A look back at our best images from 2023
The new year is just around the corner, so here's a review of our favourite pictures taken in 2023.
On the edge - a solitary walker is silhouetted against a rolling sea of clouds above Church Stretton. This shot was taken at sunset on a visit to Caer Caradoc in January, and the Long Mynd can be seen rising above the mist on the horizon.
I thought I had the landscape all to myself, but I was delighted when this figure walked into view and added a sense of scale to the picture.
What a sight - thousands of starlings swooping and diving in unison above fields near Market Drayton in February. The sound was incredible as they wheeled through the sky at sunset before settling down to roost for the night.
This was by far the biggest murmuration I have ever seen, and my picture shows only a few of the birds that filled the sky.
Unsurprisingly, my clothes, camera gear and car all needed a good clean when I got back home!
Pretty in pink - snow falls on a blossom-covered tree standing in the churchyard at Old St Chad’s, Shrewsbury.
In the distance are the spires of St Alkmund’s and St Mary’s, which are almost disappearing behind a curtain of white.
I took several pictures as I wandered around town with my camera in March, but this one was my favourite.
A frosty sunrise in the Redlake Valley, photographed on a bitterly cold day while I was standing on the ramparts of Shropshire's 'other' Caer Caradoc.
This picture also appears in the new photographic edition of AE Housman's A Shropshire Lad, which features my images.
I was delighted to finally get some pictures of Clun Valley in the snow earlier this year.
I was able to tick it off my to-do list while standing above the village of Newcastle on Clun in the evening sunshine.
I had photographed this particular view in other seasons, but never under a covering of white.
This was a brilliant end to a very cold day that saw me make my way up several hills - not an easy feat when your camera bag weighs two stone and the snow is a foot deep in places.
Hello spring - and here’s a lamb jumping for sheer joy in a field above Newcastle on Clun in May.
You never know what these youngsters might get up to, so you have to bide your time and just wait to see what happens. You learn to be very patient in this job!
Steaming through time - this was steam locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley as it pulled the Welsh Marches Express past Stokesay Castle in May.
I could hear its whistle before it reached Craven Arms, and that seemed to be the signal for the sun to come out from behind a big dark cloud.
Minutes later the train came into view and I watched with a huge grin on my face as it made its way past Stokesay - two icons in one picture!
Land of lost content - an ethereal view at sunrise, with the Onny Valley wreathed in layers of mist.
I was standing on Heath Mynd, near Bishop’s Castle, for this shot, and stretching across the middle of the picture is the mile-long avenue of oak trees leading to Linley Hall.
On the left is the southern end of the Long Mynd, with Nortoncamp Wood just beyond it, while Stoke Wood and Wart Hill can be seen to the right.
Yet another early start for me - the alarm went off at 4.15 that morning.
A red, green and gold morning on the Llangollen Canal, near Ellesmere, with narrowboats echoing the shades of autumn.
I’m always hoping to find brightly coloured boats moored along the towpath because they are so photogenic, and it was a real bonus to come across this line-up last month.
This view of the Christmas lights in Broad Street, Ludlow, is the most recent picture in our review of 2023.
I got lots of strange looks from passers-by while I was kneeling on the pavement to get this festive scene reflected in a very large puddle. It was worth it, though!
My highlight of 2023 was this new edition of A Shropshire Lad, featuring my photographs. AE Housman’s lyrical English poem holds a fond place in many hearts, as I discovered while I was out taking the pictures.
Curious passers-by often stopped to ask what I was working on, and when I told them they would immediately start quoting Housman’s words back to me.
It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in this book, which was published in September by Merlin Unwin Books of Ludlow. It is on sale in bookshops across the county, and is also available via our shop.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, whether you have bought our calendars, books, cards or jigsaws, attended one of our talks, or just liked and commented on our social media posts. As a small family business, we really appreciate it!
Published by Shropshire and Beyond on
Sunshine and shadow on Cothercott Hill
Out on the trail of the Long Mynd ponies
New Bishop's Castle jigsaw now on sale
A step back into history along Grope Lane
Light and shadows in the Stretton Hills