Category: Photojournalism

Big Monday at the Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal 24 October, 2016

Surfers begin riding the first big waves of 2016 at Nazare

View my video of Big Monday at Nazare, Portugal here

I was lucky enough to guess right on the waves at the Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal to witness (and film and photograph) the first great wave day of the autumn 2016 season. It was Big Monday.

You can view the short film I made about Big Monday by using the link above. I will also be updating this post to show more of the material I have from Nazare and some links to where you can license it if required.

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RF Microstock analysis: Dreamstime.com

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This image of the M1 motorway taken originally as a weather picture for the UK national newspapers sold recently for US$0.25. But is there any meaningful revenue from Dreamstime with editorial RF Microstock images?

Continuing my adventures in RF Microstock, I signed up some weeks ago with Dreamstime.com and began uploading various stock images, including some recent reportage stuff from recent years and some stock images I took in the summer here in Portugal.

I’m now heading for over 400 files on their servers and it will continue to be interesting to monitor sales on the RF Micro license (especially on the RF Microstock Editorial). At the time of writing, I had sold four downloads and made the princely sum of US$1.29.

It is of course, early days and I am quite sure the sales will look quite different in a few month’s time.

One nice feature about Dreamstime is their simple upload and submission system. It is pretty easy to put a file for submission and you can achieve a reasonable workflow.

As most of the RF Microstock market since they appeared on the stock photo scene almost a decade ago is commercial, I am expecting that high-quality editorial images are likely to earn less and be more erratic than an image which falls into the category of being a commercial RF Micro image.

So far, this analysis seems to have been borne out. Though, I have sold two images from the same set and also with work that has rarely ever sold on the Rights Managed Editorial licenses. Three of the images were of Nicola Sturgeon, the current Scottish First Minister, who I photographed on several occasions in 2014 during the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The other was a weather picture originally shot on spec for submission to the UK newspapers of the M1 motorway. The first one I have – to my knowledge – sold from that set.

My reasoning on RF Microstock is that Rights Managed licenses have been heading south for some time and it is hard to make any money at all from an editorial collection.

I have about 400 images on Getty Creative and the sales in 2016 to September are disappointing, under US$200. If they are averaging out at US$0.50 per image/per year, then it is not a tempting prospect to supply.

It should be interesting to see what happens with RF Microstock Editorial stock images in the coming months, as much of the clients have driven down prices to micro levels, though it remains to be seen (for me at least), whether this is actually sustainable in terms of resulting sales.

Time will tell, as they say. I have a broad range of editorial stock images on Dreamstime and will be publishing more posts in the future to see if indeed it is a good earner or not?

Adventures in RF Microstock

In late August 2016, after many years of being highly-critical of Microstock sites, I decided to follow the old cliche of “if you can’t beat them, join them”. And so began my adventures in Microstock.

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How did I get here? Well for many years, I have edited an editorial stock image archive of my own work as a photojournalist and even used to shoot images especially for stock. Back in the days of slides and prints, I was doing pretty well. Then in the late 1990s, the digital era dawned, I began putting my slides and negatives into 35mm film scanners and learnt all about IPTC (now XMP) metadata.

The world looked exciting, but scanning was very slow and quite tedious to edit all the dust spots and scratches off the film. Nevertheless, more of my work was digitised and I had some success in the early days of Alamy – before falling subject to the machinations of a certain Alan Capel (Head of Content at Alamy – I’ll leave it to the reader to guess what nickname I gave him!), who I suspect may have been bullied at school. This situation was repeated some years ago, when he had my collection deleted (after years of tagging and just as I was making money on the site again). Thanks Alan Capel! What a great chap!

Naturally, this plunged an already struggling photojournalist into poverty. Compounded by the inroads microstock sites were making in the market. Rights Managed was getting very difficult to earn anything from and gradually, the license fees dropped and dropped.

Thus, the large Rights Managed collection with TopFoto.co.uk began earning less and less. It was a similar story with Rights Managed stock images I have with Photoshot (now Avalon Media Group Ltd). On top of all that, UK newspaper budgets were slashed over the years and now in 2016 remain quite pathetic, large newspapers like The Daily Telegraph paying just £25 for a live news image on their web site.

I now run a photo agency myself called Atlas Photo Archive, though it is not earning much revenue and I am near to closing it down. This is because UK newspapers (my main clients) quite often use a news image submitted on-spec, though through a variety of accounting tactics (though scams may be a more appropriate word), do not declare the use. I have had to suspend several picture desks from my news syndication list as a result of catching them red-handed. In particular the Daily Mail, who coughed up almost £2,000 in undeclared image licenses in the spring of 2016.

The excuse of their accountant in New York, Patricia Pohl, was that my agency credit was the wrong way around. That it should be: Atlas Photo Archive/Jonathan Mitchell, rather than Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive. The system is unable to pick it up on the self-billing otherwise, she told me.

Not having a lot of time to consider it at the time I complied, then realised recently, that this is, well, quite a large porky – as all other agencies with images published on Mailonline put their agency credit on the end like this: Andrew Parsons/i-images!

Needless to say, my subsequent ‘self-billing’ statements have not been encouraging and I suspect that the good old Daily Mail accounts department has slipped into it’s old, dodgy, fraudulent ways.

The accountants at UK national newspapers know full well that little agencies like Atlas Photo Archive cannot possibly monitor their entire print and web output. In my experience, unless you present them with a ‘sighting’ of the image used, their policy appears to be not to pay the contributor. I’m no lawyer, though it appears to me, to be tantamount to fraud.

Hence, the collateral damage from this kind of accounting policy has damn near put me out of business and has diminished my profits no end, due to spend many a tedious hour dealing with these accountants in [an often vain] attempt to get the money from images they’ve published actually paid. Gallingly, these awfully clever corporate accounts types probably get a bonus for these dubious practices as well!

So I decided to sign up on several RF Microstock sites, like Shutterstock, Bigstockphoto, Dreamstime and a few others. The results have been quite interesting.

Thus far I have about 340 images (many editorial) on Dreamstime and have sold just 4, earning US$1.29. Shutterstock have less than 70 images on their site (at the time of writing) and a set of images from a archaeological site in the Shetland Isles has been doing OK. I have made around US$9 with Shutterstock at the time of writing.

One problem is haphazard and sometimes unprofessional editing. Around two-thirds of the images I submit being bounced out, which is quite frustrating when you have spent several hours editing a submission for them.

I am now learning how to up the rate of acceptance, though it an unpredictable business. Sales seem quite steady on Shutterstock and I hope to add more work in the future and build it up as a good revenue stream. I also contribute HD video stock footage, though I have been doing this with various agencies since 2009 and find it does not sell very well.

I hope to write more about the RF Microstock industry in the future and where it can fit in with some photojournalist’s workflow and cash flow.

If you want to look at my 1080p HD stock video footage, then please visit my YouTube channel: AtlasHD



Portuguese folk dancing in Belem Lisbon Portugal

PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
Folk dancing in Lisbon Portugal
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal  -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon -- Jun 2014 -- Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — Jun 2014 — Hipstamatic iPhone image of Folk dancing and music in the park in Belem Lisbon Portugal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

The magic of photographing the Shetland Islands of Scotland

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

In 2011, I left my flat in Edinburgh and headed to the far north of Scotland to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles to cover the 2011 Tall Ships Race. I stayed in Lerwick several weeks and was also working on a feature for the Scots Magazine on the Neolithic culture of the islands.

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Sadly, my meagre budget did not allow for extensive travels and much of the work I shot there was subsequently lost. However, luckily, I had edited and backed up quite a lot of the select images and still have quite a nice portfolio.

UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head -- Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head — Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

The story I did on the Iron Age pub of sorts at Jarlshof got published (with a different byline) in The Daily Record and OK! magazine and has sold in one or two other places as stock. Not much else from my Shetland portfolio was published aside from news images from the 2011 Tall Ships Race (in The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman).

