Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes


I came late to digital photography buying my first digital camera in 2004: a Fuji S304. Previous to that I owned a Praktika film SLR which I mainly used for family photographs when we were on holiday. Digital opened up a new world to me. It allowed me to to experiment with different styles and techniques in photography and in doing so I had to teach myself Photoshop as well.

I still have the S304 and many of the early photographs that I shot with it. So come with me on a journey round the world and hopefully look at the way my photography has improved through the years.

2006, Florida. When I look at it now I see a great sunset but the photograph itself is pretty boring. No foreground interest. Just a flat sea and then the sky. I suppose I did get the “Rule of Thirds” partly right.

Here we are in Hong Kong. It’s 2007 and my first trip to that wonderful location.

This is probably one of the most photographed scenes in Hong Kong. Beautiful view from the peak on Hong Kong island right across the bay to Kowloon. So why did I cut the lower part of the buildings in the foreground to show so much sky? I suppose the answer is I’m still taking holiday snaps.

Quite often with my job I would find find myself outside of the UK visiting a customers site to provide training. Not as exotic as it sounds because very often it was a case of flying in, deliver the training and fly out again two or three days later. In 2008 I found myself in Cape Town, South Africa, for a very short visit.

I was really starting to experiment now, trying different angles, photographing unusual subjects. In reality this bronze statue of Nelson Mandela is no taller than me. If I had photographed it at head height I would have included many of the yachts moored in the marina and some of Table Mountain as a background.

Step forward to 2009 and Perth. Western Australia. Well just outside at Yanchep National Park.

Early morning sun casts long shadows across the lawns. The blue boats add a splash of colour and combined with the path lead you through the photograph. I like this one, I can see that my technique is improving.

On the night of 5 June 1944, just before the D-Day invasion, a gliderborne unit of the British 6th Airborne Division, commanded by Major John Howard, was to land and capture the Bénouville Bridge and the nearby Ranville Bridge over the river Orne in occupied France. The bridges were to be held intact until relieved. The successful taking of the bridges played an important role in limiting the effectiveness of a German counter-attack in the days and weeks following the invasion.

Personally, I don’t particularly like this photograph. Let’s move on…

2011 finds me living in North Wales and retired, which means I can now devote more time to photography. Inspired by the beautiful landscape of the Snowdonia National Park and the many historic and ancient churches that dot the landscape, it’s here that I have found my forte.

The bridge leads to Llyn Idwal, a mountain lake in the National Park. I’m now starting to include foreground interest in my photographs.

Gloucester Cathedral on a dark winters morning towards the end of 2012. By shooting on the corner of the building I’ve included foreground interest, but hopefully you will be drawn  by the passages to both right and left of the centre column.

One of the advantages of living where I do is that I can be in the National Park during the day and then come home to the coast for sunsets. It’s the best of both worlds.

Back in the National Park, it’s early spring, 2013. There’s foreground interest from the National Trust sign and leading lines in the pathway which takes us towards the mountains in the background. Personally, I think there’s no comparison between Florida sunset and this landscape. My photography has improved but there’s still room for improvement. There will always be challenges, otherwise it would become boring and eventually I would give up.

Talking of challenges, I’m working on a new one to photograph the Milky Way at night. But I need clear skies, open spaces and little or no light pollution. The National Park would be ideal or perhaps the Denbigh moors. I just have to wait for the weather to clear, the “supermoon” to finally go dark and then sum up the courage to be out in the middle of the night in a lonely and desolated spot.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs and a sort of quick tour of some of the places I have visited through the years.

28 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

  1. Tina Schell June 23, 2013 / 17:23

    Well done Mike. Love the boats and the cathedral shots especially.

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    • Mike Hardisty June 24, 2013 / 08:54

      Hi Tina, the boats one has been used by a well known, in the UK at least, travel company as part of a gallery of photographs about Australia. The cathedral is one of my favourites but I want to go back with my WA lens and repeat that series some time.

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  2. SimplySage June 23, 2013 / 19:34

    Very nice. Love the cathedral. Incredible!

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  3. Heather June 23, 2013 / 19:48

    Sooo beautiful! The bridge and cathedral shots are amazing!

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  4. Vicky June 23, 2013 / 20:47

    Great shots, my favourite is the coast with the breakwater.
    I love the sense of freedom I always feel when I visit the coast, you’ve portrayed so well in that image.🙂

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    • Mike Hardisty June 24, 2013 / 09:01

      Hello Vicky, we are very lucky to have miles of coast with wide sandy beaches and sand dunes when the tide goes out.

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  5. serif and spice June 23, 2013 / 20:57

    The Gloucester Cathedral photo is breath taking. Thanks for sharing your great photos!

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  6. Laurie June 23, 2013 / 22:01

    You’ve got some great shots here. I love the boats and also the beach shot.

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    • Mike Hardisty June 24, 2013 / 09:08

      Thanks for commenting Laurie, I like the boats but the cathedral is probably my favourite..

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  7. Andrew June 24, 2013 / 02:24

    A very compelling series. The progress is clear and enviable. You live in a glorious area and certainly make the most of it. However Gloucester Cathedral gets my vote from these.

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    • Mike Hardisty June 24, 2013 / 09:09

      Definitely my choice as well Andrew. I’m hoping to get back to the cathedral later thisbyearvwith my wide angle lens.

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  8. petspeopleandlife June 24, 2013 / 03:47

    A very nice and interesting progression of photographs. Even though you claim to be not that good in 2006, I can see that you have always had the talent for photography. It is just that after retirement you have the time to put heart and soul into your photographs. The sky at the beginning is gorgeous even though there is only skly and water. I like the bridge in the park with the hills or mountians (not sure what to call them) and also the cathedral. I suppose that I will never tire of the churches and cathederals.

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    • Mike Hardisty June 24, 2013 / 09:16

      Hi Yvonne…..thank you. The bridge crosses a small river which drains off from a mountain lake further up the hillside. At this point it only low hills but behind where I’m standing to take the photograph is mountains. The last photograph in the series was taken just after crossing the bridge and you can see the mountains clearly. This part of the national park is quite dangerous in winter. It’s easily accessible from the main road so it attracts lots of visitors, many of whom are not equipped for walking in the mountains. Each year we hear of people having to be rescued. And yet it is a beautiful spot, even in the winter when the snow falls.

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  9. Patti Kuche June 24, 2013 / 22:55

    What a stunning series Mike and I love your stories, and images, of the shoulda, woulda, could haves. The cathedral and the beach shots are so dreamy!

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    • Mike Hardisty June 25, 2013 / 18:15

      Hi Patti, it’s been a while since I did a series of photographs in a blog. This weeks subject just seemed right for that,,

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  10. Lynne Ayers June 26, 2013 / 18:26

    So interesting to see the progression – the cathedral and beach shots stopped me – so very nice.

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    • Mike Hardisty June 26, 2013 / 21:19

      It was good for me to see how I’ve progressed Lynne.

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      • Lynne Ayers June 26, 2013 / 22:58

        It’s a good idea to take stock once in awhile.

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  11. janalinesmalman June 27, 2013 / 14:53

    Lovely! Its great to live so close to such scenic places!

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    • Mike Hardisty June 29, 2013 / 00:23

      North Wales is so scenic all,year round. I am lucky and I know it..

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  12. David Forward June 27, 2013 / 19:50

    Enjoyed the Journey through your photos.

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