Blog

2021 Week 04

24/01/2021

Photographers Paradise! Heavy snow has fallen today (Sunday) and outside is a winter wonderland.
Photographers Nightmare! Sue and I have now completed self isolation, but the effects of Covid-19 linger on. Neither of us has any energy at the moment, so getting ot to do some photography is out of the question. Hopefully, restrictions will start to be eased in the not too distant future and we will be able to get to South Shropshire again. Can't wait to have a picnic again on Black Rhadley Hill.

2021 Week 03

22/01/2021

Freedom!! After 10 days self isolation Sue and I went out for a short walk today. Managed 1.53 miles, which felt more like 100. Snowdon summit feels so far away, but we will get there sometime this year.

2021 Week 3

19/01/2021

Well, it just had to happen! Just a few weeks before we should get the jab, both of us tested positive for Covid-19 and are self isolating for 10 days. It has affected us in different ways, but hopefully by Friday 22nd, we can get out into the fresh air again. We have now decided to stop lecturing at Camera Clubs, a very hard decision to take. Here is a letter we have written to The MCPF and The PAGB, hopefully they will print it.

A Long And Well Trod Road

I have read many articles by sports men and women who have all said that they knew when it was time to retire. In certain cases, this is just as relevant in anything we do.

We are Jon and Sue Baker, perhaps better known as “Four Feet From Telford.” I have been judging at Camera Clubs for just over 30 years now and can still remember my first faltering steps. I became a Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society in October 1988 and almost immediately, my phone was ringing with Clubs asking me to come and judge their competitions. “After all”, they said, “you are an FRPS so you must know what you are talking about” If only! So started my career in Club Judging and by late 2018, I had judged Club, Federation, National and International Competitions. The end came very swiftly. In June 2018, I had Radical Prostate Cancer surgery. Many things pass through your mind, but I stayed positive, wanting to carry on with my hobby. I judged a competition ~ Nature and Open ~ at a Camera Club and halfway through judging the Nature images, a photographer stood up and said that this was not being judged as a Nature Competition and basically I did not know what I was talking about. Pin’s could be heard dropping and no-one said anything to this person. A Mexican Stand Off ensued, but I can look after myself, so politely asked them to sit down. However, the damage was done; don’t know if it was too soon after my operation, but I just remember standing there thinking what on earth am I doing here and why am I bothering. Thirty years of trying to be objective and pass on as much information as I could was destroyed in a couple of minutes. This feeling never left me and I have not judged Club Competitions since.

Lecturing on the other hand, has been the joy of my life. I produced my first Mono talk in 1991 and have been very fortunate over the years to have been sponsored by The On-Line Paper Company. Owner Chris Burslem was always very positive about my work and this gave me great confidence. In the mid 90’s Sue had become much more confident in her photography and joined me on stage. Thus “Four Feet From Telford” was born.

We have enjoyed so much our travels around The UK, visiting nearly every Federation and doing tours in The Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Cumbria, The North East, Wales, South East and South West England. As proud Midlanders, it has been an honour to represent The MCPF, even as far as being interviewed on Austrian TV. I would have been quite happy to have carried on giving talks until my last breath, but as you get older life does become a series of compromises. Another DNA gift from my father was Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition. For a number of years now I have had to have DVLA eye tests and recently it has become obvious that I am struggling to see to drive at night. I cannot put anyone’s life at risk just to continue lecturing, so we have decided to call it a day. During the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of putting together Audio Visual Presentations of The Wrekin Salon and The Midland Salon. Photography and Rock Music, it doesn't get any better!

We shall miss it all dreadfully. We had some wonderful times on the road and met some really inspiring people. There is nothing quite like a winters night, in a warm, darkened room talking to like minded people about something we all enjoy doing. Doing a Zoom presentation is nothing like this, so now is the time for Sue and I to take a new road. We cannot possibly get round to see all the friends we have made, so please know that we remember you all. You never know, we may just turn up to one of your meetings. The cameras are still being used and we have our own website at www.jonandsuebaker.co.uk Please feel free to leave us a message there.

Take care, take good pictures and enjoy your hobby. All I have ever wanted to do was put something back into photography and hopefully, I have succeeded. The last 30 years have been an absolute blast and we would not have missed it for anything.

Jon Baker MFIAP, EFIAP/p.
Sue Baker EFIAP, BPE 3*

2021 Week 01

05/01/2021

Here we are, another lockdown. Not suprised when we saw the pictures of cars parked at Pen-y-Fan and Pen-y-Pass in Wales. Will these selfish people never learn.
Let's be positive ~ the mountains will be all the sweeter when we can get back to them in safety

The Wrekingallery is no more and the email address used in the past is now defunct. If you need to get in touch with us, use the contact page and we will send our new email address..

