#479 – Millscapes exhibition preparation

A few of the prints I’ll be mounting and framing this weekend and over the next week…..

So there’s a couple of weeks to go before I set up the Millscapes exhibition at Saddleworth Museum, and I thought I’d do a post on the preparation.

Unlike my previous exhibitions, this one contains photographs from just two sites – Bailey Mill and Wellington Mill. This has given me some different challenges to previous exhibitions:

1) the body of work to choose from is signicantly smaller

2) the photographs I have to choose from are not my best work, and were taken early on in my photographic journey, so from a technical and aesthetic viewpoint are notes good as my more recent work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as proud of them as any other photos, and there are a number of images from Bailey Mill that are in my portfolio, but I’ve yet to photograph anywhere and got 20 or more winners out of the shoot.

But, I realise that I’m being selfish here –  this exhibition is more about the mills than massaging my ego and showing my best work, and I’m happy to have the chance to exhibit in such a great little gallery. A few months back I visited the gallery to measure up and take a few pictures to help me plan my layout and so I could visualise how my exhibition would look.

I realised that with the space available, and the number of frames I have (20), then I’d need to do something a bit different to my previous exhibitions. I found that my local  Hobbycraft sells large 60x80cm frames, that while they don’t match my existing frames, are far cheaper than the equivalent custom made frames. So I invested in four of these, and bought some very large mount board from my local framers as I can cut my own mounts. 

The Saddleworth Museum gallery – I’ve got to fill this!

Two of the 60x80cm frames

What I can’t do is print bigger than A3, so I had to order enlargements from Photobox when they had a decent offer on (they’re a bit pricey otherwise!). The camera I was using in 2007 was a 6 megapixel Nikon D70 so the file size by today’s standards is somewhat small. I enlarged these using the Benvista Photozoom software that I’ve had for a few years and the results are pretty good – not as good as the 15×12 prints off my printer which are at the native resolution, but certainly acceptable.  I’m working on the basis  that viewing distance for larger prints is supposedly greater, although I’m sure there will be some visitors who will want to view them from a nose length away!

To complement my own images, the Museum have generously allowed me to use some historic images from their archive. These are of a variety of sizes and resolutions so I’m going to keep these away from the really big frames.


#478 – My next exhibition – ‘Millscapes’ at Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery

Saddleworth Millscapes Poster FINAL lo-res

I’m excited to announce that my next exhibition is at the lovely Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery, opening on the 11th November and running until the 4th December. Unlike my previous exhibitions, this exhibition will be a display of the photographs I took of two Saddleworth mills – Bailey and Wellington – in 2007. Wellington was demolished in 2010 and Bailey burned down in 2016, so this is a last look at what I found in the mills.

I have also been given the privilege of exhibiting a number of historic images of the mills from the Museums archives, these provide a fascinating background and show the changes to the local landscape over the last century.

More details to come!


#477 – Reduced price copies of The View From The North 2007-2017 book!


OK, so I’ve bought a few copies of The View From The North 2007-2017 book for sale at my talks, so it makes sense to try and peddle it here as well. If you buy it direct from Blurb it’ll cost £26 (plus 7 quid P&P) but I bought these during a discount offer so I’ve priced them at a nice round £20 (plus 5 quid P&P – it’s quite heavy). Interested? You can review (or purchase) the full book at Blurb here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7944325-view-from-the-north-10-year-192-page

The reduced price copies are for sale on my Selz site here:

#473 – Derelict Ship at Glasson Dock 2

In the past, Glasson Dock has been used for ship breaking (and building) occasionally, so it may well be that Merger meets her end where she now lies.

I visited primarily to try out an ND filter, but found that the tide didn’t rise high enough for me to get the pictures I’d envisioned, but at least it’s not too far away for a reshoot the next time a higher tide is forecast.

#472 – Derelict Ship at Glasson Dock 1


I know nothing of this little ship, other than it used to be a dredger based at Glasson Dock. Named ‘Merger’,  internet pictures show it with an excavator positioned near the bow, presumably for clearing the channels of the Lune for the coastal shipping that uses this small Lancashire Port.


It looks like its service has now ended and the ship has been beached just to the west of the port, away from the quay used by the large coasters that are too big to enter the basin.


I don’t know how long she’s been beached, quite a while judging by the condition.


#467 – Return to Grove Rake 2


Something I found on the photographs from last time was that they suffered from the lack of dynamic range of the sensor in my Nikon D70. I did bracket many of the images but not all, and consequently, some of the images were technically lacking, but I like to think I captured the spirit of the place. Since moving to a full frame camera in 2009 I’ve had fewer problems with dynamic range, and now that I’m using a Nikon D810, the problems are even less, especially at lower ISO’s, and I slightly regret not revisiting earlier when the site was more intact.



Taken from a broadly similar viewpoint as last time, you can see how much has changed on this picture.


Scrap. Surprised the traveling community haven’t relocated this.


A small moat is forming round the head frame.



Taken from a broadly similar viewpoint as this from last time, albeit much later in the day, on the way home.

There’s some nice old photos of the mine on aditnow.co.uk here.

Shadows of the North Book – last few copies / free PDF sample

Having sold quite a few of my books recently at my talks and online, I’m down to the last few copies of my self-published book, and I’m considering my options for a reprint.

The safe option is to go back to Blurb, but good though they are, they are ridiculously expensive and I only ever buy off them if I have a discount code. I was fortunate to buy my first batch with a 40% discount code but I’m still barely breaking even on the books so as to keep them at a reasonable price.DSCF2368

The other option is to go to a commercial printers, but I’d need to create a print-ready PDF and I don’t have the capability to do that currently. So I’ll probably go with Blurb again, but the price will be higher than the current £12.99, so if you’d like a copy order one soon!

I have a free pdf sample available for download here:


Book can be bought from my website here: