December 2018 Member Spotlight: Darrell Godliman


In the member spotlight this month, I’m delighted to introduce you to Darrell Godliman, the photographer behind the ‘Luxmuralis Son et Lumière: Hidden at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History’ shot which won the “Light and Shadow” Photo Contest!

Read on to find out how Darrell got into photography, what inspires him, where in the world he would most like to photograph and more!

Meet Darrell

Where are you from and how long have you been living in Oxford?

I’m from Windsor originally but moved to Oxford back in 1988 to study Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. Having completed my Degree I’ve now worked for the same Architectural Practice in Oxford for twenty years.

Marrakech sunset

I could see the potential of a West facing cafe roof terrace so I got myself into position early and then sat and waited for the sun to set. In this shot the very last rays of the setting sun cast wonderful radiating shadows.

What’s your story? How did you get into photography?

I didn’t own a camera before starting my Degree but an SLR was on the equipment list so I bought a Pentax P30t. To learn how to use it, and meet other people, I joined the University Photography Society Focus. At the end of my first year in the Society the whole organising committee finished their Degrees and, more out of necessity than any particular desire, myself and a few friends took over the running of the Club. As a result I soon found myself giving talks on various photographic techniques etc as well as teaching B&W printing down at the Photographers Workshop on St Mary’s Road.

One New Change

This is one of those viewpoints that I return too every time I’m in London to catch it in various lighting and weather conditions. The contrasting architectural styles are one of the things I enjoy about cities such as London.

What is your favourite subject to photograph?

I enjoy shooting architecture and travel most but like to try and push myself by occasionally trying any genre outside my normal ‘comfort zone’. Portraiture and Street Photography are two genres I’d like to explore further but need to develop more confidence when working with people.

Inside your rainbow

This colourful shot was taken inside a Olafur Elliasson installation on top of the AROS Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. To me the couple in the futuristic building seem to be looking back on their past.

What do you think is key to taking a good photo?

I once took a photography evening class where the main thrust of the teaching was that every good photo should have a message. That’s something I try to bring to bear to every genre of photography from landscapes to portraits to architecture. With photographing the latter in particular I use my aesthetic training and understanding of architecture to give me an insight into the designer’s intentions.

Heals spiral

This spiral stair is well known so I used an 8mm fisheye lens for a different shot.

Where do you find your photography inspiration? What motivates you?

Early in the development of my photography I’d say the majority of my photographic inspiration came from books, both those filled with the work of famous photographers but also to travel books such as the Insight Guides. These guides in particular were filled with photos which attempted to capture the essence of a place by showing everything from the vast landscapes, buildings and people right down to the smallest details unique to the particular places and cultures. It’s an approach which I try to replicate when I visit a new place.

More recently the majority of my photographic inspiration comes from other members of the various photography communities to which I belong. I’ve been an active member of flickr for over ten years and have built a wide network of contacts many of whom are specialists in their own photographic genres. I’m an admin for the Oxford Flickr group and we still meet regularly both socially and to take photos.

Lately I’ve also been enjoying the competition aspect of Photocrowd, an Oxford based website that hosts photographic competitions on a wide range of subjects.

Vintage portrait

This portrait with a vintage feel was taken during a Nikon workshop. I chose to turn the flashes off and shoot this with natural light only so as to make the most of the dramatic sidelighting.

Where in the world would you most like to photograph?

Generally I like photographing cities with particular favourites being Paris, Barcelona and London. Having pretty much exhausted European destinations thanks to the advent of budget airlines I’d now like to travel more widely, particularly within Asia. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo would be near the top of the list of destinations I’d like to visit in the next ten years or so.

Five minute break

This shot has done well for me in a couple of photography awards. Shot with a long lens the result has exacerbated the separation between the individuals stood between the columns.

What is your experience of Oxford Photo Walk?

The Oxford Christmas Lights photowalk was my first and I think it’s fair to say this wasn’t typical given just how hectic Oxford was on the night. From the conversations I had with other members there seems to be a wide range of photographic experience and interests so I’m looking forward to getting to know people more next time.


I’ve photographed the Blavatnik School of Government several times now and this is my favourite for the way the spiral stair in the foreground merges with the ramp in the background. I was trying to produce an M.C.Escher type result.

Thank you

I’d like to thank Darrell for sharing his story and a few of his favourite photographs from around the world with us.

Cherwell in Winter

A photo of the Cherwell River taken from the Rainbow Bridge in University Park. The scene is a result of a heavy hoar frost and I think this captures the stillness of the scene well.

Like what you see?

Then you can see more of Darrell’s work here:

If you have any questions or comments for Darrell, please feel free to leave a comment below, send us an email or ask him in person at the next photo walk.
All the best,

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