Ancient Oaks at Epping Forest

Ultra wide angle shot for a bit of creative photography


Posted in Abstract, Ancient, Ancient Tree, Botanical, Epping Forest, Essex, Fine Art Photography, Forest, Gnarly, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Nature, oak, Oak Tree, Photography, silhouette, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees, Winter, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Old Oak at Barn Hoppitt

A bit of research at Epping Forest this week, love this old oak at Barn Hoppitt.  You can actually crawl right through it underneath!


Posted in Ancient, Ancient Tree, Botanical, Epping Forest, Essex, Fine Art Photography, Forest, Hollow Tree, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Oak Tree, Photography, Roots, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Icelandic Troll


They say if you look at the landscape long enough in Iceland you will see a troll. Can you see one in my picture? He has a curly horn, big forehead, moustache, beard and his huge arm is resting on a boulder towards the front of the picture. Please tell me I’m not going mad!!


Posted in Environment, Fine Art Photography, Iceland, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Photography, Rock Formation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ice Cave

Inside a glacial ice cave. Taken whilst glacier hiking in Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland. A splash of creative colour added whilst editing.web-creative-ice-cave-marion-sidebottom

Posted in Abstract, Environment, Fine Art Photography, Iceland, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Natural Patterns, Nature, Photography, Sculpture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Against All Odds!

This lime tree in Norfolk is refusing to give up!


Posted in Ancient Tree, Botanical, Fine Art Photography, Gnarly, Norfolk, Photography, Tree Photography, Trees | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

500 Year Old Oriental Plane Tree

Web 72 -IMG_1472-Edit

This oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis)  is one of two located just outside the Renaissance gardens and arboretum of Trsteno in Croatia.  They are thought to be approximately 500 years old and have a colourful history including helping to save Dubrovnik from the Napoleonic army in 1806 due to a fallen limb which stalled his army for a few days.  Five trees were planted in the 16th Century but only 2 now survive which have grown to a great size. According to in 2013/2014 this one had a girth of 11.91metres and a height of 40.6 metres.  I made a special visit to this incredible tree whilst on holiday as I think it is a great tale of history and survival.  In the picture my sister is hugging the tree to show its great size!

Posted in Ancient, Croatia, Gnarly, Photography, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kew Greenhouse Puddle

This is an image I took of a puddle in the tropical greenhouse at Kew Gardens. I went there with my sister to see my images in the International Garden Photographer of the Year 9 (IGPOTY) Exhibition. This one has just got a Commended in the IGPOTY 10 Monochrome Photo Projects! A nice little story as it was taken on my way to IGPOTY 9, glad I didn’t leave my camera at home that day! Here is a link to all the winning images IGPOTY 10 Monochrome Photo Projects Winners

Web 72 -IMG_0068

Posted in Abstract, Black & White, Botanical, Fine Art Photography, IGPOTY, Kew Gardens, Marion Sidebottom, Marion's Eye, Monochrome, Natural Patterns, Parks & Gardens, Photography, Tropical Greenhouse | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chatsworth Park in the Peak District

Had a brief visit to Derbyshire last weekend and walked around Chatsworth Park which was designed by Capability Brown.  A stunning park landscape with beautiful vistas from Chatsworth House down to the River Derwent.

MS Chatsworth

River Derwent at Chatsworth Park

MS Chatsworth 2

View back up to Chatsworth House

MS Chatsworth 3

Not quite a Constable painting! (spot the dog walkers having a rest)

Posted in Capability Brown, Derbyshire, Fine Art Photography, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Marion Sidebottom, Marion's Eye, Parks & Gardens, Peak District, Photography, Trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Springhead Trust in Dorset

This is the Springhead Trust, a Rural and Sustainability Centre in Dorset where I was lucky enough to teach a photography course last week.

Web 72 -IMG_0368_69_70-Edit-Edit-Edit

Posted in Dorset, Environment, Fine Art Photography, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Marion's Eye, Morning, Nature, Photography, Photography Course, Springhead Trust, Sunrise, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reach for the Sky wins award in IGPOTY

Reach for the Sky

I am thrilled to say that I had two images placed in the International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition.  Both were in the ‘Greening the City’ category.  I was a finalist for one and highly commended for the other.

I took both images whilst walking around Brisbane during my summer holiday last year.

Here is a link to the Guardian Cities article  which shows all the IGPOTY images in the Greening the City category.

This is a link to the IGPOTY website which shows all of the competition winners.

Writtle College press release.

I had an amazing day at Kew Gardens which included a champagne reception for the launch of the exhibition.  Here I am in front of one of my prints.


I also bought a copy of the IGPOTY 9 book and have a 2 page spread, which I am very proud to be part of as my work is alongside some very talented photographers.



Posted in Australia, Botanical, Environment, Fine Art Photography, Marion's Eye, Photography, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

HDR Photography Course

I am running an introduction to HDR photography course at the Springhead Trust in Dorset on Thursday 25th February. Would love to see you there!