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Although by then my Canon 550D was incapable of long telephoto shots (and I lacked one anyway), I could shoot at around 300mm with a slight sensor crop and so I tried to get pictures of birds and other animals in their habitat.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Again, most of these have never been published. If you would like to use them in your project, then please contact me for details on how to license my images.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- 09 Aug 2011 -- Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland - watched closely by fulmars and great skuas -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — 09 Aug 2011 — Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland – watched closely by fulmars and great skuas — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

While the conditions can sometimes be harsh so far north and in the summer, the sun goes down about 3AM, I enjoyed working there and the combination of good light (sometimes!) and great subject matter made it a magical experience.

Great environmental portrait in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal

NEPAL Khumbu Glacier -- Dec 2005 -- Pemba Sherpa - the porter for my December 2005/2006 Everest Base Camp Trek on the pass at the snout of the Khumbu Glacier in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
NEPAL Khumbu Glacier — Dec 2005 — Pemba Sherpa – the porter for my December 2005/2006 Everest Base Camp Trek on the pass at the snout of the Khumbu Glacier in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I shot this environmental portrait with my trusty Voigtlander Bessa T and a 25mm f4 Skopar lens. Thanks to the subject, Pemba Sherpa, I managed to pull off a successful trek to strengthen a story on climate change in the Himalayas which I was shooting for Hollandse Hoogte Photo Agency.

Pemba is a great character of the Everest Himalaya of Nepal and I hope that this portrait does him some justice.

New 1990s reportage photojournalism stock images

UK London -- 31 Mar 1990 -- Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK London — 31 Mar 1990 — Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was quite active as a news agency photographer in the 1990s (for SIPA Press and Gamma and sometimes for AP, AFP and Reuters on a freelance basis) and recently found some time in 2014 to scan a lot of my old 35mm slides and negatives.

UK Over the English Channel -- Dec 1993 -- The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK Over the English Channel — Dec 1993 — The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I am currently editing some of this material into my archive and will be editing more in over 2015. My collection on 35mm is very diverse and covers Panama, Colombia and some other parts of central America from 1994-1998, Britain and Spain from 2000-2014, plus many great film images from the Everest Himalaya of Nepal (and also the 2006 revolution).

PANAMA Meteti -- Jul 1997 -- Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia -- Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Meteti — Jul 1997 — Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia — Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was based in Panama for four years and have quite a good collection on the pre-handover Panama Canal (including aerials) and of Colombia’s civil war spreading into the Darien Gap of Panama.

PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks -- 1995 -- Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks — 1995 — Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Back at home, I have many pagan-type festivals and a fairly good stock on British politics, youth culture and Britain itself in the early part of the 1990s and Britain from 1998-2014. Several of these have also been edited into my collection of late.

SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg -- 1991 -- FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference - the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party - largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg — 1991 — FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference – the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party – largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

All these images were scanned at 3600dpi on a Reflecta scanner (similar in quality to a Nikon Coolscan 4000) and are unsharpened as to allow for the full print quality that film can convey.

Everest mono project on the Sherpas being edited

NEPAL Kunde -- An elderly Sherpa woman makes her way into the village of Khumjung from neighbouring Khumjung in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
NEPAL Kunde — An elderly Sherpa woman makes her way into the village of Khumjung from neighbouring Khumjung in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

In the years 2005-2008, I spent quite a lot of time working in the Everest Himalaya of Nepal. Returning with a large portfolio of work on 10MP Nikon DSLR and also many on 35mm film and a couple of digital compacts.

I recently found some time to scan in many of the 35mm frames and have also been re-editing the digital captures as well. I hope to have finished this mammoth editing task in the coming months, mostly for a book project.

