Photography

My photography

I use photography to show something about where I’ve been or people whom I’ve met. As well as trying to see the beauty in a scene or situation, I’m also trying to convey ideas and feelings. My photography is about me and what I do, who I meet and where I go. All my photography tries to be contemporary and creative. I’m resistant to being fitted in to a taxonomy by categorisation such as “travel” or  “conceptual” or “nature”. All image-making is political simply by the act of selection and hence exclusion but I am not campaigning for any particular point of view, except to try to see the positives and to live life to the full.

I use 645, 35mm and DX formats plus a handy little digital compact that shoots RAW files. I’ve experimented with non-lens photography - do ask!

I first worked in a monochrome/silver wet darkroom at age 7, helping my Father with scientific prints; I’ve used colour negative materials since age 21 and digital since 2005. I use Photoshop (Adobe) and Photopaint (Corel).

Cricket at Fitz Park, Keswick

The charming sight of a game of cricket played at Fitz Park, Keswick to the background of some of England’s highest mountains.
The match between Keswick CC and Wigton CC is still undecided as the shadows lengthen. Wigton won by 11 runs, but the players’ calls remind me (particularly with the commemorations this week of the Normandy Landings) of Henry Newbolt’s bitter poem about an earlier war.

“Vitaï Lampada”

There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
Ten to make and the match to win—
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

Read more: “Play up! play up! and play the game!”

La Grande Tête de L’Obiou
Corps and L’Obiou

La Grande Tête de L’Obiou
Dawn on L’Obiou

As iconic as the Matterhorn, I’ve made many photos of L’Obiou over the years. Here are two from year’s crop, L’Obiou seen from Corps. You see the fresh snow from a fall as late as May that settled on the drifts from the harsh winter.
La Grande Tête de L’Obiou (2789 m.) is the highest point of the Dévoluy Massif in the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence; it’s not especially high by Alpine standards and the summit can be reached without technical climbing. The glamorous peak is prominent to travellers on the Route Napoléon. L’Obiou is described as a butte, the residual hard Jurassic and Cretaceous rock remaining following erosion.

Ovingdean - South Downs National Park

Ovingdean is a part the South Downs National Park situated within the city of Brighton & Hove; the protected valley is largely isolated from the downs by suburbia with only thin corridors of grassland to the main park. Ovingdean is open to the English Channel but bounded by Brighton Racecourse and Whitehawk/Race Hill Nature Reserve to the west, an ancient chalk grassland supporting colonies of Adonis and Chalkhill Blue butterflies. The suburban sprawl is to the north and the east, including the wonderfully named Happy Valley.

Marseille dawn

One particularly spectacular dawn seen from the balcony of my apartement in Marseille. Provence dawns are often colourful due to the limestone dust in the air, the vehicle pollution in urban Marseille adds to the effect. This was 15 April 2024.

More photos: Marseille dawn

Les Salles-sur-Verdon

Les Salles-sur-Verdon
Note the water fountain saved from the old village

Les Salles-sur-Verdon is not a celebrated architectural gem like Port Grimaud but it’s in a similar vein. It’s the village displaced by the rising water of the bitterly resisted reservoir, the lac de Sainte-Croix. I’m guessing the concept is derivative, architect François Spoerry’s Port Grimaud being about ten years earlier. Les Salles is an idealised Provençal village as Port Grimaud is an idealised Mediterranean fishing village.

More photos: Architecture of Les Salles-sur-Verdon

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