Photography

Taking pictures is half of what I do – if I’m awake then chances are I’ve got a camera with me. It all started around 1999 with the purchase of my first digital, a vast contraption made by Sony which wrote it’s images to 3.5″ floppy disk. Since then I’ve snapped around 220,000 images and that trigger finger shows no sign of stopping. This section of the site is a collection of my favourite forays into the wonderful world of photography.

Mini-shoot in Abney Park, London

Abney Park isn’t as popular with photographers as other members of London’s Magnificent Seven, grand cemeteries created over 175 years ago, but it’s definitely my favourite. Uneven rows of grimy tombstones, tumble-down graves and restless creepers make for a very atmospheric location – just the place when your visiting model is in the mood for a few snapshots.

Rushen Parish, Isle of Man

Exterior image of the dwelling attached to the old car business

Easter weekend finds us visiting relatives on a tiny speck of rock halfway between England and Ireland. Home to the world’s oldest democratically elected parliament and proudly independent of the European Union, the Isle of Man is a haven for business and for…

Walter’s Winter Wonderland

Fish-eye view of hotel entrance and a large, frosty plant

The former holiday retreat of East Germany’s great granddaddy and the man who built the Berlin Wall lies in ruins just meters from a famous winter sports track, yet it’s history is far from benign, testament that when it comes to greed, corruption, misappropriation of public funds and even murder, capitalism has plenty of competition from the East. What better way to break up the drive through Winter Wonderland?

Tempelhof Airport, Berlin

People play, cycle, and relax with BBQs at the end of runway 09R

When Albert Speer, Architect of the Third Reich, drew plans for Hitler’s »Welthauptstadt« he had no idea he was about to create a collection of time capsules on par with those of London, Paris, or Rome – cities whose historical significance he sought to eclipse by creating a new World Capital. And they say Germans have no sense of irony …

Bajan Helicopters, Barbados

A white and blue helicopter is being refuelled on a sunny helipad under a blue sky

Another fascinating tale of Caribbean corruption, studded with gallery-class photos and backed up by dozens of creditable sources? Hardly. Just another sad story of a once thriving business now gathering turds and weeds in one of the world’s most popular holiday capitals. Probably safe to say this one’s off the cruise tourist circuit.

Stasi Correctional Facility, Hohenschönhausen

A concrete watchtower stands behind a concrete wall on the corner of a residential street

In 1960 my grandfather was abducted by Communist secret police for speaking out against the state. Locked away in a correctional facility that didn’t exist, in a district that wasn’t on any maps, regular people who gave voice to popular opinion were methodically tortured and in some cases killed by civil servants in the name of democracy. Fast-forward 53 years and I’m standing in a cell with my camera, trying not to believe what a former inmate is trying to tell me.

Overnight at Orford Ness

Cose up of some pretty flowers, with a blurred out pagoda in the background. The theme here is 'bokeh'.

Long before the days of computers, designers of things had to adopt a somewhat manual, suck-it-and-see attitude. The process became more complicated when those things were nuclear bombs, and led to the construction of some rather specialised laboratories, including several outlandish buildings along the Suffolk coast. We place ourselves in the capable hands of the National Trust and spend a night on Europe’s largest shingle spit, all in the name of catching that special light …

Örtelsbruch, Lehesten

I first heard about this abandoned village near an old quarry a couple of years ago and decided to add it to a road trip being planned at the time. Sadly when we arrived the place was overrun with film crew and trailers so we bailed on to our next destination, reasoning that if it’s so well known it’ll likely be trashed and boring. I forgot all about Örtelsbruch until a recent visit presented me with the chance for a return – and a headlong dive into the rabbit hole.

NVA Hotel, Frauenwald

Exterior view of a wedge-shaped building that's been properly trashed

There’s nothing like an impromptu explore on the way to the airport, and the Sprungschanzenhaus in Frauenwald fits the bill nicely: a bit of history, zero security, and all the crumbling paint you can eat. OK, so it’s a bit trashed in places and if you’re not careful you can fall down eight flights of stairs or through an open window, but then that just adds to the charm of this wedge-shaped wonder.

Haus der Offiziere, Wünsdorf

A large red number six is propped in the corner of a pigeon pooed bell house

It’s roots firmly in the 19th century, this sleepy town just south of Berlin was not only home and HQ to German high command through both world wars, but also played a crucial role in grooming the Reich’s elite, the olympic sports teams, and housing up to 75,000 secretive Soviets during Russia’s occupation of Germany. Today only ruins remain, and with bunkers below as numerous as buildings above ground you’d be hard pushed to find a site more richly steeped in history.