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ARTIST'S CHOICE

Artist's choice is a carefully curated collection by Philip of his most popular and favourite photos  together with a brief summary of the story behind the image. 

Prints of all photos in this gallery are available to purchase and details maybe found
here.

Images are also available for commercial publishing blogs and websites and licensing details maybe found here.

© Copyright
Stave church in meadow near alps Davos, Switzerland
TL 103941
Stave church, Davos, Switzerland. 


Taken in 1976 during a holiday in Switzerland this shot of the Stave church near Davos was to launch my career as a travel photographer. A chance meeting whilst there with the wife of the owner of a London photo agency who was also on holiday requested if I could take a photo of the church. On the strength of this shot I was commissioned by the agency for a number of travel assignments. This image is the only one on this website taken with a Hasselblad 500 cm square format camera. I was advised that because of cropping the square format was not ideal for magazine covers etc and I subsequently change to the 6x7 format.

PE 4540
HMS Warrior, & Mudlarks statue Portsmouth harbour, Hampshire.

HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861 She was the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships launching in 1859 . She is part of the attractions of Portsmouth Historical Dockyard. the stature on the right is dedicated to the "Mudlarks". Generations of children of poverty backgrounds from Portsea who entertained travellers by retrieving coins they threw into the mud. Shot into the sun the image was converted to black & white and a high contrast filter applied in editing. The backlighting silhouettes the statue whilst detailing the cobblestones with the light coming through the overhanging leaves framing the ship.

HMS Warrior, & Mudlarks statue Portsmouth harbour, Hampshire
Post WW2 Conflicts Memorial Guildford, Surrey. 
PE 4705
Post WW2 Conflicts Memorial Guildford, Surrey. 

Situated in the grounds of Guildford Castle in Surrey is a bronze statue of military figure holding a plaque engraved with the names of Guildford residents killed in action since WW2 . He stands beneath a "nave" created by three arcs, representing the 3 branches of the Armed Forces. At his feet lay poppy wreaths placed on Remembrance Sunday. 14th November 2021. This was a technically challenging shot to execute. I used a special wide-angle lens known as a tilt & shift lens to include the three arches and the castle in focus. This lens changes the position of the lens in relation to the camera’s image sensor. Keeping the camera level to the subject on a tripod I was able to shift the lens upwards to keep the top of the arch in frame and by tilting the lens slightly bring the castle into focus. The contrast between the bright highlighted castle and the statue in shadow was overcome by taking a spot reading from each area and making an average exposure adjusting the resulting image in editing. 

PE 4746
Canoeist paddling past wild rhododendrons on the Basingstoke canal in North Hampshire. 

I’m very fortunate to live in a lovely part of the country in North Hampshire where the Basingstoke Canal is located close to my home. It’s not surprising that the canal might feature a little in my main gallery! During Springtime the banks of the canal are covered with wild rhododendrons in a vibrant pink blossom reflecting in the water. I took this shot on a lovely Spring day in May 2022 the composure of the shot I feel is enhanced by the inclusion of the canoe and human interest demonstrating just one of the many relaxing activities that the canal has to offer . This shot is one of a set that I took of which one was selected for the covers of the May/June editions of five local magazines.

Canoeist paddling past wild rhododendrons on the Basingstoke canal in North Hampshire. 
The Power of Steam black and  white.
PE 4013
The Power of Steam black and  white.

I have always had a passion for steam trains and is a subject that now features more prominently with my recent work. Capturing the atmospheric conditions of emitting steam and conveying in black & white the power of the locomotive was my objective for this shot. A low viewpoint and wide-angle lens helped to add impact. The shot was taken at the Mid Hants Railway “Watercress Line“ with carefully controlled health and safety management.

PE 4145
Barrow Hill Roundhouse. 

Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Derbyshire was built in 1870 as a maintenance centre for steam locomotives. In 1991 when the site was closed by British Rail. It was saved by a group of dedicated volunteers who have transformed it into a premier railway museum and events venue. All of the locomotives displayed are static. This shot was taken on organised photo shoot arranged by an events company. Reenactors and smoke machines were used to recreate the atmosphere of what the roundhouse must have been like in its heyday. 

Barrow Hill Roundhouse.
The Corris Railway, Gwynedd, Wales. 
PE 4544
The Corris Railway, Gwynedd, Wales. 

