Mike and John
The pair’s second book, Shropshire From Dawn To Dusk, was released this summer. The collection of more than 160 superb images is a wonderful celebration of our county and its people. Wife and mother Lynne has researched and written the captions, making it a real family affair.
Mike, who is 73, enjoys wandering around local towns and villages taking pictures of people, while 34 year-old John loves capturing spectacular landscapes.Former press photographer Mike says, “It works very well. We play to our strengths.
“And it means John gets to do all the lugging of heavy camera equipment up muddy hillsides and across boggy fields,” he adds with a chuckle.
“For instance, I was in Shrewsbury for the folk festival and came across a big group of Morris dancers queuing for a bus in the town centre. It made a really offbeat picture and it’s one of my favourites in the book.”
Another unusual image in the collection is of the so-called Boot Tree near Bishop’s Castle, which has many old boots hanging from the branches.
Another humorous shot involved a fibreglass model of a gorilla, part of a Charles Darwin project in Shrewsbury.“This was a question of patience as I had to wait for over an hour in the pouring rain until a group of people with umbrellas walked past the gorilla who appears to be staring straight at them. It was all about being in the right place at the right time.”
For John, the right place and time is often halfway up a hillside at 4am.He explains, “My favourite time of the day is sunrise. The light is at its best and, at that time, it’s quiet and I usually have an entire hill to myself. I do like the solitude. Then it’s a question of patience. The right light is everything.
“Sometimes the best shots are unplanned. I planned a day at Oswestry Balloon Festival and went first thing to the old hill fort on the outskirts of town. While I was waiting for the balloons to come over I ended up getting an amazing sunrise. It gives you a real adrenaline buzz when that happens.”
John’s favourite photograph in the book is of two roe deer amid trees and bluebells on Burrow hill, near Aston-on-Clun.
The new book aims to build on the success of the Haywards’ first publication, A Year in Shropshire, which sold 2,500 copies. Shropshire From Dawn To Dusk(hardback, Merlin Unwin Books of Ludlow) costs £20 and is available in local bookshops and online (www.shropshireandbeyond.com).