Jonathan Charles [JonathanCharlesPhoto]

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JONATHAN CHARLES - photographer and graphic artist

I am a photographer in South West England and he Charente region of France. My subject is an exploration of beauty and dreams - I see more than enough of troubling reality to want to project it further. My work in art photography covers 40 years starting with B&W bleak landscapes through abstract nudes, portraits, dance & theatre to the added dimension of colour and emphasis on personal experience and subconscious mythology. I have used most kinds of equipment and processing - nowadays mostly digital.

I aim to create pictures which can be appreciated on four levels: the first being an interesting or beautiful subject; the second an abstract design; the third an emotional connection; fourth and the deepest, a link to the hidden shared subconscious that feeds our dreams. A quick glance may not get beyond the first levels but if you spend a little longer looking there is more to see.

Much of my work explores the ideal relationship between mankind and the natural world and female nudes feature especially, partly because they have intrinsic beauty and power and often for the symbolism of the human in a totally natural state as an observer or participant in a landscape. There have been many complaints, especially on another site (PhotoSIG) that the figures are too small / dark / indistinct but these miss the point - that they are not meant to be glamour shots and it is not necessary to see all the details to appreciate the situation pictured.

I am always improvising, trying to learn from the images and people's reactions to them.

I am now mainly posting to my gallery on Flickr as the changes on critique forum caused a dramatic fall in responses to my photos and I do not have the time to maintain both galleries properly. I still join in the interesting forum discussions here. I have a blog which I use to give the story behind my images or series, old and new. Comments and contributions to that are very welcome.

Some (8) of my photos have been published in "OUTDOOR LIGHTING: Nudes" by Kathy Joseph with detailed explanations of the techniques used. Another photo, of Caroline, has been published as the front cover of a book on drama. My photo "Eloise, desert shore" was chosen by Ken Ichiro Sato for the opening installation of the Rochester Outdoor Museum of Art, now evolved into Big Picture Rochester . Others have been selected for exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society (UK).

Much of my pictorial photography is based in the St.Austell Bay area of Cornwall, South West England, and near Gourvillette, Charente Maritime, France,and can be seen in the folders of this gallery as well as other regional sites.

I am grateful for any comments or criticisms of my photos about both the technical aspects and your response to the image as a whole and the idea behind it.

Country: UK


Portraits & studio photos

Interior landscapes

Outdoor fashion / beauty

Bermuda landscapes

Autour de Gourvillette

Landscapes with People

Landscapes of the mind

Outdoor portraits & nudes 1970-73


Eve-6 (colour)

Jump - unconsciously graceful movement

Grass flow

Rattle Street in winter (where I live)

First light - calm see just before dawn

Gig race day - a local sport using traditional pilot boats

Misty beach - the sun breaks through a late morning mist at low tide.

Fin stone - seems like a huge fish surging through a sea of rocks.

Evening at Vault beach

Harriet by candlelight (trichrome portrait)

Andrea-1 (colour portrait)

Liz-1 (nude portrait)

Annabel (portrait)

Levels and colours

Silver fish

Kate with turban

Andrea 2 (portrait)

Poetry in Motion

Desolate beach

Mooring ropes

New Forest trees

Outside / inside (Harriet's Cottage)


Mud & mist (& lugworms)

Thames estuary

Peter & Guy

Red dress


Window (of ruined church)

Teen holiday (where's the party)


Blue fruit bowl

Grass field + tree

Guy at sea

Muse - a portrait, of a person and a time.

Tree path

Memory of Broomhill

Empty sea 2

Awaiting the sun


Tree God

Olivia (B&W)

Eve's tree

Clifton Bridge

Marie - in my (second) favorite swimsuit

Burnett field

Sisters - 1


Torso in natural light

Great Perhaver Beach

Feet in the clouds

Beach walk

Venice interior


Unfolding landscape

Before Dawn

Swans in Winter

Back, lit

Sitting pretty




Lost it!


Old-fashion glamour



Eloïse, desert shore


Morning light, Mykonos


Winter light, south west England

Flora's new dress


Near & Far

White shawl

White shawl, close-up (model: Annabel)

White shawl, tied (B&W)


Annabel at Gorran Haven


Life mimics ... life


Artefact and nature

Susie in lace

Running wild

Tree diva

First on the beach


Déjeuner sur l'herbe 1974


Beach buoys

Baloney bench

Beyond Vault

Boatyard at night

Chute Lane

Distant view

Eden Project

Green lake

Jetsam (after a storm)

Lobster pots

Massive rock

Moored Boats

Mooring rings, harbour wall

Nordic myth

Seagulls and red rocks

Away from the crowd

Small surf at Little Perhaver

Stone steps

Mermaid Beach, looking south


Hemp jewellery series: Cerise (Annabel)

Hemp jewellery series: Greens (Susie & Annabel)

Hemp jewellery series: Blues (Susie + Annabel)

Hemp jewellery series: Red orange yellow 1 (Susie)

Hemp jewellery series: Turquoise 1 (Eloise)

Hemp jewellery series: Green (Eloise)

Hemp jewellery series: Blues (Eloise)

Hemp jewellery series: Shell (Janine)

Hemp jewellery series: Cerise 1 (Janine)

Hemp jewellery series: 3 colour (Vicky)

Hemp jewellery series: Rainbow (Vicky)

Hemp jewellery series: Shell (Guy + Vicky)

Hemp jewellery series: Variety (Vicky)

Trees on the edge of Dartmoor

Moorland Sheep

Picnic on the Cherwell '74

Becca & Mark

Becca closer

Becca B&W

Becca, back view

Becca, foreground

South coastline

Warwick Long Beach, looking east

Admiralty Bay-1

Before the crowd

Woven forrest

Enchanted forrest (C)

London 1974

London 1974 (2)


Moorland light

Eloise appreciates Guy's song

Fishing nets, Mevagissey

Evening sunlight


Juliet in pink

Morning sun

Still Life - lemon bowl

Spiral stair

Siesta on Mykonos

Caroline reflected

Caroline, growing up

Winter afternoon mist

Stairway to heaven

Caroline veiled


Polita (colour)

Caroline - long hair

Caroline - cool

Sun dew

Autumn leaves

Tree horse - alpaca fashion (model: Annabel)

Cheap hotel, Paris

Winter trees

Annabel with alpaca shawl

Annabel with the alpacas


First morning in Gourvillette

Approach to Gourvillette

On the Road to Gourvillette

Annabel with (own design) T-shirt

Yellow silk on a Greek island

Gourvillette - the fortified church viewed from SSW


Pool light

Mangroves at Hungry Bay

Mangroves at Hungry Bay - 2 worlds


Martin 93

Guy with Flora 02

Chez Stephen

Sarah in Brighton

Maia of the Sunflowers

Burnett Wood

Megaliths at Stanton Drew

Wheat field near Gourvillette

Evening light on Broomhill 1971

M in fallow field

M Knole Park 71

M Knole Park 1971

M rolling in the wild flowers 1971

M mini 71

M playing in Knole Park 70

M sexy Oct72

M Studland 1971

M Studland 1971

M resting, Knole Park 1970



Jenny - walk telephoto

Jenny contre-jour

Jenny dans la campagne Charentaise

Jenny hair

Jenny in the window

Jenny by moonlight

Jenny morning breeze

Jenny running

Jenny sun & breeze

L'air de la campagne

Vintage woodnymph 1972

Collecting Xmas decorations

M "Gypsy" 1972

Vintage Woodnymph-2

M, not quite Eve!

Greeting the ocean (1972)