About Me

Chris Iles www.chrisiles.co.uk

Photographing our Hidden Subterranean Worlds. The History and Heritage of Liverpool, Architecture, Landscapes and anything else that catches my eye…

I have been enjoying photography for many years, keeping most of my early photographic equipment except for just a few cameras. I started off with the good but very basic Ricoh ‘KR5’ as a teenager, upgrading to the more advanced Ricoh ‘XR7’ as my interest in photography grew. Some years later I moved to Nikon as my main camera system, the Nikon ‘FA’ being my 35mm camera of choice. Eventually having two Nikon FA camera bodies, complete with a range of accompanying Nikon Nikkor lenses and accessories.

I also grew to love medium format photography too, alongside 35mm. Buying my first, a Mamiya ‘C330f’ TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) which I used for a good few years, until it was sadly stolen. I replaced the Mamiya with the fabulous Zenza Bronica ‘SQ-A’ SLR medium format system. I would never part with any of my old film cameras.

I was a late adaptor of digital cameras, refusing to make the change from film to digital. I believed that the quality of film was far superior to what digital could manage, which of course it was in those early days of digital. However there is no denying that digital has now caught up, even surpassed film in terms of output quality. Though film can still very much hold its own today.

I now use the excellent Nikon ‘D850’ & ‘D800’ FX digital SLR cameras which are both wonderful quality, solid workhorses. Before my current digital cameras, I had a Nikon ‘D200’ SLR, which i had specially converted to Infra-Red. I have always been fascinated by Infra-Red photography, using a converted digital camera today is a far simpler process than using Infra-Red film ever was. But the results from film were worth the effort.

As convenient as the modern digital process has made photography these days, I still miss the good old days of film photography. That wonderful process of creating your image, photographing the scene with your camera was just the start of the journey. The fun then began in the dark room, processing your film, then of course printing the negatives. The magical moment for me was watching as your image gradually appeared on the blank paper immersed in the developer solution, a magical moment indeed. The creation of images used to be a wonderful and fascinating process from start to finish, that is sadly missing from today’s image making process.

After leaving school, I studied Photography full time. One of the many assignments I was given, was to photograph the interior of a Chapel within a convent in Mossley Hill, using a 5 x 4 inch monorail plate camera which I loved using. The resulting image was considered good enough to be entered into the prestigious ‘British Institute of Professional Photography’ (BIPP) competition by my course lecturer.

I was overjoyed to learn that my image went on to be awarded a ‘First Merit’ in the student category of this BIPP national competition.

As well as regular photography, I have become a fan of the fascinating word of aerial photography and video, using the amazing DJI Mavic Air 2 drone. I am a registered Drone operator and flyer with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

I have had the pleasure and honour of being a Volunteer, Guide, Trustee and photographer for the Registered Charity, “Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels” since 1999. It has been a fascinating journey of discovery and exploration working in the Tunnels. Digging and exploring the tunnels, meeting many interesting people, but the most wonderful thing has been showing the many hundreds if not thousands of people around Joseph Williamson’s Subterranean kingdom. I have also had the pleasure taking many of the photographs within the tunnels, showing the progress of their discovery and restoration throughout the years.

I am also involved in the “Liverpool & Manchester Railway Trust”. We are determined to get Liverpool’s Railway Heritage recognised and appreciated by the world. Liverpool, the birthplace of the Railways.

  • Twitter: @LMRailway

In 1985 I started my career with British Rail, firstly as a Drivers Assistant (second man), then becoming a Freight Train Driver in 1988. Since then, I have been delighted to be given the opportunity to drive many Special Passenger trains. These services ranging from the “Northern Belle” and other special Traction & Heritage Excursions up and down the country. I am currently based at Liverpool Lime Street, working High speed 125mph tilting Pendolino and Super Voyager trains on the West Coast Main Line between Liverpool, London Euston and Holyhead.

I am Proud of my home city of Liverpool, its History, Heritage and it’s Architecture.

My web site is continually growing, as and when I have time to add to it. So please do come back again soon.

See how me, my images and video have been featured on TV, Radio and other media, over the years.

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