New Forest Day Trip

Ok please don’t laugh but I’ve lived in Hampshire all of my life, but this is the first time I can remember taking a day trip to the New Forest. Might have gone as a kid but can’t recall seeing wild horses just walking around the open countryside.

Wild Horses
Wild Horses

The New Forest is located just off the M27 in Hampshire, so easy to get to and once you are there it’s like stepping back into the wild, with just a short walk into the open green lands or into the trees and lakes.

Green Trees
Clear skies

The roads which lead you to the New Forest have a maximum speed limit of 40Mph, which has been put into place to safeguard the wild horses and cattle. Trust me this place is so lovely you wouldn’t want to rush through it anyway, so driving at low speed and going for long walks is the best way to capture and take in all beauty of the New Forest.


This may have been this first trip I can remember, but after seeing these lovely horses just grazing on the open grassland this trip won’t be my last.

Wild Deer

There is also a deer sanctuary at Bolderwood within the New Forest, which is a great place to watch these lovely animals without them just running away. There is even a very nice ice cream van parked up in the car park so well worth a visit. Car Parking within the New Forest is also FREE so makes this a great day out if your on a tight budget

Week in the Lake District

As keen photographers my wife and I finally managed to get away to the Lake District for a week back in May, we had never been to the Lake’s before so we truly didn’t what to expect. We had seen pictures and friends had told us how lovely this part of Britain is, but nothing compared to what we saw whilst away.

We had snow, we had light rain, we had heavy rain and we had lovely sunshine all in one week. But this mixture of weather just made our week away even more special, as the landscapes and the lakes are truly breathtaking and the weather just brought out the best opportunities for taking photos.

Its Snowing
Look, Bailey, it’s Snowing

With this being our first ever trip to the Lake District, we didn’t fully focus on our photography. It was more based on just taking in the lovely views and having a great time away with our dog, who I don’t think enjoyed the snow too much lol!!!

Heavy Snow on the Hills
Heavy Snow on the Hills

The skies in the evening were breathtaking due to the weather condition, cloudy one minute then clear the next, this allowed me to capture the below image one evening at around 10.30pm whilst my wife and dog stayed in the warm curled up watching TV. I had the best viewing that evening 😉

View over Lake Windermere
View over Lake Windermere

The Lake District is truly a lovely part of Britain and well worth a visit, not just for photographers but anyone who just needs a break away from their everyday life. The air is clear and clean, the walks around the lakes and valleys are truly special and the sheep are funny, as they just walk around everywhere in the road one minute the climbing over walls the next.


If you are into photography and love your landscapes and waterfalls, then the Lake District is defiantly a place you need to visit at some point in your life, my wife and I are already planning our second trip back in September.

Just one of the hidden waterfalls at Aira Force
Just one of the hidden waterfalls at Aira Force

But this time we will truly be focusing more on our photography so up early and to bed late, because who wouldn’t love to capture this truly amazing place from dawn till dusk




Finally up and running on Facebook

It’s been a long time coming, but you can now also follow JustGreatShots on Facebook.

If you already following us, then you will already know that we are photographers who hope you like what you see, and learn from what we post.

2015 was the begining for JustGreatShots, so it’s been little slow getting things off the ground. But we are now hoping to update and publish more to both our main site and through Facebook.

If you like what you see then join us in 2016 for what we hope is going to be a great year for learning more and more about photography.





Increasing that ISO range

Ok, January / February’s weather in the Uk can be very hit and miss, with anything from heavy rain, high winds and sometimes even snow. Well, this year so far has been different from previous years apart from one thing, and that’s me trying my hardest to get out more with my camera.

So with camera kit all packed and strong winds forecast to be hitting the UK, I headed off down to Hayling Island to try and capture the waves hitting the beach front. However, instead, I found myself taking photographs of something I’ve never tried until now, that something was kite and windsurfing.

Play Time
90mm, ISO 800, 1/8000 sec at f/7.1

Trying to capture these guys crashing through the waves was great fun. I found myself learning more and more about increasing ISO settings to therefore increasing shutter speeds. By increasing the ISO, you also start to increase digital noise, but where the sky is overcast and grey this isn’t an issue.

Surfing the Waves
90mm, ISO 500, 1/6400 sec at f/9.0

Both of the above images as you can see, where both taken with a low ISO rating. However for someone who normally just uses ISO 64 – 100 this for me was a learning curve, and I started to put into practice what I’ve learned about the exposure triangle.

Up And Away -320
200mm, ISO 1000, 1/8000 sec at f/9.0

The remaining part of the day saw me starting to play with ISO settings up into the 1000+ range, trying to capture that sharp action shot.

Standing Strong
78mm, ISO 800, 1/8000 sec at f/7.1

Before heading off home for a nice hot drink, and an evening of photo editing to see what I had managed to capture.

I will be going back and trying these style of photography again due to being great fun and it really helps me learn more.


Still Thinking about going Pro

As an amateur photographer at what point do you start thinking to yourself could I quit my day to day job and make a living out of taking photos and going Pro?, and if I did would I still enjoy it and could I cover the bills I need to pay!

Well as an amateur photographer learning more and more with every photo I take, these are the questions I ask myself on a daily bases.

(Q) if it went Pro and tried to make a living out of taking photos would I make it..?

(A) At this moment in time, I don’t think so..!

(Q) What if I didn’t make it, how would I cover my day to day bills..?

(A) I could loss everything..!

Only a couple of questions I know, but these are the two biggest questions that I think stop most amateur photographers taking that next step to going Pro. I for one look at Pro Photographers photos and say to myself I don’t think so, and there is no way I could ever take a photo that looks that amazing. But here is the true question, at what point do you stop asking yourself these two question and go from being an amateur photographer to becoming a Pro?




