Tag Archives: Damien Walmsley

Damien Walmsley

Welcome to my new look web site.  This web site was set up back in 2016 and my first posts featured the different topics of Birmingham Gems, Pictures of Bridges and entries into the Post and Mail.  Fast forward to 2021 and the site has recorded many photographic events over my five years of blogging not least the pandemic.  I use my camera to record events and make stories that I like to share.  When the site started, it followed the normal pattern of being a showcase of photographs.  There were sections on travel, Birmingham and local views around where I live.  But the one area that I kept returning to time after time was the my blog.  It is just like writing a diary.  It also enables me to display more of my photographs that don’t normally make it onto Instagram, Twitter or Flickr.  

Changing the site and taking account of all the new technology that has been introduced is key to ensuring the site is not stale.  Throughout this journey, I have been helped enormously by James Kelly who is responsible for the overall web design.  James has been key in the development of the shop @dammodammoshop and the overall branding of the web pages.  James has ensured that the site is Google friendly and we are now accepting adverts onto the site.  This is turn will get the site pushed up the Google rankings.  I hope that it does not distract from your viewing pleasure of the blog.   If you wish to know more about James and his work, then visit his site burstoffruit | We make fun stuff 

The photographs make the stories and allow me to move forward.  I do appreciate all the positive comments about my pictures in the various media where they get published and I am pleased that they bring pleasure.  I have also started to give photographic talks at different levels.  One is the fun social element to local interest groups.  Here I cover popular subject areas that I enjoy photographing and these include Canals, National Trust Properties and other stately homes. Other subjects include cities, travel, wildlife and woodland trusts.

Enjoy exploring the new site and thank you for all your support by stopping by to take a look.  BTW if you like the headshot it was taken by Ewen Rankin, professional photographer.

This is a great community who are active in many different parts of Birmingham life. It is about celebrating inspired people and the success of different communities in the Birmingham area. One are of celebration is in photography. The good people of Birmingham have featured 10 of my best photographs as portrayed on their web site

It is interesting to me what other people like with my photographs. All the pictures taken were featured on Twitter @birminghamweare and received numerous likes.

It is a while since we visited Kenilworth Castle. Taking a chance on the weather we went for a visit. It was a windy day and the grandchildren are good to start with but then got fractious. So as an amateur photographer you have to adapt to the conditions and the emotions of the day. I got some good pictures of the family running around the castle grounds before they went in for a coffee. It gave me the chance to explore the new attraction at the castle, Leicester’s Tower. English Heritage have built a staircase and viewing platforms on each floor in the tower. They platforms provide excellent views of the castle and the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. I will return when the weather improves and linger for more shots in the Elizabethan garden and the grounds.

Framing of Leicester’s Gatehouse
View from Leicester’s Tower
The fun of running in the Elizabethan Garden
Run, Lily, Run
Family portrait
A cheeky picture to end

It is always good when my diary has the free space for an Igersbirmingham instameet and I was lucky as this one coincided with Birmingham Heritage week.  The venue was Aston Hall a place that I had not visited since my daughters were young.  I expected changes to the layout of the Hall rooms but also, I was excited to visit the Long Gallery which is one of the major attractions of this grand house that is steeped in history.  I will not elaborate much further on the history of the Hall as it can all be found on the Birmingham Museums web site


This visit was organised by Igersbirmingham who once again excelled at ensuring we had a worthwhile time with our cameras.  We arrived an hour before the official opening and this allowed us the time to browse around the rooms and take photographs of the interesting places.  I brought along my fisheye lens as I was hoping that this would provide a different view of the Long Gallery.  I also worked with my Canon 5D and the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses.  I do get very excited about taking part in photographic events such as this one and it takes a while for me to settle down and concentrate on achieving good pictures. There are many different views and the Long Gallery view with the fisheye came out how I imagined it which was fortunate.  However, I am always surprised on how others view my pictures and the Igersbirmingham team selected the picture of the chimneys on the roof for their blog on the meeting


Many thanks to the Igers team of Beth, Fraser and Martin for their work and enthusiasm in running these Instameets

Aston Hall

Igersbirmingham ready to go and take some photographs.

