in the heart of Kings Cross. It provides a sanctuary for wildlife and a hub for education programs for schools and other visitors with an interest in wildlife, green spaces and conservation.

The reserve is a perfect setting for the urban fox, two acres of protected green land in the heart of the city and access to plenty of food nearby. I’ve been experimenting with remote shooting with the help of my friend and expert remote photographer Bertie Gregory.  You can look at some of his great work here www.bertiegregoryphotography.com

Getting close to any wildlife is a real challenge so to do this I’ve adapted a Pelican Case to hide my camera inside. Using remote triggers I can fire the camera from a distance with the hope of capturing images of a curious fox.

 

cutting the lens hole

peli cases are tough!

cutting the protective foam to shape

snug fit with the remote

Educated guesswork and a lot of luck is involved so it will be all about perseverance.

 

The plan is to capture wide angle images showing the animal in its environment and to do this requires  a set of skills completely new to me. I am excited to see what will happen over the coming months as the foxes will get more active as natural food sources decline.

One of the great things about nature photography is the unexpected and there are always other interesting subjects to photograph and unknowns that occur.

A robin taking flight from the camera 'click'

 

Here is a new image of a robin taken with a remote camera. Once again I had no luck with the foxes so after daybreak I turned my attention to the busy robins. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. The ‘click’ of the shutter was enough to make the robin fly away but not before the flash captured the wing fully spread.

 

using mealworm to lure in the robin

I will be on the lookout to capture images of other animals, landscapes and interesting plant species. You can take part too, please follow this Blog and feel free to comment and also let me know if you have any unusual or interesting wildlife sightings.

Matt

 

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Early Morning Down The Road From the Studio

I was hoping to find a family of Canada Geese at the reservoir near my Studio early this morning. They’ve been there every time over the past few days when I’ve cycled past. With gorgeous early morning light and my camera at the ready they were nowhere to be seen…..typical! Instead I turned my attention to the coots and mallards picking out these two shots with a slightly different composition.

 

I played around with longer exposures to capture water motion in the background of this accommodating coot.

Mallards are often overlooked as they are so common but up close they have an extraordinary range of vibrant colours.

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The Ones That Got Away…..

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Today I went through some of the early shots from the west coast of Vancouver Island. None of these made the book but I thought it would be fun to share, let me know what you think by leaving your … Continue reading

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Vancouver Island, Barkley to Clayoquot – Exhibtion in Tofino, BC

This gallery contains 3 photos.

It’s the 26th Pacific Rim annual Whale Festival this week on Vancouver Island’s west coast and I have an exhibition at Humanity, a new community events space on 150 Fourth Street Tofino, BC VOR 2Z0. It’s free entry and showcases fine art framed prints from … Continue reading

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Friday Night Frog Love

Walking home last Friday night when I spotted these mating frogs in the street. I ran inside to grab my camera and flash and fired off a few frames before helping them to a safer spot away from the road.

getting down at the animal's level for a strong viewpoint

The resulting image, the best of around 10 frames I shot

They were pretty accommodating subjects (I guess they were otherwise occupied) not moving around too much. It took a few goes to get the exposure and composition right, in the end this was my favourite. If you enjoy this story and others on the Blog please leave comments and feedback and visit www.matthewmaran.com www.facebook.com/MatthewMaranPhotography for more images and information

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Pacific Rim Whale Festival 2012 exhibition preparation

Getting some prints ready for my exhibtion during the Pacific Rim Whale Festival 2012

Just sent these prints to the ‘Creative Director’ Jason Niles in Canada. Together we’ll be exhibiting fine art prints for the duration of this year’s Festival at Humanity -  a new community organisation and events space in Tofino http://www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com/events from the 17th -25th of March. More information on this to follow…..

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