Photography - Home
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Travels - Greece
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Travels - Knaresborough, Yorkshire
Selecting from my stupendously large numbers of photographs - too many for the disc space to cope with and far too many for you to download - is not easy. At the moment I do not have the technology to scan in slides, which is a bit of a shame since most of my best stuff is in that format. Anyroad, here are just a few for now. Choose wisely, then click.
This is a grave in a cemetery in Jesmond. People should visit cemeteries more often, not for any morbid reasons, but
because they are often very beautiful. In Athens, away from the smog, breeze-blocks, traffic, and graffitti, is First Cemetery,
which is far and away the nicest place in Athens, and yet the maps direct no tourists there (thank goodness). In Budapest
there is a huge and historically fascinating cemetery, and again the maps consider that no tourist would want to go there,
but I'd highly recommend it.
This one photograph has generated more e-mails to me than all the others put together. One woman wrote to me saying that she was using it as a model for a memorial to her daughter. One person ordered a copy the size of a door. Recently, I heard from someone who is having this image tattooed on his arm. Perhaps one day I'll be able to add a shot of that on this page.
October 2006 update:
Now another visitor to this site has had this turned into a tattoo, and this time I have kindly been furnished with a picture. Some one else meanwhile is supposedly using the shot for the cover of a book.
The area around Byker Farm, under the bridges, is an interesting one for the photographer and the historian. Here were the only
glass works in the land, in Henry VIII's time, and here were the quarantine stables, when Newcastle was a great port. Here
today are many rusting boats, steep cobbled streets, an urban farm, the exits to the old underground railways which brought
coal to the port, artists' studios, and a riding school filled with skewbald ponies for the children. All good material
for the lens to see.
I like the plain white sky, and the plain dark bridges in this shot. Nice and simple, but strong.
I was standing up, having a pee in the loo, when I thought that the brick wall, the other side of the frosted window glass from me, looked the wrong colour. The bricks were just a bit too red. I put two and two together, finished what I was doing, and ran to fetch my camera. I ran out into the street, and took this shot. No filters were used. It was a one-in-a-million sky.
It's nice to get a joke in. This lake was in Lower Michigan. There were no pavements in the region, and anyone walking (as opposed to driving) was considered weird or to have abandoned a broken down car.
A window in New Town, Edinburgh. This is one of my favourite places in the world, and when I am unaccountably wealthy, I shall buy a place there. The stone is actually the same colour as the sandstone of Bath, but the accumulated grime of a hundred years of coal fires has turned the whole area grey. Edinburgh looks great whatever the weather.
This picture was chosen to be on the front cover of the novel The Sunday Philosophy Club by the top-selling author Alexander McCall Smith. In Britain, the cover is different, but this is what you will see if you buy the USA, Canadian, and Dutch editions, plus some large print and audio tape editions. It seems that the way it happened was this: at a meeting, they decided that a photograph of a window in Edinburgh would be right for the cover. Someone then typed "Edinburgh" and "window" into Google, and they got this page. So, I was lucky there. Had I called this same photograph "Shattered sunshine in a grim stone sea", then they would never have found this shot, and I would be a bit poorer.
One glowing sheep
This is a field near Penrith in Cumbria. I like the darkness of this shot, and the tiny line of light on the fleece of the solitary sheep.
Neptune at Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne Civic Centre. This enormous bronze adorns the side of the building, and here we see it from a very odd angle, looking alomost vertically. He looks a bit like a man on a surf-board. The way the sky is brightest behind his head is a bit corny.
This shot was taken on a rock-climbing trip, with my ordinary pocket camera. Sometimes a great shot is result of just having a camera on you, when the conditions happen to be right. The patches of light you see on the forest floor are cobwebs lit up in the sun.
The weather conditions were extraordinary. From the top of the hills, one could look down on the top of a perfectly flat layer of white mist covering the valley floor.
According to cinematographers, this is what medieval forests looked like at all times.
I was coming out of the cinema, and saw an amazing rainbow against a dark sky. I took several shots of it. A few show that it was in fact a double rainbow - a conventional rainbow plus a parallel, dimmer one, with the order of the colours reversed. Here you only see a single rainbow, but I chose this one for the simplicity of the composition.
I have got hundreds of shots of textures: gravels, leaves, muds, walls, and the like. Similarly, I have hundreds of skies. There is a risk of my boring you with too many of these. Here you see two texture shots taken on Newcastle Town Moor in winter.
This Sporting Life
I like the atmosphere of this shot. It reminds me of the book "This Sporting Life" by David Storey (made into a film in 1963 starring Richard Harris, directed by Lindsay Anderson). The novel is the tale of a professional sportsman from a northern English industrial towm. Feel the cold and smell the grime.
This was taken at the Newcastle Green Festival. In the background, you can see two large straw sculptures of angels with wings, that were set alight. They burned for a long time, but they lost their angel shapes almost immediately, and collapsed to half height, which spoiled the spectacle a bit. The dreadlocked man you see in the foreground was not a medieval slinger, but a juggler who had in his hand a poy (sp?) for whirling around. In the blaze, about five hundred pounds worth of juggling equipment went up in smoke. This was accidental. It wasn't immediately obvious, though, since so many of the performers were jumping up and down and generally looking a bit manic, but the small group smothering a pile of burning stuff with blankets and jumping up and down on it in a particularly manic fashion, was attempting to rescue the equipment, I later discovered. The man pictured liked this shot and used it for his business cards.
This is part of a formal garden in Bury St. Edmunds. The single pink rose seemed just right, especially as the pink was echoed in the background. Nice and simple.
Here you see a view from within the new "Gate" centre - a place of restaurants and clubs which hold a nightly competition in playing loud music. If you stand in the right place, you can hear the thudding of about six different clubs at once, which many people seem to find compellingly attractive. I have manipulated the colours a little, but only to enhance what was already there.
Stairs in sunlight
Taking good photographs is often a matter of having a camera on you at the time. I was in the Bedson Building of Newcastle University on an errand, and noticed that the sun looked nice on the stairs, and I had my camera with me.