The Corris Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway based in Corris on the border between Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire in Mid-Wales. The line opened in 1859 as a horse tramway, running originally from quays on the River Dyfi at Morben and Derwenlas following the Dulas Valley to Corris and on to Aberllefenni. This shot was taken on an organised photo shoot at the railway in August 2021. The vintage car was a bonus as had not been planned for. It’s owner who lived nearby saw what was going on with us photographers and offered to join in ! The locomotive in the photo was visiting the railway which made it a newsworthy image for the heritage railway press  and was published in the September 2021 edition of “Steam Railway“ magazine. I also donated the image and three others taken on the photoshoot to the Corris Railway 2022 Calendar.

PE 4937
Autumn vineyard Palatinate (Pfaizerwald) region Germany.

The Palatinate ( Pfaizerwald )region in South West Germany is the countries second largest wine region and in terms of climate is known as one of the warmest driest and sunniest German wine regions. It certainly was very warm when I was there on this beautiful Autumn day in October 2008. I had to wait a long time before I saw the image in print for a 2019 Germany calendar.

Autumn vineyard Palatinate (Pfaizerwald) region Germany.
Square in old town (Casco Viejo) Pamplona Navarra Spain.
PE 4176
Square in old town (Casco Viejo) Pamplona Navarra Spain.

The advances of digital photography have made it possible to take photos in conditions such as low light which would not have been possible with film cameras without setting up a tripod and long exposure times. Visiting friends in Pamplona Northern Spain at Christmas 2019 and walking with them around the old town at night time I took this shot with a Sony DSC-RX100 pocket camera which has a 24 Megapixel sensor. For photo technically minded people the shot was take at 1/160th at F1.8 at ISO 2500 with a focal length set at 10.4 on a 10.4 to 37.1mm zoom lens. Hand held.

PE 2068
Marsalokk harbour and  parish church, Malta.

During the 90’s I worked extensively in Malta as can be seen in the Malta Collection on this website. This shot however was taken in the summer of 2008 on a return visit to Malta. Not on a photoshoot but for a stock photography industry convention. My knowledge of the island allowed me to take a handful of images to update my collection. The Maltese are very friendly and welcoming people and this fisherman kindly obliged to position his boat at Marsalokk Harbour in front of the Parish Church. This location is an iconic viewpoint extensively photographed so I was pleased to be able to include some addition interest with the fisherman and his boat.

Marsalokk harbour and  parish church, Malta.
Andalusia, Southern Spain.
TL 135914
Andalusia, Southern Spain.

Located in Andalusia, Southern Spain behind Malaga and the Costa del Sol are the whitewashed towns and villages known as the White Towns or Pueblos Blancos. Many are in hillside settings with narrow streets and alleyways. I had set up my camera looking down from the top of a steep stepped street in the village of Frigiliana. Whilst half of the street was in bright sunlight the other was in shadow. To balance this for an even exposure I used what is known as a graduated neutral density filter. Placed horizontally over the camera lens one half of the filter is clear and the other darkly tinted to a degree. This enabled me to expose for the shadow side of the street which required a longer exposure than the bright side which was balanced by the darker side of the filter.

TL 135942
Andalusia, Southern Spain.

I had just taken one shot when suddenly two very young children ran past me and I captured them as they ran down the steps. Moments later I saw an elderly gentleman walking slowly up the hill with a package under his arm that transpired to be a TV set!! Both shots have been published widely for travel brochures, calendars and a greetings card. 

Andalusia, Southern Spain.
Piazza Novona Rome, Italy.
PE 4938
Piazza Novona Rome, Italy.

Shooting with my Pentax 6x7 camera I was composing a shot of this colourful café when spontaneously this scene unfolded in front of me. The lady on the bike pulled up with the other (presumably the café owner) rushing over to greet her friend gesticulating with her hands. In that moment I took the shot which subsequently became and still is my most successful widely published image ever. Capturing “The Magic of Italy“ the image was used on the front cover of a travel brochure and an extensive National Weekend newspapers advertising campaign.  

TL 150464
Basingstoke canal in winter.

Still back in the days of shooting film with the 6 x7 camera I woke up one Boxing Day to a crisp bright morning following a heavy overnight snowfall. Heading off to the nearby Basingstoke Canal to take some calendar shots. Setting up to take a generic scene I could not believe my luck when I saw the canal boat coming under the bridge.I had one chance and one frame to get the shot quickly changing my shutter speed and lens aperture to capture the movement of the boat. As it passed me by the man on the tiller said “did you get it?....there won’t be many more today“. I certainly did get it and the image has been published many tines including a cover for Hampshire Life magazine in 2018 and more recently a series of local community magazine covers.

