Author Archives: hdbphotog

About hdbphotog

I'm a Weston-super-Mare based photographer

Lacock Abbey visit

The problem with self-employment is that if you’re not careful you can find yourself feeling like you can’t stop – if you’re not working, then you’re marketing and doing all the admin that comes with running a business.  So I made a decision the other week that I would take a day off, and actual full day off, on a weekday too, and took myself off on a day trip out.  It wasn’t totally a day off from photography though as I decided to take a trip to Lacock Abbey and village, near Chippenham, which is the place where William Henry Fox Talbot produced one of the first (if not the first) photographic negative. Although I’ve been a photographer now for nearly 20 (yes, 20!) years, I’ve never got around to visiting Lacock, and as I now live around an hours drive away it was time I made the trip.

03102017-Lacock Abbey-002

The Latticed Window – replica camera and negative

Lacock Abbey was the family home of William Henry Fox Talbot, and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust.  Inside the main entrance there is a fascinating small museum dedicated to Fox Talbot and the early days of photography – I found it interesting to hear that he started his experiments in capturing and image due to the fact that he couldn’t draw or paint as well as his wife and daughter.  I also got into photography as I’m 03102017-Lacock Abbey-004pretty rubbish at drawing, so photography is one way of creating without having to try and learn to paint! The museum also holds some interesting items and images related to photography over the years since Fox Talbot created his images, including a gold Nikon camera!

Whilst I was there, there was also an exhibition upstairs in the museum entiled “Drawn to the Land” with images by Sophie Gerrard, documenting 6 women living and working in the most remote parts of Scotland. Some stunning images, and I ended up chatting to a lovely couple and giving them a few hints and tips on photography whilst we wandered around looking at Sophies images 🙂

Wandering around the Abbey, it’s a beautiful place, and of course the part I really wanted to see was the lattice window, made famous as the subject of the oldest negative in existence.

03102017-Lacock Abbey-093

It was very strange to be stood in the same spot as Fox Talbot, and to think that if this invention had turned out differently, who knows what job I would be doing, and to think that from this point back in 1835, came the life of images we have today. Photography and all things that have evolved from it have advanced so rapidly, this photo below (grabbed quickly on my mobile phone) is an interesting representation of who far we’ve come, we take so many more photos in 30 seconds, than were taken in the whole of the 1800’s.  Everyone has a camera in their pocket, and the quality is getting better with each new phone that comes out.  The photo below was taken on my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone – not bad, eh?



It was quite something standing there, looking at the same window, and taking the same photo that was taken all those years ago.

The Abbey itself is such a lovely place, there’s so much to see, not only the furnished family rooms, but also the unfurnished abbey rooms, which open out into the cloisters.  I found it interesting, reading some of the signs around the place, that some of the external walls were taken out in the 1800’s to create a romantic ruin which opened up onto the main grounds. These walls have since been replaced, but I can imagine how beautiful it must have all looked.

After a walk around the Abbey itself I also took a stroll through the grounds, which were looking beautiful as all the crocus were coming out, the daffodils and snowdrops were still around just about.  There were signs that in a few weeks it could be bluebell central – maybe I should book myself another day off!

Below are a couple of panoramas I shot whilst there, well worth a quick spin!


My 2016 in Pictures

Here are a few of my favourite images I’ve taken over 2016 – some are work assignments and some are just for my own pleasure 🙂

The Ring of Anhur

A few months ago I had a very mysterious phone call from a gentleman looking to book my photographic services. He was very cagey about what it was he wanted photographing, and would only tell me over the phone that it was a highly polished, engraved item, and a challenge to photograph without reflections ruining the detail of the engraving. I suggested that he brought it over to me and I would do a test shot to check he was happy with what I could do, before he committed to booking me, and when I saw the item I was even more intrigued about what it could be. It was a circular object, around 8 inches across, made from solid bronze, engraved with interesting symbols and hieroglyphic style symbols, and polished to a mirrorlike finish. The client didn’t want to give too much away about the nature of the disc, so I just took a test shot, and he left and I emailed a copy over to him to check he was happy with the results. 

The Ring of Anhur

The Ring of Anhur

Which he was – so he booked me for a full studio session to get the shots he wanted, and this time he was prepared to give me a little more information on the story of the disc (or rather, two discs – as it is made up of two interlocking discs, one larger than the other) He told me about a book he has written, called “The Ring of Anhur” a fictional story, a mix of Dan Brown thriller meets Indiana Jones, meets UFOs, and the Ring of Anhur, sat in my studio was the prize in a nationwide treasure hunt, to be buried somewhere in the UK, and the book held clues to its whereabouts – along with questions which would be released at intervals on the website http://www.the ring of -exciting stuff! 

The Ring of Anhur

The Ring of Anhur

Unfortunately I’m not able to enter, as I’m too involved with the project, but if you want more information, visit the website where you can order a copy of the book, and be in with a chance of finding the Ring of Anhur, and get your hands on a cash prize too! (As well as helping 3 charitable causes that will also benefit from the sales of the book)

The Ring of Anhur

The Ring of Anhur

Meg Attwood Potential Difference Coaching

Business Headshots

A couple of images from a recent headshot photo session with Meg Attwood of Potential Difference Coaching, based in Clevedon.  We had a great session, and luckily the weather stayed dry, so we could get outside for some relaxed shots to go alongside the more formal indoor ones.


#366for2016 – February

These are my February images for my #366for2016.  These images are a random mix of Nikon D800, Olympus OM-D EM-10, Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone.  They’re just my life as I plod on through the year.  February to follow on another blog post.

#366for2016 – January

A couple of years ago I did a 365 project, taking a photo a day for the whole of 2013 – that gallery can be found here: and I thought that seeing as we’ve got a leap year I’d give it another go.  These images are a random mix of Nikon D800, Olympus OM-D EM-10, Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone.  They’re just my life as I plod on through the year.  February to follow on another blog post.

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016, and whilst I’m not so great at updating my blog on a regular basis (once every couple of months seems about average for me!) I have been busy with my work, so I thought I’d do a quick roundup of some of my favourite images from 2016.