Black Dog Photography | About



Welcome to my website!


My name is Brian Murray and I live near Skipton, North Yorkshire.


Here you will find landscapes of (mostly) the North Yorkshire Dales area, a stunning place at all times of the year. From streams and rivers through to waterfalls, beautiful coastlines and beaches and forests and wild woodland, it's all here. Add to this the rugged beauty of Swaledale and Wensleydale, or the lushness and diversity of Nidderdale, or the stunning scenery of Wharfedale and a hundred other places, some well known, some not.


In fact, my photography is, in many ways, a celebration of the ordinary, or the little noticed. Often, when I am out with my cameras (and dog), I see walkers. These almost always go past way too quickly to be able to really notice things. Dew on a spring flower. Last summer's plants strung with pearly spiders webs. The scattered profusion of Autumn leaves. The pattern of ice or the brief but glorious mists of an Autumn and early Winter sunrise.


Or perhaps a flower, lit by the rising sun, or dead leaves upon the grass. All so ordinary, yet I feel that they're the small parts of the bigger parts of the seasons, of the natural year. An unstoppable cycle which serves, for me, to remind us all of our relative insignificance and yet which comforts us and grounds us in a way so many now cannot experience. But our ancestors knew all about this. They, too, left their mark. In high places, dry stone walls, abandoned farm houses, churches and old mines. And the very roots of the villages they left behind.


It is said that a film maker has hundreds of thousands of single images to tell his or her story, but a photographer has only one. This is undoubtedly true. And for me, it is via the ordinary, the seasonal and the unnoticed that poignant images can be created. Let us celebrate the ordinary!


For me, hidden beauty is best of all. Anyone can “notice” a Taj Mahal or a well known landmark. These are safe and familiar, but they've been done a million times.


My love for nature and the British seasons drives me to photograph them in all their variations. And they do vary, massively. From time of day to time of year, in sunshine, rain or foggy weather or in frost and snow. These are the seconds that make up the minutes which make up the four seasons. These are the details. And yet, such things are often brief. This, for me, lends a certain poignancy. Such images are just a tiny moment in time, and may be gone tomorrow.


This drives my passion for photography. I hope that my images will similarly inspire you to notice and appreciate the ordinary.


Via my Blog, here on this site, I hope to help others to see what I often see and to get their cameras out and photograph it. Neutral advice and tips and tricks, and a strong emphasis that photography is NOT all about equipment. This runs largely counter to the magazines and websites out there, all of whom have vested interests via their advertisers. I just want people to be able to use their cameras better! Check back regularly for down to earth advice for beginners on how to get the best from their photography.




My gear is very simple, and somewhat odd for a landscape photographer. I use Canon DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex, like a 35mm camera but digital) and my lenses are a 14mm ultra wide angle, a 50mm Macro lens, for ultra close-ups, and a 400mm long telephoto. I prefer “fixed” focal length lenses to zooms, but I do also have a 70-300mm zoom lens I don't use much. Oddly, perhaps, I don't really feel the need for a lens to fill the gap between the 14mm to the 400mm. As such, I tend to work at extremes of field of view.


I also own several (very heavy) tripods, a monopod, a pistol grip for the tripod, a little used flash, a ring flash (for macro) and that's about all. It's all I seem to need.


Why “Black Dog Photography”?


Dogs are the great love of my life. A walk just isn't a walk without a dog. A photography trip is lacking without a dog. Dogs appreciate the sounds, sights and smells of nature just as much as we do. I've seen my dogs playing on beaches, or swimming in cold rivers, racing through the woods and even sat under a dark, star flecked sky, watching a full moon rise. Insatiably curious and easy to make happy, my dogs are an inspiration and serve to remind me that it is the little things in life that are worth remembering.


By co-incidence, all of my dogs have been black or mostly black. Hence, in honour of my dogs, past and present, and also as a reference to this area's legend of a ghostly black dog, the Barghest, I named my company to suit.


Please feel free to express your opinions of my photographs in the guest book below each image, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via the “Contact” link on the main page.


And please consider ordering a print or two. You can choose from a vast array of sizes, finishes and even frames, should you want them. Ordering is safe, secure and very easy. Choose your photograph, click quantity and size from the panel on the right, and checkout just like on any other website. Orders are fulfilled by 3rd party labs and orders are sent straight to your home.


If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you enjoy my site.


Brian Murray