More Everest Himalaya climate change aerials of glaciers now available

NEPAL Ngozumpa Glacier -- 16 Apr 2005 -- Aerial view of the Ngozumpa Glacier in the Gokyo valley of the Khumbu Himalaya ( Everest region ). Glaciologists studying this glacier have concluded the glacier is 'dead' and in terminal decline due to increased temperatures from climate change -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
NEPAL Ngozumpa Glacier — 16 Apr 2005 — Aerial view of the Ngozumpa Glacier in the Gokyo valley of the Khumbu Himalaya ( Everest region ). Glaciologists studying this glacier have concluded the glacier is ‘dead’ and in terminal decline due to increased temperatures from climate change — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

In April 2005, in response to a story idea for Hollandse Hoogte Photo Agency, I flew for three hours over the Everest Himalaya to photograph the large glaciers which litter the area to see how climate change was affecting them. I shot some on a high-quality 6MP sensor and others on fine-grained 35mm film. I recently found some time to scan in these remaining film frames and most of them have now been edited into the colleciton – though several still sit in the queue (as is the case with other work shot on 35mm film in the Everest region during my year up there in the late 2000s).

Most of these images are scanned on a high-quality 3600dpi scanner and are free of dust and blemishes. For more information on my extensive film and digital archive stretching back to 1990, please visit the stock image archive page.

XXL Waves at Nazare Portugal

I spent most of January 2015 in Nazare, Portugal to photograph the large XXL wave phenomena which is apparent in the winter months.

The results (even when the sea was calm) were pretty good and it is a location I hope to return to in the future.

I’ve posted some of the images here, though there are many other select images from these shoots which are outstanding, especially of the XXL waves that came in mid to late January (though without surfers, they are nevertheless very dramatic images). Please contact me if you would like to use any in your projects (all the images are Rights Managed).

Nazare Lighthouse XXL waves Portugal
Large waves at Nazare Lighthouse Portugal – Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
XL wave at Nazare Lighthouse Portugal 2015
XL wave at Nazare Lighthouse Portugal 2015 – Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
Nazare Lighthouse Portugal 2015
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A011
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A010
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A009
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A008
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
Nazare Lighthouse Sunset Portugal 2015
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
XXL Big Waves Nazare Lighthouse Portugal 2015
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — An XL wave crashes in to the shore on the Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal. Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A005
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
A-Nazare-Farol-A006
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare -- 04 Jan 2015 -- Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it's own right -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare -- 04 Jan 2015 -- Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it's own right -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare — 04 Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare -- Jan 2015 -- Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it's own right -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Nazare — Jan 2015 — Since professional surfers began breaking records in 2011, the Farol da Nazare (Nazare lighthouse) situated on the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo (St Michael Archangel Fort) near Sitio has become a tourist attraction in it’s own right — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Highland landscapes in the southern Cairngorms of Scotland

SCOTLAND Near Pitlochry -- 05 May 2014 -- View from the summit of the 841 metre peak of Ben Vrackie near Pitlochry in the Highlands of Scotland provides spectactular views of the surrounding hills and peaks -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
SCOTLAND Near Pitlochry — 05 May 2014 — View from the summit of the 841 metre peak of Ben Vrackie near Pitlochry in the Highlands of Scotland provides spectacular views of the surrounding hills and peaks — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I often think landscape photography is a little like a writer writing poetry. Most landscapes have no commercial or editorial value and especially so if they are black & white.

Though, I never stop shooting landscapes, if only as a personal memento of my extensive travels. This image is part of a great portfolio of landscapes I took recently while climbing up Ben Vrackie in the Scottish Highlands for a post on a travel guide blog I now edit.

Scotland’s landscape, like much of the northern latitudes of the British Isles, is magic to photograph (if you know what you are doing) and I am thinking about putting these landscapes into a limited-edition coffee table book at some stage in the coming years.

Landscapes reveal themselves to the photographer and have a mystical quality when the picture magically comes together. Much like the combination of words that make up a poem. While I can probably write passable poems, I prefer to do make one with my eye and I hope, if you see this blog post, that you connect with that as I do when I see it and click the shutter.

In the 19th Century, many Victorians saw something in the Scottish landscape which connected them with the divine and this movement was labelled ‘the Sublime’. I don’t disagree…There is something about much of the Scottish landscape which is very much sublime in a way that is not immediately apparent, making it, I suppose, truly sublime. If I managed to capture just a hint of that, then I would say this photograph may have worked.