Positions and Practice – The Global Image – Selection


Len Williamson

The Alhambra is UNESCO World Heritage Site and recognisable to most people in the world. It is a top tourist attraction and the image I have placed here will be recognised by many. The framing is as if through a window. The window of the camera lens. The picture is also a mirror in that it reflects something I wanted to do. I wanted to improve my photography and as part of my learning process show that I could professionally produce a much photographed and well recognised image.

The Alhambra itself has many stories. This picture of the Alhambra is a story. Each viewer will attribute different narratives. For me it is about power, history, positioning against an impressive natural landscape and its distinctive architecture.


Len Williamson

The Belvedere in Tuscanny is known to many landscape photographers and also lovers of Italy. This house has been photographed continuously and usually at dawn for the best shot. Taking this shot was a perfect combination of being present as the sun rose, working out what was the composition I wanted and talking with other photographers about what they were seeking to achieve. Then the sun rose and the mist swirled. Bliss.

I find it interesting that this shot is so restful and calm and gives the impression of being on your own in a perfect moment on the planet. While all of that was true I was also with about 50 other photographers side by side. All of us had got up around 5am to get our place and the shot. Also right behind the shot is an industrial park and garage quite at odds with the impression created through the window shown here.


Albufera Eel Nets
Len Williamson

With some of my photographer friends I call this my Vietnam shot. They have travelled to Vietnam for the rice field shots, to Burma for the poor child or wrinkled old lady shot and on safari for the big 5 shots. If you want to win photography prizes at your club these are key ingredients to success.

This is shot on the Albufera lake near Valencia about 50kms from where I live. I have picked it because it has the ingredients of being a global shot. This shot has captured the attention of a number of my non photographer friends who love the image and then want to understand what tricks I have used to get the effect. (Lee filters and long exposure) My niece Sarah, wondered if the foreground was snow.

This picture has the elements I like to put in to a photograph. If I can get a viewer to be interested and curious to know what the picture is about, give it some meaning and then talk about it I have achieved my goal.

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I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.