31 March 2008


Moored rowing boats on the Avon on a summer-like spring afternoon

30 March 2008

Flower seller

Birmingham city centre

29 March 2008

28 March 2008

Untitled portrait #4

Taken in the grounds of St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham City Centre

27 March 2008

Experimental Malvern panorama

(Click on photo to view larger version)

This was my first attempt at a panorama done a while ago. It is about six photos put together in Publisher and pasted into and touched up in Pant Shop Pro 5. Not the best way to do it, but it half worked!

The photos were taken with an experimental panorama in mind at the Malverns.

25 March 2008

Down to the shore


Eleven people visited yesterday. I have received some comments and a few requests not to close ShutterSpy. I think I'll keep it going! Thanks everyone! :)

Observed from platform 2

Marston Green station. Photo taken from bridge

24 March 2008

Shadows on the wall

Next door neighbour's garden shed

23 March 2008




I took 146 photos before I was satisfied. The objects took over an hour to gather together and set up.

I knew what I wanted from this and had been meaning to do it for a while, I just knew it would be hard work and time consuming so I kept putting it off. It was difficult and some parts of it were boring, but I did enjoy it overall. I am please with the results, seeing as I had two desk lamps and a just-above-entry-level digital camera.

These photos are inspired by - but not copied from - I Spy Mystery: A book of picture riddles by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo which is a children's book but the photographs have a sumptious enigma about them which always intrigues me.

I chose this lighting to enhance the mysterious feel and to make the colour and shadows more interesting. Had this been shot in ordinary light, the toys would have just looked like a temporarily abandoned play spot. Playing is lively and involves movement. With this lighting, I hoped to remove any elements of life (which would be why they call it still life, I suppose!) and liveliness and making it look static and ever so slightly odd (that's not to say sinister - it's not supposed to be that at all).

I didn't want my photos to make a statement or tell a story, I simply wanted them to hold the same sort of enigmatic attraction as the ones by Walter Wick. I wanted them to raise questions and leave the viewer wanting to know more. Have these toys been abandoned? Where are they? Why are they here? Whose are they? What other toys lurk in the shadows? Where is the light coming from - is there someone else in the room? These questions aren't meant to be answered - there are no answers. The toys are simply there.

To begin with, the toys look old-fashioned and at first appear to show toys from the thirties to fifties, but on closer inspection the Rubik's cube and Viewmaster are all too evident.

Even choosing a title for these photos was difficult. I didn't want to suggest anything to the viewer that the photo didn't already suggest. I thought of 'Scattered Childhood' but this would have been too negative. 'Darkened Nursery' suggested a location. 'Toy Box' would almost have done, but would have been a bit too boring and again it suggests a location. 'Play' or 'Playthings' puts action back into the equation. I almost settled with 'Memories' or 'Memory Box', but didn't want to imply that they toys were no longer used. In the end I had to settle for the title 'Toys' but I'm still not quite sure about it... Update: I have now changed it to 'Games'. If you prefer the previous title, please tell me!

Anyway, what I'm banging on about and trying to explain is that I tried to create and capture a sumptious picture of nostalgia, fun, intrigue, mystery, fascination and...puzzlement. I'd like to believe I succeeded and I'm very interested in hearing what you think.

The set-up:


Closing ShutterSpy?

The number of this blog's readers/views has dropped (not that it was particularly high in the first place). I'm wondering if it's worth continuing. Seems a bit pointless really.

Take a look at my stats (bottom of page - click on Bravenet counter) - it's hardly worth it for that many people (ignore the yellow trend - that's page views/refreshes).

So anyway, if I stop posting, you'll know why.

Untitled portrait #3

22 March 2008

The world at his feet

Waiting to photograph aeroplanes from the bridge at Marston Green Station, Birmingham (the airport was to the right), I took this photograph of a young man waiting for his train.


Fancy watching something?

21 March 2008

Lime cordial

Same pub, same bad lighting...

Untitled portrait #2

Untitled portrait #1

I tried to make do with the very poor lighting in the pub for this shot, but I ended up relying on the flash, which of course gives a very poor, flat photo with excessive highlighting. Pity.

Transport photography

If you like my transport photography and want to see more, please take a look at http://hawke-transport-photography.fotopic.net

20 March 2008

18 March 2008

17 March 2008



'You don't land a plane, you fly it until it stops flying'

Unknown quote, unknown plane. Not doing very well am I?

The airport was EGBB/BHX (Birmingham Airport)

I'm being spied on!

Someone at work has been looking through ShutterSpy. I don't know who it is.

I'm being spied on! Argh!

Obviously it's okay, because they're on the internet for all to see, but it feels a bit odd all the same!

16 March 2008


A poor attempt at photo editing.


15 March 2008

Flying high

Shortly after takeoff from EGBE/CVT (Coventry Airport)

Cessna 152

Dripping twig


I prefer my photos to speak for themselves. I present them as they are and one can make of them what they will. I like looking at photos because they give me a sort of 'visual flavour'. ShutterSpy is supposed to be like a daily visual snack. It's supposed to be simple and easy. However, a few of my regulars have alerted me to the fact that they prefer to have a bit of description with each photo and, as any pub landlord will tell you, your regulars are important! So with this in mind, I will try to include a bit of writing with some of the photos. Not all of them, but I suppose adding a bit of description here and there won't hurt.

If anyone has any feeback about this or any other aspect of the blog, please let me know!

14 March 2008

Friendly librarian

(Yes, they do exist!)

This is one of my work collegues. She very kindly allowed me to photograph her and was very patient (I always take lots of one subject). I also had her full permission to post the photos on ShutterSpy. Thanks!

I couldn't decide whether to use this photo or the one of her being more serious. I decided to post this one (well, obviously!).

Unfortunately, the strip lighting made the photo a bit flatter than I'd have hoped.


12 March 2008

Two roads diverge

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

--Robert Frost

(Poem chosen to fit photo. Photo not taken with poem in mind)

Reed bed

11 March 2008

Afternoon arrival

Boeing B735


Ploughman's lunch

Second proper attempt at food photography

A glance behind

10 March 2008

Wizz Air Airbus

Taxiing ready for departure from EGBE/CVT (Coventry Airport) on runway 23

Airbus A320-200

2005 Birmingham Tornado



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