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.40.27

Link to Springhead website

Posted in Fine Art Photography, HDR, Landscape Photography, Marion's Eye, Photography, Springhead Trust, Teaching, Tree Photography, Trees, Wakehurst Yew | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Silver Birch in Suffolk

Web 72 -IMG_3154

Anyone heard of Pro Arb Magazine? I have some images and a quote in the Ancient Tree Forum’s January column in this magazine. This article is about a beautiful ancient Silver Birch tree which is possibly the oldest one in Suffolk.


For tree people, here is a link to the Ancient Tree Forum’s website and all of their interesting monthly column’s in this magazine.

Posted in Ancient, Ancient Tree, Botanical, Environment, Fine Art Photography, Forest, Gnarly, Landscape, Landscape Photography, Marion Sidebottom, Marion's Eye, Nature, Photography, Silver Birch, Suffolk, Tree Photographer, Tree Photography, Trees, Twisted | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


An unusually quiet moment on the Grand Canal in Venice.


Posted in Fine Art Photography, Gondola, Italy, Marion's Eye, Morning, Photography, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Physalis Fruit

This was created by photographing a physalis on a mirror with a 105 mm macro lens and a ring flash.  I then edited the image as usual i.e. contrast, clarity etc. and whitened the background.  I desaturated the leaves and then added a texture layer with reduced opacity in the middle to keep the fruit looking real.

Web 72 -IMG_9265-Edit-2-Edit-2-Edit

I’m enjoying the idea of creating art from my photographs, both digitally and by using mixed media techniques.

Posted in Botanical, Digital Art, Fine Art Photography, Fruit, Marion's Eye, Mixed Media, Photography, Seeds | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anthotype Experiment Using Pomegranate

Anthotype is an alternative photography process using the light sensitive qualities of plants (including fruits, vegetables, leaves, flowers, roots etc) to make a photographic image without using chemicals.  It is done by making an emulsion from plant material and using this to coat paper several times to create more depth of colour, remembering to dry between each coat.  Then either a photo transparency or flat item such as leaves are placed on the paper to block out the light.  This is then placed in a contact frame or simple clip frame and left in the sun for hours, days or weeks to let the bleaching action of the sun do its work.  The process is dependent on many different factors such as:

  • Light sensitivity of the plant material
  • How the emulsion is made
  • Quality of UV light
  • Type of paper used

Making the Emulsion from a Pomegranate


I removed the seeds from the pomegranate and crushed them using a pestle and mortar. I then sieved the crushed seeds and juice over a bowl and used the back of a spoon to release even more juice from the seeds and also to remove any solid material from the mixture.




A wide range of colours were created from just one pomegranate

I painted the pomegranate emulsion on to various types of paper – Indian rag, watercolour, cartridge and some paper that I made this summer purely from wild flowers. The greeny-blues & greys were made by adding bicarbonate of soda to the emulsion. It made a nice fizz as the acid from the pink pomegranate emulsion mixed with the alkali of the bicarbonate of soda when it changed colour. Once I had done my test strips I then coated A5 and A4 sheets of paper three times with the emulsion to get more depth of colour and drying between each coat. I used a hairdryer to speed up the process.

I processed some of my photographs in Lightroom to make them much more contrasty i.e. blacker blacks and brighter whites. The transparency needs to be black in order for it to block out the UV light. I then printed them onto printer transparency film (acetate) using an inkjet printer. These were placed over the pomegranate coated papers (along with some leaves) and placed in clip frames to dry.


Anthotypes set up ready to go, now where has that UV light gone?  Hold on I’m in the UK in Winter, this could be tricky!



Here are some of the clip frames on my attic room window.  They were stuck on with gaffer tape but still kept falling off.  The solution to this is to just stick it on the window without the frame!  I also used a piece of sticky tape to hold the paper and acetate together so that I could check the  progress from time to time.  Of course a contact frame or clip frame still needs to be used for the leaves or light will seep through underneath them.  Ok, so the anthotypes are ready to go.  I just need a few days/weeks of good UV light. The UK is not renowned for its bright sunshine in Winter, this could be tricky!

Results of My First Anthotypes Using a Pomegranate.

I left my Anthotypes on the window for just 11 days.  With the limitations of the British Winter sun (it is completely overcast and grey outside as I write this) I should have left them for longer.  However I did get some very interesting results despite the British weather!

Hover over an image with your cursor to read the text or click on the image to see it full size.

I have put some of these Anthotypes back in the window to see if they will bleach some more. Next time I will try this when the weather is better and research more UV reactive plant materials.

I love the mix of art and science for the Anthotype process.  I am always looking for new ways to mix my photographs with mixed media.

Overall I think this was a success but it is just one experiment in a whole world of possibilities of Anthotypes.

Useful links

Alternative – link to more detailed instructions on how to make anthotypes

Hortus Lucas – Nettie Edwards, artist and mobile photographer who inspired me to try the process


Posted in Alternative Photography, Anthotype, Handmade Paper, Mixed Media, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment