I've always had a love for all things historic and atmospheric. The older and more enigmatic the better. It allows room for the imagination to breathe. This island has a rich landscape, with hill forts, stone circles, ruined abbeys and ancient barrows confronting the traveller at every turn. In recent years, I've been catching up on a long neglected ambition to visit as many of these sites as possible.
When I first discovered digital photography in 2002, that discovery coincided with my rekindled passion for Britain's ancient landscape. I was avidly capturing every place I visited on virtual film. The two interests dovetailed neatly together.
When I was hunting on the internet for places to visit, it struck me how many sites were poorly represented by accompanying photographs. I was blown away by some of the places I was visiting - often unexpectedly - because the internet hadn't done visual justice to the location. This was the main inspiration for this website: to paint a better picture of our heritage, thereby encouraging people to get out and see it for themselves.
Initially, I knew nothing about web design. In its first incarnation, this website was a a very rough and basic affair, created entirely within Frontpage. Over the years, the site has evolved into what you see today. I now hand code in notepad, and the vast majority of site content is database-driven.
There are plenty of websites offering thorough and comprehensive guides to British heritage sites. I don't have similar aspirations for The Isle of Albion. Instead, I focus largely on photogenic sites, picking the most intersting and appealing places to visit. Aside from the fact that I simply don't have the time to visit every minor site, my aim with The Isle of Albion is to produce a guide that offers a "must see" list of sites, making it easy for someone to find a few special places to visit in any given part of the country.
I am not an academic, and I do not have access to academic resources. However, when writing up site guides and articles, I do my best to source information as accurately as possible given the tools at my disposal. I attempt to cross-reference information and dates, and I avoid reliance on a single source wherever I'm able. However, it should be noted that in many cases (particularly for minor and lesser-known sites), there simply isn't that much documentaion available on the internet. I've done my best to keep The Isle of Albion as factual and accurate as possible, but I would advise against relying on it as a definitive source of information.
Some of the early photographs were taken using a basic old 2 megapixel Kodak digital camera. I quickly upgraded to a Kodak DX6490.
It wasn't long before I was pushing the limitations of the compact camera
and decided to invest in a digital SLR . Currently, I'm shooting with the Canon 5D Mk III - a 35mm equivalent full-frame digital camera.
I use the 28-105 f/4 L as my walk-around lens, switching out to the 17-40 f/4 L for wide-angle work. I also carry the 70-200 f/2.8 L lens, but it doesn't get much use for the kind of photography featured on this site. I utilise a 35mm f/1.4L for indoor, low-light shooting.
I frequently use polarising filter, and I've also started using a Cokin graduated ND filter - and this has already proved its worth on a couple of occasions. I also carry two 600EX-RT flash guns and a ST-E3-RT wireless transmitter in my bag, which I'm starting to use for illuminating stones at night and in low light.
Sometimes people suggest that I include a little personal information. The Isle of Albion is about Britain's heritage - it's not about me. If you really want to know more about the author, please feel free to utilise the contact form
and I'll be happy to chat.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for your interest in The Isle of Albion. If you've enjoyed this website - or even if you haven't - please make use of the guestbook
or contact form
, as feedback is always appreciated. The Isle of Albion is intended as a resource for others, so I'm keen to hear whether you find it enjoyable and useful.