Metal Detecting Cloddies



There are grumpy old men everywhere and the older they become, they find more things to whinge about … or should that be whine?”


“John Winter’s blog is essentially the scribblings of a boring old bloke in the Home Counties with too much time on his hands. Remember that when you are about to pull the plug, unsubscribe from his blog or send in the death squads. 

You probably have no idea what he’s on about and neither does John, but I bet he feels better now. I’m sure that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Like all old men, he tends to repeat himself, so give him some slack!  If you are sensitive and of a nervous disposition, I advise you to read no further.”   Brad Prof, author of ‘Bollocks in the Balkans’ (2013) and other archaeological works of fiction. Friend of Swifty.


A few years ago I posted the following and was ostracised by many, banned from a couple of forums and lost many subscribers. They were unable to accept another point of view.

“It’s well documented that I don’t like certain things. For example, pictures of a coin nestling in the palm of a dirty hand like a residual mini-turd in a piss-pot; the former British colonies over-use of the word ‘awesome’, posts festooned with emoticons and the ubiquitous ‘clod shot’ revered by certain detectorists. And I won’t go on about what else is happening to the hobby. What’s all that insistence on recording every step, crap find, wind whistle and wobbly camera work of a typical searching session? And the ubiquitous picture of a lonely detector resting on a spade. Ask Dick Stout .”    J Winter

On many forums they invite you to, ‘show your best clod shot’. And the picture below is typical of the genre: what the hell is it? A lot of them are posed, anyway. Wouldn’t it be good if the clod shot and the cleaned artefact were ‘stitched’ and shown together. I’ve seen this done on occasions, resulting in the post being more meaningful.

The example below kills two birds with one stone . . . a picture of a clod shot in the hand! Very imaginative. Not. I’ve been told that shots like this help us to relive the excitement of the find and share your excitement with others. Not for me. I refrain from doing the hammy dance on behalf of others. Dance? Can’t even walk!

‘Photogenic dirt in all its glory’.


An Ode to the Clod Shot – Dedicated to John Winter

Seen on a forum – I like this poem very much and appreciate the different point of view.

Photogenic dirt in all its glory
Each lovingly captured picture tells a story
Of the day when after countless years unfold
The history which till now remained untold

A cloddy is the snapshot of a moment
Excitement held in check by an emotion
A desire to show to all who are not there
Just what it was, that made you stand and stare

So when you see that glint, that magic feeling
Don’t grab, relax, enjoy the whole revealing
But not before you’ve paused to set your focus
Show the world that what we do ain’t hocus pocus

Then when your little treasure’s nice and clean
Your memory will be there of what had been
To see and show and share (and make them green)
With that which they might just have never see


Mikael’s Clod Shot

Encouraging Imaginative Pictures

The August 2013 cover of The Searcher magazine showed a self-portrait by ace photographer Mikael Lander. I invited readers to try and produce a similar or other innovative detecting shot. The Searcher kindly awarded a Minelab Pro-Find o the person sending in the best picture. Many of them were clod shots with a difference and emulated those done by Mikael.

The standard was high and Mikael helped me choose the most effective shots from the submitted entries. I thank him for his help. on plus some of the pictures that were highly commended.


Clod Shots. See more of Mikael’s pictures by clicking on this link.



Highly Commended

© David Mulliner

Thank you and congratulations to Dave Mulliner for his picture. Mikael liked this one because of ‘the happy guy’ holding the artefact. The grass around the hole and a detector in shot also made the picture more interesting. In short, the composition is good, even though the photograph is a cold blue colour and could be ‘warmer’.

© Alan Warner

The picture by Alan Warner of the Premier MDF also showed merit. Although a little bleached out, it’s very sharp. I don’t know what his wife said about the lengths he took to take this picture, but it was beyond the call of duty! (Alan included other shots showed disturbed gravel in what looked like a new ‘garden’).

© Jeanne Kendrick

Lady detectorist Jeanne Kendrick was determined to make an impression and sent in several pictures. Everyone showed merit, but this was one of her best.

FIRST and winner of the Minelab Pro-Find

© Alan Loftus
The shot of a beaming Alan Loftus holding a George V penny is crisp and a good example of the genre. He looks very happy as you do when finding a coin. The colours are vibrant and the blue sky enhances the image. This was a popular first choice and the best exposure.

23 thoughts on “Metal Detecting Cloddies”

  1. So.. You mean you’re supposed to put the camera in the hole.. Then set the timer or something so that it pictures you with the find you have recovered?
    Not sure I understand John. It’s a different take of the door shot however. It might catch on?
    Loved the hammy in the clod (shot) though! 😉

  2. You need a trip home matey, after a week down your neck of the woods I’d be a slightly less aged Moaner .
    You can stay in my shed , free of charge

  3. A bit of winge and whining is all part of the privilege of getting old and coupled with a low tolerance and a short fuse results in a high impatience making one shout rather loud and that’s just me.

  4. Shouting out what you mean is good, embrace it!
    I’ve done it all my 50 years and has got me into trouble often. I do find I’m starting to enjoy it more and more though. Help! 🙂

  5. I guess I’ve never given much thought to those types of pictures. After all, if someone took the time to take the picture while detecting, more power to them. Then follow the shot up with the cleaned find (if required) complete with a reference (ruler) especially if it’s a find they want help identifying. Yeah, I’m a senior, but I’m pretty tolerant of those who take the time to post finds, regardless of the angle or composition. All in all John, your post made me smile!

  6. Well John.. I found this post… well… [less than] awesome.. LOL Hmm.. another pet peeve.

    Ah well.. some good photos in that bunch.. but I think my favourite goes to the lovely lady!!!


  7. I remember that competition really well John …was a pleasure to join in mate ..although the Mrs wasn’t happy with me digging a hole in the back lawn was it really 6 years ago when you did that

  8. Thank you John….couldn’t agree more. Incidentally I’ve saved over 140 photos of detectors leaning on shovels (from social media) and need to find a way to put them into a photo collage. Seems tekkiea are more interested in being cool than in being rich….JMO.

  9. We have so much in common. I’ve been doing the same thing, but just deleted them the other week. Was banned from FaceAche, so left altogether. Some snowflake must have complained about my posts.

    This is what I use to join pictures, but don’t know if it would cope with that number. Give it a try.

  10. John, I don’t do Facebook.. But how the hell do you get banned from Facebook on a metal detecting thread? Unless you were demanding that people who do clodshots get executed the mind boggles? I know you have to say something pretty serious to get banned from it!
    Blimey mate.. you must be one hard muther! Lol

  11. John I would much rather look at a clod shot, than a Youtube video of what looks like somebody rolling down a hill whilst talking about a great metal detecting find that you can’t see, and can barely make out what they are saying because of the wind whistling in the background…..but then again maybe that’s just me??

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