Basingstoke canal in winter.
Landscape Italy with farmhouse and mist rising.
TL 135585
Landscape Italy with farmhouse and mist rising.

Us photographers are known to get up at silly o clock in the morning to arrive at a location to capture maybe a spectacular sunrise. But to take this shot all I had to do was to get out of bed ! Staying in the Umbria region of central Italy I was on a photoshoot for a tour operator promoting Agriturismo a programme of holiday rental accommodation in rural properties such as farmhouses and barn conversions. With a room with a view from one of these properties I captured this late summer landscape just after sunrise with the mist rising from the valley and the sun breaking through throwing a golden light onto the farm buildings and harvested field.  

TL 115381
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia Northern Spain, night shot.

The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia Northern Spain is an iconic symbol of the city of Santiago and the final destination for many pilgrims walking or cycling the Camino de Santiago. This shot was taken whist working on a book project covering all of Northern Spain for AA Publishing. Working with the local tourism office I was able to gain access to a vantage point from a balcony of the adjacent luxury hotel Parador de Santiago-Hostal Reis Catoliccos. The floodlit cathedral would have been shot with a timed exposure and a special filter to correct the colour balance to accommodate the tungsten light on the building. Shot just after dusk the combination of the colour balance correction filter resulted to in the night blue sky. Something photographers call the blue hour.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia Northern Spain, night shot.
Sunlit Square with goose sculpture ornate lamp and wine cellar sign.
TL 100093
Sunlit Square with goose sculpture ornate lamp and wine cellar sign.

Sometimes you need eyes in the back of your head and look all around you otherwise you might just miss the shot. Which is exactly what happened when I took this shot in the town of Sarlat in the region of Dordogne France. I was focused on another shot with my back to this scene when my (late ) wife Val who often accompanied me on assignments  tapped me on the shoulder and said look behind you Phil! Val who had an eye for a photo had seen this sunlit square with the goose sculpture ornate lamp and wine cellar sign and thought that it would make a good French atmospheric shot. She was right the image was used for a specialist French holidays tour operators brochure cover. (You can see the finished brochure cover on the image licensing page of this website).

TL 114292
Mdina, Malta. "Ghonella" Maltese traditional costume.

With the help of the Malta tourist office and a local dance troupe we set up this shot off one of the dancers dressed in the traditional Costume.The ‘Ghonella’ (pronounced as ‘awn-nel-la’) or ‘Faldetta’ a large black silk shawl, or hooded cloak which was part of the Maltese women’s Sunday best outfits and uniquely, the national costume until the mid-twentieth century. It covered the head in a sort of stiff, starched frame made out of board, cane or whalebone. The shot was taken early morning in the silent city of Mdina so called because of its labyrinth of narrow alleys and roads where no vehicles other than horse drawn carriages are permitted.

Mdina, Malta. "Ghonella" Maltese traditional costume.
Berlin Wall.
PE 4948
Berlin Wall.

In October 1990 I was on assignment in Berlin almost a year since the fall of The Berlin Wall by which time there was freedom of movement between West and East and I was able to cross into East Berlin via the Brandenburg Gate with no security guards to be seen. I captured this shot of an elderly woman standing at the wall looking to the west with in trepidation. A very poignant image that has never been published.

TL 142975
Elderly man walking under canopy of red flowers.

I titled this shot “Stroll before Siesta“ An elderly gentleman makes his way home in a quaint Spanish village under a canopy of bougainvillea. His very presence makes the image in what may otherwise had been a very ordinary scenic photo. Whilst this is my favourite, I took a couple more shots as he walked down the street. This gave the designers a choice of images when selecting one for the cover of a specialist Spanish tour operators brochure. (You can see the finished brochure cover on the image licensing page of this website).

Elderly man walking under canopy of red flowers.
Colourful boutique, France.
TL 135167
Colourful boutique, France.

I would never have found this location had it not been for a tour operator who asked me to go there. A tiny village in Picady France. I in fact discovered this boutique in Springtime but predicted that by later in the Summer it would be a more colourful subject. Returning in July I was right to think so and took this shot. The image has been used for wall art and for a France calendar. 

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