Shooting after Dark

So with the dark winter evenings upon us, trying to capture landscape photography can be fun when it comes to looking through that viewfinder or seeing details on your screen display due to the sky being dark and overcast this time of year. With the lack of light in the mornings or after 4pm in the evenings (UK time) you ask yourself why not just stay indoors with my camera and wait for spring.

Well here’s why!

Heath Lake after Dark
Heath Lake after Dark

I for one am still new to photography and after seeing other peoples images of Nightscape photography, I decided to get out during the evenings and try-out taking photos in the dark. The above image was taken between the hours of the only 7pm – 8pm so not that late and using the Bulb setting on my Nikon D7000 took approximately 12 minutes to capture.

So was it easy? No without a torch I couldn’t see a bloody thing (so lesson one learned, always take a torch) looking across the lake all I could see where lights from the houses on the other side of the lake, the sky and the trees were just a dark outline. Looking through the viewfinder or on-screen display seemed to view and pick up even less than what my eyes had adjusted too, this made setting up the composition and depth of field great fun NOT!

However after finally setting up my camera to what I was hoping would look ok, I took to take my first shot, 5min exposure just came out pitch black so I increased to 10 minutes etc, and finally, I managed to capture the above image.

Next trip out saw me setting up my camera a little better, and taking my first shot using an exposure time starting at 20 minutes using an ISO setting of 100 with a f/14 – 16 stop, different location this time with cloud and skies not so good, but still happy with the final outcome in the end

ISO 100, f/16, 25min (bulb)
ISO 100, f/16, 25min (bulb)

So go on, get outside with your camera in the evenings. Yes, people will look at you as if you are strange, and yes getting the image you picture within your own head is not going to be easy. However what you learn and the skills you gain will pay off in the end





Battle of Britain FlyPast

This year saw the 75th commemoration of the Battle of Britain be remembered by a flypast of over 40 Spitfires and Hurricanes taking off from RAF Westhampnett, (better known these days as Goodwood Aerodrome) before heading off along the British coastline in all directions from West Sussex. This would be the first time since world war two that so many of these wonderful aircraft would be seen in the skies over Britain since the war.

Battle of Britain FlyPast
Battle of Britain FlyPast

The event would all see over 30,000 people turn up at Goodwood Aerodrome, and many thousands more heading towards hilltops and beach fronts to watch and participate in this memorable occasion, I for one wouldn’t have missed this event for all the tea in China. So many brave men and women lost their lives during World War Two depending this country, therefore it’s only right that the nation stop, line up and pay it’s respect to its nations fallen heroes

Take to the Skies
Take to the Skies

Spitfires and Hurricanes from all over the world were bought into Goodwood Aerodrome, under the watchful eye of the staff at Boultbee Flight Academy, to which a very big thank you is given for holding and hosting this amazing Battle of Britain 1940 Flypast 2015 event, Job Well Done

Ace is High
Ace is High

To the fallen Pilots of World War Two, We will never forget You.

Silverstone MotoGP 2015

This year has seen me purchase a new Suzuki GSX-R 750 and because of that, to my surprise, I received two complimentary tickets to this years British MotoGP at Silverstone Motor Circuit Circuit. What a result I thought, get to watch the MotoGP live once again at Silverstone and also get to try out my new TE-20E II 2x teleconverter and AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G Lens.

Saturday’s free practice saw bright sunshine so using my new TE-20E II at f/5.8 was easy, as the light aloud quick sharp shots whilst planning to be taken up close at 600mm due to teleconverter and crop factor on my Nikon D7000.

No: 25, Maverick Vinales
No: 25, Maverick Vinales

The Sunday, however, due to the grey skies and rain I decided to remove my TE-20E II teleconverter to allow my 70-200mm Lens to work at its full f/2.8 range, this did mean my zoom range drop to 300mm but at the same time increasing my F/Stops from f5/.8 to F2.8 and therefore allowing me to remaining capturing sharp images without having to increase my ISO to maintain the required shutter speed as these bikes go flying past at over 100Mph

Scott Redding
No:45, Scott Redding

Despite the weather on Sunday, this year MotoGP at Silverstone saw Valentino Rossi win his first ever British MotoGP race, and it also saw Danny Kent become the first British rider to win in a MotoGP class since the great Barry Sheen so all in all an amazing weekend

No:46, Valentino Rossi
No:46, Valentino Rossi

Big Well Done to No:52 Danny Kent

Winner Danny Kent
Winner NO:52 Danny Kent



Mercedes AMG Petronas on track at Goodwood Festival of Speed

For those F1 fans how visited this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed looking forward to seeing F1 cars and drivers, they where entertained by the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car and other F1 cars screaming up Goodwood hill


Me, I still love my MotoGP and the bikes, and as an ex-support engineer at Mclaren F1, I have to say these F1 cars look and sound amazing 😉




Jaguar on track at Goodwood Festival of Speed

This year’s Festival of Speed event at Goodwood also saw Jaguar offering the public a chance of a lifetime to feel amazed or sick, which one would depend on the person in question lol!!

Jaguar 360 burning Rubber
Jaguar 360 burning Rubber

Members of the public lined up at the Jaguar stand waiting for the chance to be taken for an amazing 360 and drift experience, which saw pro drivers amazing the public and showing how these cars can be driven. When driven by the right type of driver, and when driven in the right location (on a track, please don’t try this on the road)

Safety car, yeh right lol!!!
Safety car, yeh right lol!!!

Jaguar standard looked amazing, and the drifting and 360 experience went down a storm