Archive for the ‘Photographs’ Category

Photos from London’s Margins

Monday, January 18th, 2016

There are lots of unused photos from my feature in February’s Country Walking magazine on walks from the ends of London’s tube lines, so I thought I would post a few of them here – I got up really early to get to these places for the dawn light, so I’d like someone else to see them too!













In the Pink on Yeavering Bell

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Yeavering Bell is an Iron-Age hillfort in Northumberland, one of the largest in the country. The tumbledown ramparts, still clearly visible in the photograph below, were originally 10 feet high and they enclose an area of  some 12 acres.

Yeavering Bell with ramparts clearly visible.

Yeavering Bell with ramparts clearly visible.

The hillfort looks over the site of Ad Gefrin, Edwin’s royal palace and the place where Paulinus baptised for thirty days in the River Glen at the bottom of the valley. Ad Gefrin is now a wind-swept field of grass, but it remains a hugely evocative place.

The field of Ad Gefrin, with Yeavering Bell in the background. 'Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair.'

The field of Ad Gefrin, with Yeavering Bell in the background. ‘Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair.’

The rock that was used to build the ramparts of Yeavering Bell is a local andesite that, when first quarried, is bright pink, before lichens and weathering grey it. Where a stone has tumbled, revealing a previously hidden face, it’s possible to see just how Barbie-esque the fortifications would have been when first built.

The salmon pink of fresh andesite - once all the hills were laced with it.

The salmon pink of fresh andesite – once all the hills were laced with it.

There is, to my mind, something wonderful about the thought of these grim hills – almost all of them had hillforts on them – necklaced in salmon pink.

It’s Never Too Early To Start Reading

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Isaac and book

Cover Quandaries

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It’s an exciting time: the History Press has sent me a trial cover for Northumbria: The Lost Kingdom. I quite like it, but what do you think?

Northumbria: The Lost Kingdom

Me, me and, er, me

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

One look into the panic-stricken eyes of an author, pinned on the jacket of his latest book by a photographer, will reveal a simple truth: there is a reason he chose not to become an actor. Dear Reader, being married to a woman who used to be an actress and always, always, looks wonderful in photographs, I have come to appreciate that there is skill, art and knowledge involved in looking good on camera – I don’t think I would have paid Helena Christensen $10,000 to get out of bed, but a good model is certainly worth a reasonable fee.

We live in a visual age, however, and I am now being asked to provide photos – of me – for interviews and jacket covers. I decided, therefore, not to accept my usual photographic image as the human chipmunk and ask a good friend and fine photographer, Sarah Lim, to take some pictures of me that wouldn’t actually scare away readers. I think she has more than succeeded in that – the initial amazement (‘wow, I actually look pretty good’) has given way to unwonted and unwanted stirrings of vanity (‘maybe she could photoshop the spots’) – but now I have to decide which photo to use. In that, I ask your advice, dear reader. Which of these photos do you think is the best?