I'm lucky enough to travel a lot but I also aim to understand a place in some depth. So I like to find out about the local history, sociology, wildlife and local arts. I prepare for a trip by looking up photos of the famous sights, they're usually a good guide both about the local visual interest and also a warning of what has already been done or over-done.
I try to use the tools of modern photojournalism and photography to communicate how I feel about a place. You’ll see that I have used Portrait, Street, Interior, Historical, Abstract, Landscape, Historical, Wildlife, Phone-camera and Selfie genres at different times for specific effects.

Ratcliffe on Soar power station

Ratcliffe on Soar coal-fired power station in the Trent Valley was new and modern when I was studying at Nottingham University in the 1970s. It was a major landmark from both the Real Ale pub at Trentlock (where the Erewash Canal meets the River Trent) or when I used to cycle south of the Trent.
Back then, Ratcliffe generated electricity at a relatively low price so it was almost always running and so pushing out clouds from its eight cooling towers, even in summer. I remember being impressed at the huge plume of steam from the cooling towers, indicative of the tremendous amount of electrical energy that was being generated.
We did a visit as part of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree course, the engineers at Ratcliffe showed us the (then) state of the art and efficient coal-handling and generating technologies. We would think differently now that coal has been unmasked as a major contributor to climate change.

Read more: Ratcliffe on Soar coal-fired power station

Euston to Keswick by train

Journey from Euston railway station in London to Keswick railway station in Cumbria. A dawn departure from Euston with the first stop after crossing the Manchester Ship Canal at Warrington. A freight train (mostly containers from one supermarket) let the express pass at Penrith, where I changed. “Every little helps”.
Unfortunately the last passenger train to and from Keswick railway station departed on Saturday 4th March 1972, so I have missed it by nearly fifty years. It’s now only a bus service from the West Coast main line at Penrith to Keswick.
That’s a journey of about 315 miles, about 505 km; the train is faster and less tiring than driving, and less risky.
The early start meant I had a few hours of daylight to enjoy my garden and the lovely autumn colours.

You see great views from the train that you’ll never see any other way, but the windows have a softening effect on photography and the motion distorts, so I’ve made a montage in the style of postcard rather than feature individual images.


Mobility scooters parked at Eastbourne
Mobility scooters parked on the Promenade at Eastbourne, East Sussex

Eastbourne Pier at High Tide
High tide at Eastbourne, with the Victorian pier looking like a liner moored at a jetty

Roses and sub-tropical plants, Eastbourne
Roses and sub-tropical plants surrounding Eastbourne’s sea front promenade walk

Three views of Eastbourne in East Sussex, guess which one the tourist office would prefer!

Cours Julien, Marseille

Early evening drinks in Cours Julien, Marseille; the stonework glowing in the light of the setting sun.

Alps from above

Alps from above

Views from the window of BA0369 from Marseille to London, showing principally Mont Blanc (4,808 m.) but also Monte Rosa (4,634 m.) and the Bernese Oberland Alps (Finstaarhorn, 4274 m. etc).
Moments earlier in the flight, views of Barre des Écrins (4102 m.) and Mont Ventoux (1909 m.) immediately after take-off from Marseille Provence airport runway 31R.

More photos: The Alps from above

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