Aston Hall welcomes it visitors

Such sharp teeth you have

Art work of a flat camera on a tripod

Some of the Characters in traditional costume

Staircases make for interesting photography

Out taking pictures

Thee Long Gallery through a fisheye

Sir Thomas Holte entertains

Detail from one of the rooms

Looking up

Chimneys and lots of them

Outside Gardens

Church of St Peter and St Paul (seen from Aston Hall)

Lovely Sky behind Aston Hall


There was a conference in London Docklands at the Excel centre.  London in July is normally hot but with the current heatwave the temperatures were reaching 32 degrees Celsius.  Travelling by Tube and DLR to Excel was exhausting.  The conference was not bad and there was a lot to learn with many networking opportunities.  Having my camera with me always allows me the opportunity to catch the early morning or late evening pictures.  I carry a Sony DSC-RX100M5 with a 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 zoom lens with me at all times and it proves to be a highly versatile camera.  Some of the pictures were taken with my iPhone as well.

First sight of the Sun over the Excel centre

Moon rays over the Spillers building on the Royal Dock

Yellow Sail across the water

Looking down from the Royal Victoria Dock Bridge

Surreal view of the inside of the Excel conference centre

Framing the sunrise over the docks

The Golden Hour of a Sunrise

View of the O2 arena from the Gun

Canary Wharf at night

Sunrise and clouds reflected over the docks

Looking Eastwards with London city airport to the right.

The last chair at the conference

So many lights and reflections

The path to dreams

Clocks – Canary Wharf

You may gather that I love nothing more than putting my camera and lenses in a backpack and then setting off along the local canal network.  When cycling along the canals, it is interesting to see cottages near to large flights of locks.  These Lockmasters’ Cottages are part of the waterways heritage when the canals were busy with traffic.  The canals were the major highways and people were employed to check that the boat traffic ran efficiently and smoothly.  Now these Cottages are part of the scenery and many are privately owned or used as holiday homes.  The architecture is interesting and they are positioned so they have a prominent view of the waterway.  I have selected a few of the cottages that I have photographed on my travels using my Canon D5 mk4 with the EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens and EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens.  Both are fine in a small photographic backpack for cycling.  When taking the photographs, I like the overall view and look to capture the “feel” whether it will be stillness shown by the reflections or activity with a boat going through the lock.  I put the Cottage in the frame and aim to tell a story through the picture.

Finally I have also include an older picture of the Lockmaster’s Cottage in Lowsenford that is owned by the Landmark Trust.  In 2015, five of Sir Antony Gormley statues were commissioned to celebrate 50 years of the Landmark Trust. This statue was placed near to the centre of England and was next to Lengthman’s Cottage, Lowsonford, Warwickshire. The other four were at four ends of the compass around the UK whilst this one was on the Stratford-upon-Avon canal. They were displayed for only 1 year and then returned to Sir Antony Gormley.

Stratford-upon-avon Canal

Bottom lock at Hatton near Warwick on Grand Union Canal

Long Exposure of the Cottage at Kingswood junction, Lapworth.

The pretty cottage at Preston Bagot on the Stratford canal

Stratford Canal

Stratford Canal

Lengthsman’s Cottage in 2015 with the Sir Antony Gormley statue.

Biking from home to Coughton Court for a photographic visit.  Each time I visit the National Trust property, I always spot something new to see.  The house is full of interesting rooms and the views from the Tower are wonderful.  There is also recounts of the history of the Gunpowder plot.  These pictures give a small insight to what I saw around the house and the beautiful gardens.

Situated at the University of Birmingham, Winterbourne House is well worth a visit. Here are a few pictures from my recent trip there with the family. Lots of colour in the summer and next time we will remember to take our picnic hamper with us.

There are always people browsing your Flickr photographs and I was contacted by Dorling Kindersley, a London based publishing house.who are part of the Penguin Random House group.  They informed me that they are creating a presentation entitled, Flora.

To illustrate the text on Leaf Skeleton, they wished to use the below image from my Flickr collection:

I agreed that DK may use the image.  It is one image and I let it go forward for a PDF and an acknowledgement in the book.  I was flattered that they wished to use the image but I don’t get any financial award 🙁  By letting them use the picture then they have my consent to use this image in all editions in all forms of Flora (including digital products based on Flora) in all languages throughout the world.

I can take some comfort from the accompanying text they sent me.  DK is an award-winning global publisher of distinctive, highly visual products for adults and children. Founded in London in 1974, we are enormously proud to be the worlds leading illustrated reference publisher.  Therefore I may not get financial compensation but a lot of people will get to see the image and it may lead to more recognition.