PHOTOGRAPHY gives me the opportunity to interact and co-exist with the world around me. Life through a lens brings many pleasures and I believe a wider appreciation if life.

Here's a few of my photographs






LODGE HILL CEMETERY, BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND

My grandparents are buried here. I took the photograph in autumn 2010 and played around with photoshop just to create a sort of Alice in Wonderland effect. I like to use photoshop but I do value very much taking photographs with little or no use of enhancements. There's a place for everything really and as long as you enjoy it. Who cares what anyone else thinks as long as you enjoy it.



This rose was showing itself to the world in my garden and I simply could not resist taking the time to photograph it.Such a lovely colour, so soft and fragile. Sadly as with any beauty it was also very temporary.



A special place indeed. This is Loch Restil. It is one of the few places that I can meditate and gain some perspective on life. It is a small loch but a stunning setting whatever the weather.



Taken on a walk in Banbury. I decided to get down to dandelion level and photograph the head against the setting sun. The result speaks for itself. It is easy to think of the dandelion as dying, but in death life springs eternal. When the seeds float away there proverbial phoenix will rise from the ashes. This to me is the gift of nature.



A bit of photoshopping here but essentially the very image I took whilst Christmas shopping in Alsace, France. It's about perspective and the idea that Santa will deliver a gift no-matter where you are.No-one will be overlooked. Text to follow



This chap was jumping into the canal at Banbury, the photograph virtually took itself. What a gorgeous canine, fearless and energetic.



I love Whitby, the gothic capital of Britain. The Abbey dominates the area on the hilltop, and it seems to be surveying the scene, slowly decaying but still glorious and it evokes images of the people past who lived here. We all share the same world.



What a beauty. I took this at a vintage rally and added some sepia tint. The machine is alive and pulsating ready for the off. Oh, the heady days of oil, neckerchiefs, overalls and splendid caps.



I just caught the rays of the sun through the clouds in this shot on a ferry heading towards Mull in Scotland. The vessel was heading away from the picture you see. Scotland is a beautiful country for photography.The light can often be breathtaking especially in the early morning.



This is Holly, a very good friend of Darwin's and they often go out for walks together. She's a beautiful dog and we were pleased to have her to stay overnight recently. I couldn't resist the opportunity to get my camera out next morning and I caught Holly in a reflective moment.



Just to show you that I don't take myself too seriously, here's a hilarious photograph in the classic 'he cut off the main subject' mould. This, believe it or not is a golden eagle. This huge bird was sitting tethered to its stump and I settled my focus on the beatiful creature before taking the shot. Obviously at that split second the bird had other ideas and took off. This really makes me laugh and I wasn't mad about it at all. In fact I love it. Sometimes it's just excellent when things don't go to plan. I hope you like it too.



Just in case you were curious - here's the bird. What a gorgeous animal. I hate to see them tethered but there are pro's and cons for all these things.It was captive bred apparently, is well fed, flies a lot every day and has no parasites/enemies and it won't be poisoned by man.



I really like this photograph. I took it at Avebury in early July 2011. It was very early morning and I had the idea to use layers in photoshop. I took the original in colour, made a copy in black and white then brought them together erasing all the colour except for the stones. I do think it is effective and I would look to do a similar thing again. Experimentation is part of the fun, not only with the camera but in PhotoShop too. You could never get a shot like this without it. In essence though I had to have the idea first before I clicked away and I am pleased with the result. The Avebury stone circle is some 6000 years old and a magic place as you can imagine. This photograph was taken with my Nikon D80.



What do you think this is? I do love macro photography and this is one of the reasons why. It isn't just the big things in this world that are impressive, the little wonders offer great educational value and for the curious among us they represent an insight into a very different world - one far removed from our own. I took this photograph in Australia - Queensland to be precise. It is a bird dropping spider Celaenia excavata and it was sitting motionless upon a leaf. Note how it has even spun white webbing around it to look just like a bird splat! Why do this? Two reasons. Firstly any predator might ignore the spider as bird poo and therefore it stays alive. Secondly any prey might do the same - to their peril - and the spider merely has to sit, wait and then pounce to secure a very easy meal.


This photograph shows what you can capture simply by stepping out into your own back garden. You don't have to travel half-way around the world to see wonderous things. This was actually called a 'supermoon' and it changed colour to a deep red as the evening wore on.

This is a rather lovely Bengal cat - one of two that my neighbours looked after for a few days. They were a very difficult subject to photograph as they didn't stay still for more than a couple of seconds. Nevertheless with a bit of patience (children and animals etc) I managed to get this one when the feline was focussed in its partner in crime - ripping up the curtains! It's a beautifully marked cat by any standards.


