Inspiration… just a little tickle of an idea…

I usually flick through the BBC page for news, but also for articles and videos in what they call their magazine. Today my eye was caught by a photo of a young man, just head and shoulders, leaning back against a wall. He looked a little like a young David Bowie. The question was posed ‘when was this photo taken?’ A tricky one because looking at the rather handsome young face, the tousled, longish hair, the expression, it could have been taken yesterday, or any time in the last thirty or so years. A reporter went out onto the streets of London and asked passers-by when they thought the photo was taken, and answers ranged from recently to the sixties.

As you can tell, they were all good answers, and the thing which shocked everyone was that it was actually taken in the 1865!! The reason they were deceived, and I was too, was that the photo had been coloured digitally. There were other photos too, a whole range, some very moving and one tragic and heartbreaking.

I was intrigued by the photos – I’ve seen other similar photos from bygone times which have been coloured and it really does bring those real people who lived before to life. It’s possible to engage much more with such pictures. A little thread of an idea came to mind, a little idea for a story which revolves round old black and white photos of people which have been digitally enhanced. I won’t say more until I have jotted a few ideas down – I may share the first draft here!

Here is another short film about colour photography:

If you want to read my books which all started with a little trickle of an idea, here is where you can find them:

By the way – I would love to see my featured photo in colour… i wonder if I could do it…


For quite a while I have been on Instagram but it’s only recently that my children told me how they, and most people apparently, use it. It seems most people take photos either on their phone or camera, and later decide which of them they wish to share. Sometimes people might edit them, crop out telegraph wires or the shoulder of somebody in a red coat or a car in the wrong place… I realised that some of the photos I looked at had been edited with enhanced colour for example, but I just thought that was done on the phone…

I understood Instagram to be an instant thing, as the name suggests, a little snap shot or memory of something right there, right then. So if I saw something interesting, funny, beautiful, peculiar, I’d take a picture and share it straight away – sometimes with a caption, often not. I would occasionally adjust the colour but only minimally… and I confess I don’t properly grasp hashtags so I rarely if ever include any.

If I look back over the last couple of months of my pictures, there is soup, a spider’s web, flowers outside and flowers inside, a gig in a pub, a portrait of Sir Thomas Wyatt, an alley, a street market, some ceramic dishes, sky, cake, machinery on the beach – diggers and dumptrucks, a window display, and today I took a photo of a cast iron manhole/drain cover. It’s quite fun to look back, it’s like a little visual diary, and because of the way I do it, the pictures are of what I saw at that particular moment, what caught my eye.

I ‘follow’ quite a few people too, especially those taking photos of places I love or would love to visit… Tasmania, Iceland, the Faroes, Ireland… lots more, and food – food in markets, on plates, in kitchens, growing in vegetable plots and gardens.

I may not use Instagram as others do, but I’m very happy the way I do!

My featured image isn’t from Instagram… I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, but it is from Iceland!


13643706_310279835974761_1541409743_n(1)Travelling back from a lovely day spent with lovely friends, the sun was dropping down below the horizon; my camera had given up working but I used my phone to snatch this picture with not great hopes of how it would look… Because I had my phone pressed against the window, of course there was reflection and part of the phone itself was visible in the photo; it gives such a weird look to the end product! it may not be a perfect photo but it might be perfect some time in the future as a book cover!


DSCF7849There is something so fascinating about reflections anywhere but natural reflections in water are particularly magical; it is easy to imagine people in distant times being entranced and maybe a little awed by the strange phenomena as they would have seen it. Maybe the story most well-known to us is the story of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection and killed himself because he could not attain his desire… he’d already caused misery and heartbreak to poor Echo who was spurned in her love for himDSCF7863 There are stories and fables about animals who saw their reflection in water, the dog with the bone who saw a dog with a bigger bone in the water and tried to snatch it, losing his own bone in the process, the stag who so admired his antlers in his reflection but disliked his slim legs… until his antlers got caught in some branches and he was trapped by a lion…DSCF7853When ancient precious items are retrieved form bogs, marshes and pools, I wonder if those who cast them in for some ritual, magic or superstitious purpose watched the reflections and tried to ‘read’ something in them?