My passion for photography began in the 1970s with that moment of alchemy as my first print appeared in a tray of developer. Although I was studying geography at Bristol University I seemed to spend a good part of three years either taking photographs, printing in the student’s union darkroom or looking at books by Bill Brandt, Andre Kertez and Brett (rather than Edward) Weston. It seemed a good way to teach myself photography.
Subsequently I joined the BBC as a cameraman and developed a knowledge of the moving image. Working on a large variety of largely studio base shows I have had numerous camera supervisor credits including ‘One Foot in the Grave’, ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘The Catherine Tate Show’. Recent credits have included a large number of episodes of ‘Eastenders’ including the 25th anniversary live episode for which I received an award from the Royal Television Society and the 30thanniversary week of live episodes. I have now left the BBC and am pursuing a freelance career as well as being a guest tutor at the National Film and Television School.
Still photography always remained important to me and gradually the range of photographic books I looked at widened from Ansel Adams to Max Yavno. I would be hard pushed to say which were my favorites but they would have to include Paul Strand, the New Topographics and Lee Friedlander.
As I am also a walker and climber it was natural I drifted towards the landscape genre of photography. Indeed for a while I took photographs to illustrate books about walks, (not sure how I found the time now.)
A combination of workshops at Inversnaid and joining London Independent Photography reinvigorated my photography. I now like to work in portfolios rather than singular ‘greatest hit’ images with images made both digitally (sometimes with a flatbed scanner) and film printed using silver-gelatin paper. As for the books that inspire me now they are often of modern artists such as Pollock or Rothko (see MR86 and Deleted Graffiti). No longer considering myself a landscape photographer when asked what sort of images I take I now often reply with a pause and then ‘ermm’.