So, here I am, almost by accident.. although I've been looking for that lucky 'accident' where one day I magically discover how to set up a webpage and on-line identity for ...um.. 'quite a long time'... and it looks like it might be today!
I'm here to show you a bit of my world, how I see things, and because things change so very quickly and you have to be in the right place at the right time to catch some of them! Well, these are some that did get caught, and I hope you enjoy them.
So, me.. I expect you want to know more. Well, there is more. Probably quite a lot of more. Feel free to miss out as much as you like by the way.. this website is mainly about my photography.. or rather its about my images .. the things I see and record.. its not really about me, or the way I do it, the technical bit. (I've added a bit on that down there for those keen to pick up tips).
So I was born in Nottingham, England, to a marriage of the Betts family, who have a long history of land and cattle management, and also a swathe of butchers, from my fathers side, and my lovely mum, from the Thompson family, who have roots in Derbyshire too. Grandfather Thompson was a world-class colour printer, and he also taught at Nottingham Technical College. Since then we have spread all round the world.. well.. not totally... well, not yet anyway.
I was 10 when I won a scholarship .. great you might think.. but it turned out to be to a boarding school, boys only. In the same week the RAF posted my father to Singapore for 3 years. So my family went, and I stayed.. but I did go to see them once during the three years. it took 3 days to fly there. In that short holiday my mum bought me a Brownie Box camera.. I took photos of this family I belonged to but couldn't be with...and I've been recording every since....
So, some technical stuff:
Over the years I've moved on from the Brownie 'click' box camera. I've used various makes.. OM 10 35mm features a lot in the 'real film' timescale, and some of the many photographs I've taken of sport are with the OM10. One of my sons turned out to be an 'i-sport' who does I think 19 sports.
I went 'digital' in 2008 when the resolution of the digital image reached I think 8 Mpix. Shortly after I found Canon cameras seemed to fit my hands and put my fingers in the right places, (and yes I did also try Nikon) so I've had all the Canon EOS 5D's from the first (12 Mpix) to the MkIV (22Mpix), and now have a 5DSR (50.6 Mpix) as well. I use a Canon 24-70mm ISII f2.8 zoom as a standard, its a good bright all-rounder and small enough for travel. For more 'targetted' images, such as wildlife and sport, I have a Canon 100-400mm ISII zoom. Coupled with the DSR that has made some stunning images of wildlife.. more especially the hummingbirds and dragonflies of Ecuador. I also use a monopod, mainly for sport.. the camera with the 100-400mm lens can be too heavy to hand-hold for long sessions, and a full tripod is too inflexible, so this takes the weight and leaves me free to swivel, follow and zoom nice and easily.
I get all my equipment from 'Fixation', in Vauxhall, on the South Bank of the Thames in London, which is a professional photographic supplier with everything you could possibly want for photography, including travel gear, lighting, renting, repairing and servicing, for maybe eight or nine professional makes of photographic cameras and gear, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, amongst others, as well as guaranteed second hand equipment. They also 'know their onions' as we say, and give excellent advice. Drop by and prepare to be surprised!
To process these I've used Photoshop pretty much exclusively since the very early days... and as I have a bit of a background in computing this seemed like a marriage in heaven.. digital photography and digital processing!! Currently I'm using Creative Cloud. I shoot RAW images only, as now Windows will let you see any Raw image so you don't need to record a JPG from the camera.. you get a lot more detail and data in a RAW image. go straight to photoshop and read the raw image, create a photoshop version and take it from there. Periodically I'll update this by uploading Adobe Camera Raw, which will give you (for free) the latest coding for recent cameras.. (until Microsoft updates your PC and often screws that up..).
Quite what my grandfather would have thought about all this I have no idea...but I bet he would have loved becoming a master using it!
So there you have it... enjoy the images..
Photos.. me by the sculpture of SIR JOHN BETJYMAN 'the well known poet' in St Pancras station. He was instrumental in lobbying for its preservation.
Me in action on the River Cam (kindly taken by the equivalent photographer on the other bank), me in Masirah rescuing a turtle..
Me from a family wedding..
More photos in the Portfolio section 'About Me'