Thursday, 26 December 2013

Rained Off ...

The heavy rain of the last few days, and tonight's to come, has scuppered my plans for hiking over the next week at least. The path is inundated making hiking impossible.  It will be some time whilst the flood plain fulfils its role and the waters abate before the hiking the path path becomes a realistic proposition. No doubt there are some amazing images waiting for me but hiking out to them is out of the question. And the mud will be something to contend with long after the waters abate, so, until then ...

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Day 5 - 6th December 2013 - Lechlade to Radcot

Starting out from Lechlade at 7am, well before the non existent sunrise, provided the chance of some very low light exposures including an attempt at handheld slow shutter-speed flying geese. The first locks are on this stretch as is the unusual sight of a series of concrete pill boxes erected during WWII as a line of defence along the Thames - in case of a successful German invasion from the south. As I arrived back at my car after about 14 miles hiking the sun shone on me for the first and only time that day - for about 30 seconds.
Nothing Happening at the Pub - 7:15am
Eight Canada Geese
42-Step Bridge
Buscot Poplars
Weir Edge
Last Line of Defence
Poplar Zebra

Monday, 25 November 2013

Day 4 - 23rd November 2013 - Castle Eaton to Lechlade

This stretch of The Path is the only one on its whole length that touches the Thames only briefly. Elsewhere there are other short absences but about 5 of this 6 mile stretch are up to half a mile away. And one of the miles is along the verge of a busy main road. I expected all of this would diminish the pleasure of the walk - not so. I found interesting things to photograph, particularly the crab apples in the ditch and the 13th century church at Inglesham. Half a mile east of Lechlade is the Inglesham Roundhouse at the start of the long defunct Thames and Severn canal. From this point onwards the Thames is navigable and after 23 boat free miles from the source it comes as a surprise to see boats galore.

Crab Apple Ditch

Kelvin Wake
Inglesham Church - Box Pews
Inglesham Church - Font and Box Pews
Inglesham Church

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Day 3 - 16th November 2013 - North Meadow NNR to Castle Eaton

A very dull grey day with a frosty start made it a challenge to find photographs of merit. The only sight of the sun was a very brief one soon after sunrise as the mist lifted and just before the thick grey cloud arrived. The Thames is now flowing vigorously through the relatively featureless landscape. I suspect more of the same on the next stretch as far as Lechlade.

Misty Pond 
Frosted Stinging Nettle
A Glimpse of the Sun 
Three Teazels 
Weeping Willow 
St Sampson's - Cricklade

Monday, 11 November 2013

Day 2 - 30th October 2013 - Photographs

It seems that I'm taking far more photographs of and about water than I expected. Infinite image possibilities. And the dead fox is a little different from my usual subject matter.
Red Leaf
Debris Catcher

Watery Grave
Conker Leaf

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Day 2 - 30th October 2013 - Neigh Bridge to North Meadow NNR

My second day on the Thames Path gave me the opportunity to test my newly repaired camera. I noticed an intermittent but serious focussing fault whilst on a photography holiday earlier in October in New England. Fortunately it occurred near the end of the trip. Camera equipment isn't cheap to have fixed - this cost me £365 for a full service and replacement parts for the broken lens' image stabilisation mechanism. But the camera is now back to doing its job correctly - so I now only have myself to blame for poor focus! I'm in the process of replacing my ageing PC with a Mac, and whilst that transition is in progress the images from this day's hike will be delayed for another few days; they'll appear as the next post. Unlike on my first day's hike, there was plenty of water flowing after the recent wet weather.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day 1 - 22nd September 2013 - Between The Source and Neigh Bridge

After a relatively dry summer I shouldn't be surprised at there being no water in the Thames, but that's how it is for the first two or three miles. And then there's water but only in discontinuous sections.

At the source of the River Thames
One hundred yards from the source
Dappled Path
Ash Grove
The eighth is off frame to the left
The River Thames in full flow
Neigh Bridge

Photo-hiking the Thames Path National Trail - My new photo-project

Over the next couple of years or so I'll be hiking the Thames Path from the source of the River Thames near Kemble in Gloucestershire to its finish at the Thames Barrier a little to the east of central London. Its official length is 184 miles, so I'll be hiking at least 368 miles as I'll hike it fully in both directions. And as I sometimes go off piste it will end up well over 400 miles. I photo-hike alone on non-consecutive days as and when I can. So, I drive to the point to which I hiked the previous occasion, hike out for half of my planned day then turn around and hike back to the car. My next hike links with the last so that after 30 to 40 days photo-hiking it will be complete. This link is to the official website for The Thames Path.

This project is emphatically not about documenting the Thames Path. I 'use' hiking as a means to find images that inspire and enthuse me with the prospect of a fine photograph. Whether or not a finished photograph identifies the Thames or the Path is immaterial to me. The only connection between the images will be their proximity to the Thames, and me - the photographer.

And why this blog? A question I've asked myself the last couple of photo-hiking projects. And the answer's the same ... the discipline and commitment to publish an entry for each day's hike is motivating as is the steady build of a body of work. It would be easy to do it off line but the added edge of being public is ... compelling.

Over the last two or three years I've veered away from monochrome image-making into the world of colour. But now I've got over that I'm back to producing (most of) my finished photographs in monochrome.
Steve Gledhill
My website is at
My photoblog is at
My Cotswold Way photo-hiking blog is at