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I used to take a lot of black-and-white portraits of interesting people who visited the house, and I have recently

started doing that again, inspired partly by Mapplethorpe and partly by Marko, who took these pictures of me:


Photographs by Marko 
And here are some of my own photographs:  










Many of my photos are of scientific subjects,

and the best ones are available from the SPL (Science Photo Library) in London


Cross section through a plant pot with a broad bean plant growing.





Coloured ripples

A match in the wind (well, actually on its side)

How does a ball bounce?


Golden Syrup                                            Sparky Plug









Lovely bubbly




Then I was taken to some strange places for filming: first CERN's Large Hadron Collider, 100 metres below France and Switzerland near Geneva. The tunnel is nearly circular and 27km long; when it is running, protons go both ways round this tunnel at 99.9999 per cent of  the speed of light; they do 11,000 circuits every second.

The Atlas detector at LHC  

The Compact Muon Solenoid being lowered into the tunnel

The Very Large Telescope at Paranal in Chile

The four 8-metre telescopes of the VLT










The road to Paranal


The laser guide star, used to untwinkle the stars for the VLT.


In the background is the Milky Way and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

SETI's Allen Telescope Array in Northern California







SETI - the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence









On a visit to China I visited Shanghai

and Chonquin - a city of 13 million people

Lunch in a Chinese village

The Great Wall

Terracotta warriors

Snake wine - a perfect nightcap




The charity Practical Action took me to Kenya to see some of the work they are doing there, trying to help combat the effects of global warming. The Maasai people we visited had seen no rain for three years. The land is a desert, and many of their animals have died. They have to carry water from the river for their own use.


Cooking over open fires in mud huts cause smoke inhalation, which  kills more women and children than malaria or aids

The simple solution is a smoke hood and chimney.






The charity WaterAid took me to Bangladesh to see how they are helping to provide fresh water and sanitation in both the countryside and the city.

Rickshaw transport

Planting rice

Village people

The water they have to use for washing









Transport by water in the country...


... and the city

Country school in Bangladesh


This is a slum in the capital, Dhakar

Hanging latrines on the edge of the slum

Hanging latrines are dangerous and unhealthy

Cluster latrines built by  communities within the slum; these women are in charge


I also enjoy photographing nature in all its glory, and interesting landscapes. The sliding rock on the right is at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California, where it seems that the rocks on the desert floor move about in the night. Each stone moves about once a year, and they cover distances between 1 and 100 metres. This is a natural process, while the Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's most dramatic creations.


Autumn leaves in Hyde Park, London

A mermaid who used to live by the Serpentine in Hyde Park, sadly eroded by wind and weather, and now gone to join the other mermaids in the lake.



Lava (pahoehoe) from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii

Rainbow salad

Oak seedling

Ben Nevis

 Stinging nettles

Strange mushrooms by the river

Just ginger root


 Shniffles,                                                      Hercules in Bristol

ice statues in Canada,     

I have five chickens, which are a source of amusement and eggs. This is Ethel (the Red) and this is Winnie (the White)

Hen (given to us by Henrietta)

and Tufty

Ethel checks my proof corrections

Sometimes they go off on expeditions...










...  ... either to admire themselves in the mirror - or perhaps to chat to that flock next door.



I also have three cats, one old and two young, who help me with my work

The RSPCA tell us these two are sisters












And then there are the birds that I have photographed in or from my garden: some common ones, like this blackbird and various tits, and some less common



greater spotted woodpecker


green woodpecker


grey wagtail




kingfisher (next time I'll get it in focus)


cock pheasant


pied wagtail



rook mobbing a buzzard









and other animals are keen on the bird food  
In my spare time I do a lot of green woodwork: these were my first two chairs, and an oak bench for the garden.














I have written two books on the lavatory. Thunder, flush and Thomas Crapper was published by Michael O'Mara in 1997.



In October 2007 I was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society; here I am with the Society’s president, Professor Ralph Jacobson, ASIS Hon FRPS.

I was for several years a judge on the Visions of Science & Technology Photographic Awards (www.visions-of-science.co.uk)  which was organised by the Science Photo Library (SPL), the Engineering and Technology Board  (ETB) and The Daily Telegraph to encourage ongoing discussion about science and technology.

You can see many of my second-best photos, at low resolution, FREE for personal and commercial use, at the DHD Photo Gallery.

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Page last updated: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:52






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