Every season has something wonderful to offer. Here's one of a mushroom that was standing tall and proud in a field at the back of my house (November 2011). It looks a bit alien and I wanted to get a shot from either level height or underneath for a different perspective. In fairness I have subjected the initial photograph to a little Photoshop improvement but not much at all. I made it black and white, sharpened it and played around with the levels. I took this with my Panasonic Lumix LX5 compact camera - just a little camera to take anywhere and get some fun results. Your turn!


I took this on the same day as the mushroom photograph. Walking my dog through the village I spotted this colourful scene but each time forgot my camera. Thankfully I remembered today and managed to get the shot I wanted before the flowers died off. Even the old blue bucket lends some colour to the scene and I knew if I waited for a day with sunshine it would look lovely - and it does. The previous week had been overcast and grey and not at all condusive to a nice photograph but the sun always shines after rain!



This little beauty is one of my spider collection. It is called Macrothele gigas and it originates from Taiwan. I had to re-house her and I knew that she would be rather upset about the idea. I took this photo with my little compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. One does not always need flashy SLR cameras to do the job. I got as close as I dare (a few inches) and was careful not to breathe too heavily or she would possibly attack. Note the drops of venom on the base of the fangs. Not a spider to be trifled with but I am very pleased with this shot all the same.You never know when you will need a camera.



This scene at Stowe Gardens caught my eye on a cold day. I am always on the lookout for reflections.It is fun to muse at this photograph. Has the water crept up to the trees or have the trees crept up to the water. Now they have met. What next?



Sometimes it's worth cropping a picture. In this case I had photographed the whole insect but finding a neat crop can sometimes add perspective. This is sort of getting into 'their' world.
















Now for three photographs I took at CRUFTS 2012. As a breed of dog I do not like the Rough Collie but one has to admit that this chap is a fine specimen. It could of course be a chapess but let's not quibble. I really liked the different and subtle shades of brown on this dog.

Actually, on the day I saw one of these (but not this one) go for its owner and it sunk its teeth into her arm in a flash. Yep, that's my recollection of this breed as well but of course this was probably only an exception and it is typical that I should be the one to witness it. Lovely dog though.






Just for a bit of fun folks. This lovely lad was slurping his way around the building. The look on his face says it all. I mean you can invent your own comic line really. In essence I believe he is thinking 'I just wanna go home'.















I have to admit to not capturing the true magnificence of this Bearded Collie. It was the most beautiful and well presented specimen I saw that day in my humble opinion - apart from my own dog of course! I like the way that the quadruped is looking at me out of a rather baleful eye. If it was your dog (and let's say it was male - what name would you have for it?













Small is beautiful. I had been trying a macro lens out and not having much luck with it when, just as I was about to retire for a cup of tea I noticed this tiny yellow fly on a leaf in the garden. The result is a contender for the best photograph I have ever taken - well at least my own personal favourite. The contrast in colour, the tiny size of the subject (it was but a few millimetres in length) and the small window of opportunity to take the shot gel to make this an epic. I only had a few seconds before it flew off. In purely photographical terms it is far from excellent but what I have captured works perfectly for me. Yes, I have done a bit of photoshop deliberately making it grainy for a ghostly effect and a bit blurry but I like the result very much.Incidentally, I am certainly not sure but this could be a Sapromyza species.






This shows what you can do with a simple point and shoot. I used a nice camera body - the Nikon D300S - but just a standard 18-55 lens and it works a treat, much better than some of the complicated affairs I have in the camera bag. So get out there, take a simple lens and have a go.











HARDCORE PAWN.

This is the first time I ever took photographs in a studio (in 2012) or with a model for that matter. I was more nervous than the model was but she was great fun and helped make some nice and tasteful images. I thought that chess and a pretty girl would be an interesting mix.












IN REFLECTION







PORTRAIT

I liked the lighting on this one as well as the natural look. It's always worth just waiting for these sort of moments rather than staging a photograph. The model was captured deep in thought here.












The essence of fun

DILLY

Dilly is a rambunctious and gorgeous Spaniel (not sure of the exact breed) who 'owns' friends of mine. Occasionally I take her for a walk and this photograph was taken in the summer of 2013 as the harvest was readying. This is my favourite view of Dilly - only her ears appear in the distance as she springs and bounds with unconditional glee into the field. Can life BE more fun? I think the black and white version works quite well...I hope you do to.




I had a marvellous time photographing a wedding for a neighbour this summer. I really do dislike contrived photographs, even at weddings and if I can catch people doing something without realising that the camera is there then that is very rewarding. Here, Debbie (the bride, left) was 'captured' thowing her bouquet towards one of her closest friends. It seems I stepped out just in time...






CARL'S PLANET HOME PAGE