I have been a keen photographer since I was about 8 years old when I borrowed my Dad's folding Zeiss Icon camera, read the exposure recommendations on the leaflet with the film, squinted at the sky and pretended that I knew what I was doing. I guessed at the aperture and speed settings, and took responsibility for all family photography thereafter. I acquired a darkroom kit and a decent 35mm camera in my late teens, and taught myself how to do the basics by reading Amateur Photographer and other magazines. The real turning point for me was joining Woking Photographic Society - one of the best clubs in the UK, where members were more tuned to the art of photography, and for whom equipment and technique were implicit, but never more than a means to the end - the image itself.
Initially all my work was in monochrome, although I played with toning and colouring. Digital photography opened up the world of colour as well as a wealth of creative possibilities. That said, images on a computer screen or projector have their place, but nothing compares to the look and feel of a fine print.
My work is
difficult to pigeon-hole, it goes its own way as a particular theme or
subject catches my interest. People have always been my favorite,
candids, street pictures, in an urban landscape, the studio or theatre.
Actors and dancers make wonderful images, easy to direct, especially
when projecting a role or a character - it made me
realise that, even when making relatively conventional portraits it is
necessary to get the sitter to play their part, to think about the image
that they wish to convey of themselves and to build a rapport with the
camera. Actors seem to do this naturally, whether on stage or relaxing. My theatre pictures give me great satisfaction and Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in two categories, Theatre and Pictorial. I subsequently gained a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in Contemporary Photography for Ghoti ** - a very peculiar kettle of fish.
[**Ghoti - is pronounced "fish", by enunciating the gh as in enough, the o as in women, and ti as in station.]
Modern Art and contemporary photographers have always influenced my work, as well as good photojournalism. Eugene Smith's work led the way than many great documentary and news photographers have since trod. Bert Hardy, Don McCullen and of course Sebasteo Salgado are among the giants. Ansell Adams made landscape photography into an art and of more modern art photographers Callum Colvin's work is both strange and fascinating. I also count many influences from my personal friends, names that you will often come across in exhibitions, galleries and bookshops around the world - Tim Rudman, Tony Worobiec, Leigh Preston, Ray Spence, and all the members of the Arena group of photographers with whom I have exhibited many times.
You will see these influences in my galleries. I hope also that you will see some originality and fun. Photography has always been more than a hobby for me, it has been an outlet for my creative juices, and an opportunity to celebrate, to capture and preserve many wonderful sights and moments.