2020 Week 52

31/12/2020

I thought I would write a short review of 2020.
The year started so well. In January we stayed in Kinlochewe in The Torridons for a week. During our stay, we had snow and we were able to get some great walking in. On one walk, we met up with Dean Allan (see links).

In early March we stayed for a week in Ambleside. We had snow on the Fells and again had some great days out. Met up with Chris and Pearl Lewis for his birthday. Had a power cut!!

After that, everything went downhill with Covid19. We have been lucky that we have managed to stay safe, but we have really missed the mountains ~ as I write there is some great snow in Snowdonia. We visited Snowdon in August and although we were able to do a good walk around the flanks of Y Lliwedd, we were glad to come away. Appalling parking, litter, human waste and gates left open were some of the things we found. I do hope that the mountains will be able to recover from the damage done.

Now, on New Years Eve, we hope for a better year to come and a chance to get back to the places we love so much.

2020 Week 51

21/12/2020

At long last! We were up at 5am last Thursday and travelled to The Stiperstones for dawn. All looked promising when we arrived, deep red glow on the Eastern horizon. However, cloud soon rolled in from the south west and we saw nothing of the sunrise. Still, it was so good just to be out there. then walked towards Black Rhadley Hill and had lunch before returning home. A really good day.

2020 Week 50

13/12/2020

13/12/20. We have not travelled out of Shropshire for months now and we are getting withdrawal symptoms due to missing the mountains so much.
However, it has made us explore our own County much more and yesterday we did a 6 mile walk along The Shropshire Way, starting in Ironbridge.
Great walk, but very muddy.

I have seen several You Tube Landscape Photographers extolling the virtues of their "Fine Art Photography". They seem to think that this involves a tripod, 10 stop filter and the coast. Personally, I think there is much more to calling yourself a Fine Art Photographer (what does it really mean anyway) and they need to tone down their ego's somewhat. Landscape photography is all about taking the best image possible in any given surroundings and putting as much of your own emotion into it.

2020 Week 47

22/11/2020

22/11/20: We walked into the Town Park yesterday, Saturday, and did our usual circuit. Today we went a different route in the park and managed 6 miles. Although it was wonderful to be out, crisp early winter sunshine with a nip in the air, the walk was spoilt by the sheer amount of people out and about. A number of runners and cyclists really need to learn what social distancing is. Good manners cost nothing, but many of them seem to leave theirs at home. Crass behaviour by some spoil it for the many.
Here is a shot of Madeley Court House, derelict when we first came to Telford, but now restored into a hotel.

2020 Week 46

19/11/2020

19/11/2020: Did a 3.5 mile walk today, followed the road to Nedge Hill Picnic Site. Not been along this road for over 40 years. The
trees were wonderful, but sadly the amount of rubbish and discarded face masks was absolutely disgusting. Not a place
we will be returning to, the people who discard this rubbish should be ashamed of themselves. Why do I think they
won't be.

2020 Week 45

08/11/2020

Sun 8th November
Lockdown 2 now in full swing, so we did our 5 mile walk around Telford Town Park. This is a walk we do quite often now as we can no longer get to the mountains. Weather calm today with some mist still around ~ the colours are still glowing. The walk on a Sunday is spoilt only by a number of runners who do not seem to understand what social distancing means. Selfish.

Mon 9th November
Did our walk around the Town Park again this afternoon. Although the weather was very overcast, there were no ill mannered runners, made such a difference to the quality of the walk.

2020 Week 44

07/11/2020

Tues 3rd November.
Met up with Audrey and Russell at High Vinnalls car park and went for a walk around Mortimer Forest on Shropshire/Herefordshire border. Left the cameras behind as they can really get in the way of conversation. We had a wonderful walk around the forest and there was still plenty of Autumn Colour about.

Weds 4th November.
Last day of freedom before "Lock Down 2". We drove to The Stiperstones and did our circular walk taking in Black Rhadley Hill, where we usually stop for lunch. Weather was good to start with (blue sky day had been forcast), but we had a rain shower around lunchtime. Took this image looking towards Linley, love the atmosphere the rain produces. On the way back we heard a hunting horn and barking dogs. As we came out of the trees, we could see a number of riders in the distance on the Linley Hill ridge. Obviously the Hunt was out, glad we did not go that way.

Fri 5th November.
Went out on our bikes for the first time in several weeks and cycled down to Coalport ~ round trip of 10.5 miles.

What a Picture!

02/11/2020

Saw this sign in our local park, such a shame that things like this need to be put up.