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My first flight of 2014 was on Sunday 19th January from Derby Airfield to shoot some aerial images of Derby, Nottingham and Grantham. After what seems like months of very wet weather the airfield was understandably wet and muddy but the Cessna 172 soon had us heading for the Pride Park area of Derby.
After a few minutes of shooting industrial buildings and the Derby Royal Hospital we headed off towards Nottingham, following the River Trent through East Midlands airspace. Unfortunately most of Nottingham was in the shade as we arrived so I didn't take many aerial photos at all by my standards. From here we headed East past Bingham, Whatton and Bottesford before arriving at Grantham where once again the sun was shining. After a few minutes shooting we headed back towards Derby shooting a few images of Ratcliffe on Soar power station on the way.
Arriving back at Derby, the sun was directly in our faces as we lined up on final to land and I was glad that all Pauls experience of instructing at Derby came into play with a perfect landing. A great end to a great flight
Wow, flying two days on the trot! Monday morning dawned still and a very chilly 0 degrees C and a little hazy so I decided to go up and shoot some more stock aerial images and a few atmospheric misty morning type shots.
The light over Southwell was beautiful when I arrived so the obligatory shots of Southwell Minster were taken. From here I headed towards the Trent and did a few of the villages of Fiskerton, Morton and Rolleston. Because of the very cold temperature, Staythorpe Power Station was shrouded in mist. Newark was by now completely clear so I took some of one of my favourite archaeological sites, The Queens Sconce. I also took some of Muskham Sconce and another English Civil War earthworks, Crankley Point. . From here more village shots followed of: Barnby in the Willows, Winthorpe and Coddington. By now the cold was starting to bite so it was back home for a cuppa.
Still no good flying weather so I've been attending to a few business things and getting out and meeting a few people and I'm pleased that today Feb 3rd, Newark and Sherwood Museums has confirmed that I will be supplying them with aerial photos for the new National Civil War Centre being built in Newark.
March saw me shooting stock images of the beautiful small town of Stamford in Lincolnshire with my mate Stephen who is CFI at Rutland Flying School.
While we had some nice weather (for a change) we went over to Kings Lynn in Norfolk which I had wanted to photograph for a while. I ended up shooting mainly industrial areas but did do a few stock shots of the town too.
A little later in the month I added yet another village to my Nottinghamshire Villages collection which now stands at over 120 different villages! This time it was Bestwood Village just to the North of Nottingham. As well as shooting the village I took some great aerial shots of the Beautifully restored/preserved Bestwood Colliery.
April has seen me undertaking a long term ground-based photography project which has meant I get even less chance to fly and take aerial photos. When I do get the chance now, I have to jump at it. I got the opportunity and good weather in the middle of the month and headed South West to photograph the Cities of Bristol and Bath. One of the icons of Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon and I took the opportunity to get stock aerial images of the bridge. To be honest I was a little surprised as I thought it would be bigger than it looked from the air. Whilst overhead Bristol, I also got some great aerial photos of Bristol City Football Club's Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol Rover's Memorial Stadiumand Gloucestershire County Cricket Club's County Ground where there was a match on between Gloucestershire and Hampshire.
From Bristol we headed East towards Bath and were soon over the disused Cadbury's Somerdale Factory. Despite the shadows on the ground from the building cloud the disused Victorian pump-house looked great.
A couple of minutes later we were over the beautiful city of Bath and its World famous Royal Crescent and the similar but not so famous Landsdown Crescent. With the River Avon flowing through it's centre and the Victorian stone architechture, Bath is a beautiful city and one I must visit soon, on the ground!
The early summer months have seen me adding a few more Nottinghamshire villages to my site including Clarborough and North and South Wheatley. I also had interest from an archaeologist interested in a site at Elmton near Cresswell in Derbyshire.
Early in July I had an accident which has left me with a badly damaged right hand with broken fingers and knuckle which means I can't even hold a camera let alone take photos or go flying except as a passenger. The doctors are saying I'm going to be out of action for at least 6 weeks. Typical as we have beautiful weather at the moment!
Well, the 6 weeks for my hand to mend turned into 12 following a few complications. I now have about 25% movement in my index finger and can at last hold and fire a camera. My first trip back into the air to shoot some aerial photos was in early October to shoot around Clay Cross and Matlock in Derbyshire. On take off from Netherthorpe I took the opportunity to add another village, Shireoaks to my Nottinghamshire villages collection. Once in the air we were joined by my mate Tom in his recently finished Zenair for a quick air to air photo shoot. Once we had the photos of Clay Cross I wanted we went over towards Matlock and the villages of Grangemill and Ible. On the way back to Netherthorpe I shot a few aerial photos of Poolsbrook and Woolley Moor near Chesterfield and the small town, or is it a large village of Clowne in Derbyshire?
Now into mid November and with very little decent flying weather, I decided I needed to get airborne and even though the visibility on the ground was very poor, once above cloud it was beautiful so I shot a little video and have now loaded a few 30 seconds clips here available to purchase and download. November may not have been good for flying but it was certainly and good month for buying! Thanks to all the lovely people who bought an aerial photo from me. Normally digital downloads are my most popular product but this month saw a huge shift to people buying large canvases. They bought mainly town and village 'scapes with the odd football ground thrown in. Presumably for Christmas presents?
The end of December saw a little snow across the middle of the country so I took the rare chance to shoot some aerials in the snow in the midlands!
I headed down to Belvoir Castle which I had never captured before with snow and I have to say it looked beautiful. On the way to Belvoir I passed Kelham Hall, Newark Castle and Bottesford airfield which is used for storing cars and Army lorries. These made for some great pattern shots. I shot these same Army lorries in the Summer and it makes a great comparison to see them with and without snow.
I'm hoping to be able to get airborne even more frequently and go further afield in 2015. Lets hope we all have a great New Year!