How did I get started with photograph?

Lock into River Avon from Severn 1969

As a youngster I was allowed to use the family Kodak Brownie before moving on to an 'Instamatic'. On my first waterway holiday I took a black and white picture travelling into a lock that linked the River Severn with the River Avon. The picture, shown above, gained first prize in a local photographic competition for children. I was 11 years old and that was 1969 when waterways were only just beginning to be discovered for holiday use. At that time the River Avon was only navigable was far as Evesham.

Progression in photography


In my late teens I purchased a secondhand SLR Camera and two extra lenses. I was then introduced to dark room technics while a student at the London College of Furniture but found that did not really interest me. I was only really interested in taking pictures at that time. As a member of the Inland Waterways Association I was asked to do a few talks for the Chelmsford Branch and that gave me a great deal of enjoyment being able to share my pictures with other people.

The picture above is taken at Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal.

Digital photography


In more recent years I have moved into digital photography which has the great advantage of being able to see the results straight away but looses the excitement of waiting for the pictures to arrive.  Photography is one of those skills where you are never too old to learn and in recent years I have attended a number of evening classes and day workshops run by a professional photographer who lives close to me. I can thoroughly recommend his courses that can be found at ArtEscape Photography.

The picture above was taken on the Epping and Ongar Railway.

Processing Pictures

Being able to manipulate pictures using computer software has enabled me to become involved in post production but  without taking too much away from the original image although in some cases it enables me to breath new life into a picture that would otherwise have been written off. A 'crop' or removal of unwanted items like a flag pole in the wrong place, helps get the most out of a picture. I would prefer to get the picture right 'in camera' but it's easy to miss things or find the time and location just gives the wrong lighting effect and it's not always possible to go back.

The picture below was taken after sunset at Braunston on the Grand Union canal and subsequently manipulated in Photoshop.

Braunston 5
Braunston Black and white
Braunston 1 Neon Edges

My photography subjects


The photographic subjects I prefer are canals, railways, architecture, the countryside and more recently, animals.  I always loved travelling on trains as my parents never had a car and that seems to be where the interest in railways stemmed from. When introduced to canals as a teenager I became so fascinated by them I started reading everything I could. That led to an interest in 'Industrial Archaeology' and history of the Industrial Revolution.

After developing a talk for the Inland Waterways Association I produced a series of talks using my colour transparencies and slide projector. These talks are now being updated to digital presentations using some of the original slides with new digital images. The new talks cover many of my interests.

The picture above is 'Treacle' one of our two Cockapoos and the one below was taken at Kamloops in Canada where they are more 'laid-back' about you walking across railway tracks!


The Canadian189

The image above was taken at Jasper Station in Canada while waiting to take the 'Skeena', a named train from Jasper to Prince Rupert. The year was 2000

Then and Now

070 New link to Regents Canal Dock Aug 1994 Edited

I have now been taking pictures long enough that I can go back to create past and present images at the same location. The two pictures above were shot looking down a short link canal between Limehouse Cut to Limehouse Basin, also known as the Regent's Canal Dock. The first image was taken in the early 1970s and the second was taken in June 2019.