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A talented local photographer's popular Sutton Coldfield calendar has a touch of magic this year with a photograph captured as he Potter-ed in the national nature reserve.

Nick Roberts, from Four Oaks,Sutton Coldfield has produced his 'final' Sutton Park calendar and among its dozen images showcasing the urban wildlife haven is the famous Hogwarts Express steam train, famed for transporting young wizards in the Harry Potter book and film series.

The 52-year-old said it was by chance he captured the locomotive which was perhaps making its way to Kings Cross Station's platform 9¾.

"I only came across the Hogwarts Express by accident," Nick said. "I saw some guys on the bridge in the park and they were looking for steam locomotives. They come through quite often. I would not say I was a Harry Potter fan but to see the steam trains come through the park, let alone the Hogwarts Express, was a great moment."

The stunning Sutton Park images have been captured with a fixed lens camera, a Fuji Finepix S100 FS, rather than digital SLR cameras, which are used by professional photographers. "It depends on what you are trying to get," Nick said. "For what I need the Fuji is great."

Nick said he had 'run out of steam' after snapping the Hogwarts Express with this year's calendar and he has reached the end of the track after six years, featuring the timeless Sutton Park on all but one occasion. Last year the former actor and catwalk model focused on Lichfield Cathedral but he has returned to subject matter near his home for his final hurrah.

"You have got to call it a day sometimes," Nick said. "The market for calendars isn't getting any easier, with costs rising and China buying all the pulp up. I have done it out of enjoyment in the past but it has become more difficult to produce."

The limited edition 2011 Sutton Park Calendar, with just 500 printed, costs £10 and is available direct from Nick Roberts by calling 0121 308 4244 or 07771 80330 or emailing: zeneye@hotmail.co.uk
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Posted On:  30 November, 2010
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