Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Past makes the present enjoyable

While we have no regrets at all moving to Shetland I was just building a sound photography business in Sheffield. I started just at the wrong time with the recession at its peak but having been made redundant and finding another job hard to come by, this was the best move and a dream job. I diversified as much as possible moving into school and nursery photography, up the number of illustrated talks to over 40 which were much in demand from various RSPB , wildlife, Probus, WI, church and various other groups.

                                                                                                        Busta House

During my last full year I was delivering over 45 talks a year, since 2006 my 1:1 and small course practical photography Training courses had become well known around the country with people travelling from Scotland, Devon, Norfolk, Liverpool and many other places.

                                                                                                      Muckle Roe

The pleasing thing was that I was having a lot of repeat business, always a good sign that what I was doing was well received. Having a training background, it was good to continue to build on this and as well as practical photography training, i was asked to deliver courses for the Forestry Commission and Sheffield adult Education, this has continued with courses for Shetland Adult Education.

It's good to find out that four of the people that came on last years courses have enrolled on more courses this year, I really enjoy passing on my photography knowledge and being kept on my toes with a variety of questions.

Although I no longer run the main part of the photography business I still do talks and the training, but it does give me an incentive to get out as much as possible- if ever that was needed in Shetland.

Photography opportunities are endless in Shetland and it's worth getting out in all weathers. I really look forward to the dark nights when there is a possibility of seeing and photographing a aurora or the milky way- that is when the wind is light and no cloud in the sky (

I have recently given talks on Winter Birds, Seabirds and wading birds and have received a lot of good comments, i really like the fact that most people enjoy looking at wildlife in Shetland and seem to have a good knowledge. For me wildlife has kept my sense of wonder alive - not lost in the past with most of the people i came across in Sheffield.

Living in Shetland and a closeness to nature can only be beneficial, Diane's blood pressure has dropped to a good level since we move to Shetland after years of high blood pressure in Sheffield. The stress of living in a city is far behind us now, its even a pleasure driving in Shetland with very little traffic, good roads with no potholes.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


It's been awhile since my last blog, all down to going back to Sheffield for a break, i will not say a holiday as we consider we are on holiday every day in Shetland.

It seemed odd that we only had to travel for 20 mins until we hit the port in Lerwick. We got stopped just after getting our tickets as security wanted to check whether we had any illegals in the back of the car. We quickly pointed out, why would anyone want to leave Shetland permanently !

                                                                             Looking towards Queens Hotel in Lerwick

The crossing was calm and as we entered Aberdeen we found it was fog bound. It wasn't long until we hit our first traffic jam just before the main road. I can understand why some Shetland folk don't want to drive on the Scottish mainland, after all there are traffic jams, lots of traffic lights, pothole, air pollution, roundabouts and people cutting you up + roadworks- its much better being on the Shetland roads.

After stopping in busy Jedburgh we continued past Newcastle down the A1 then the M1 into more roadworks where they are creating smart motorways - one without cars we don't think so ! Only held up by two crashes so it took around 8 hours including breaks before arriving at Diane's sisters.

We had to create a timetable of who we were visiting when, careful not to miss anyone out. That meant two visits per day in the afternoon and evening, but one full day down in Shrewsbury and a day shopping.

                                                                                                    Last cruise ship for 2015

In between I managed to give a talk `A year in Shetland' to a group of over 30 people, everyone seem to enjoy it and i was asked to do another on our next visit.

We did manage to get to one Sheffield Wednesday match which they lost 1-3 to Middlesboro, no change there then. It was good to see the new ground improvements and scoreboard. With the amount of money they have spent on the team I hope we see some improvement fast.

The journey back was ok , with no held ups. However the ferry trip proved rough with a Force 7-8, so we had to retire to our cabin early

While it was good to see everyone we are glad to be back in Shetland, one thing this visit to Sheffield did was to reaffirm that we made the right decision to move to Shetland 17 months ago.

                                                                                               Family in Shrewsbury

Quickly we settled back into a Shetland routine, with plenty of music throughout this last week. Ness accordion & Fiddle group, Shetland Fiddlers, and the Asta music group. Thursday proved very good for aurora activity (

I start delivering photography courses for Shetland Adult Education very soon. Just a couple of places left on `Know your own camera' which starts on the 21 September 2015  (6 weeks) 9.30-12.30   phone 01595 743888 as soon as possible.

If you are interested in intermediate photography courses then the first of these starts on Monday 9 November (6 weeks) 9.30-12.30 - Outdoor portraits, Seascapes, Still life, Birds in Flight, Low Light, Night Sky