SOME stunning new pictures have been added to the header pages of The Beyonder – thanks to the generosity of local photographers Nick Bell and Graham Parkinson.
The pictures form part of a carousel of around 30 images which appear as a background on the site whenever someone opens a new page.
Until now the images used on the site have almost all been taken by Beyonder editor Andrew Knight, supplemented with occasional free photographs shared by photographers on the Unsplash photo-sharing website and credited on the magazine’s Support Us page.
Says Andrew: “We have always wanted to feature local photographs on our pages, but in the early days of the site my cheap point-and-shoot digital camera simply wasn’t good enough to produce top-quality images.
“We were grateful to the photographers on Unsplash who share their work in return for a credit, but we also wanted to ensure that all our pictures are local ones and feature a cross-section of wildlife as well as landscapes.”
Original Beyonder display pictures featured a range of destinations pictured through the changing seasons, from Langley and Black Park to Burnham Beeches, Cliveden, Marlow and Penn.
Several of the new pictures featured in the first part of a profile of Nick Bell featuring his insect pictures.
“Nick’s photographs are stunning and they help us to reflect the breadth of content on the site,” says Andrew. “Capturing fast-moving insects and birds is a very specialist skill, and it’s very exciting to be able to use images of this quality in this way.”
As well as a quartet of insect photographs, other shots show sunbeams in woodland and a dramatic picture of clouds at sunrise. Additional pictures featured in a second article spotlighting Nick’s bird photographs.
Other pictures taken by Graham Parkinson have featured in an article about his hobby and in local walks featuring a cross-section of his portraits of locations like Homefield Wood and Littleworth Common.
“Not all pictures are suitable for these background displays because of having to be able to read type over them,” Andrew explains. “But we are looking forward to including more pictures when we can find just the right ones.”
The random nature of the header selections means there’s no way of selecting which one will appear on any particular page – so anyone looking for a particular image may find they need to refresh the page quite a few times before it appears.
“It can be quite hard to replace images because some of the older ones have so many happy associations,” says Andrew.
“Many of them were taken on local walks at different times of year and conjure up other images of a particular day out – the colourful fungi in Penn Woods, the flooding by the Thames near Bourne End, an autumn day in Black Park or springtime coming to Spade Oak quarry.
“But Nick and Graham’s pictures are a reminder to visitors that there’s much more to the website than just people enjoying a ramble in the woods.
“We have a lot of articles about all sorts of things, from birds and insects to local history, interesting people with a story to tell, book reviews and places to visit once the lockdown restrictions allow.
“For anyone stumbling on the website for the first time, there are now more than 200 different articles to read, so hopefully there will be something that catches their eye.”
Have you a photograph which might be perfect for The Beyonder? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org