What first drew you to photography?
I have toyed with photography ever since I was a teenager, for a long time no day trip was complete without me taking a few photographs, I preferred landscape photography to portraiture or ‘selfies’. But often a visit to Boots chemists to get the photos developed yielded disappointing results. Back in the heyday of Vinyl records I was an enthusiastic consumer and big fan of the album artwork, in fact one of my works at the Shed is inspired my the Vaughn Oliver artwork for the Cocteau Twins –
Any other artistic interests ?
I studied Art at ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level until I eventually dropped it deciding 4 ‘A’ levels was to much for me. But in my twenties and thirties I did a number of evening classes in Painting and Drawing
and I’ve always made a beeline for art galleries when on holiday and visiting a major city for the first time.
What has been the greatest advance in photography?
Without doubt digital photography, firstly because it allowed almost unlimited shots to be taken at minimal cost. Secondly the images could be transferred directly to a computer without the interim printing stage and any adjustments made to allow for any failures in the camera or photographer !
Why did you join the Shed Photography?
Firstly moving from Leeds to Bridport in 2010 and having all these new places to explore and the general artistic buzz of Bridport increased my interest in photography. After purchasing a new camera I started to build up a large digital photographic library, then in 2014 on a whim I entered the Guardians inPictures word themed weekly competition and won with Cornish Crush:
That was the kickstart I needed to take my photography more seriously. A subsequent inspirational talk by Stephen Banks and chat with Chelsea Davine was the push I needed to actually join the Shed community.
What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
Photographs themselves are a great aid memoir, without the I don’t think I would remember half the things I had done. But it was great feeling going to the opening of the Marshwood Vale Art Awards
and in a crowded room seeing how many people were taking a close look at a large print of my West Bay Fishing boat image:
Who is your favourite photographer, on the Shed and why?
I love some of Catherine Gillinghams work such as:
She can take a familiar subject and turn in into an unfamiliar and magical image, she also has a nice line in one of my favourite subjects – rust.
And what about outside the Shed ?
I’ve been enjoying Tim Booths Show of Hands book with its deep contrast images of hands and the story behind the people:
What would be your ideal camera?
I’m not sure if exists yet. I like to have a camera with me at all times but I don’t want that to be an inconvenience so its needs to be small. Yet have high quality lenses that work in dim light, and for lenses to be able to work well as macro and wide angle, zoom is not such an issue I don’t use a large zoom that much, I could do without Video as well. I like the look of the new compact system cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix GX8.
And where would you take it?
When I watched Skyfall I was very taken by the evil masterminds hideout. It turned out to be Hashima Island, Japan – an abandoned island that previously supported undersea coal mines. I also would love to go to Ankor Wat, Cambodia. Both places are drenched in atmosphere.
When/where are you most creative?
Sometimes I’m excited about going somewhere because on paper its seems like a good place for shots, but often I stumble across something totally unplanned in the most mundane of places. Such as this image of a concrete farming building:
How would you describe your style of photograph?
Predominantly, I try to approach photography more like a painter approaches a canvas rather than the traditional documentary approach. I love the interplay between the manmade environment and nature and the results when these materials decay. I do not stage my photographs instead I like to capture the beauty of the mundane and overlooked as I come across them and I concentrate on closeup flat perspectives. My colour photography is very much about texture, colour and sometimes re-intepretation of the scene so it becomes something else. My black and white photography concentrates on pattern, simplifying the image into repetitive textures.
What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
Keep your eyes open you need to find the image and try and go for something not so obvious. The most important element is composition, especially consider the edges of the frame. Then you need to work with the light you have not against it. If photo editing is required it can be much slower than the original composition so try and concentrate and getting it right at source, and take a few additional images as digital images are cheap.