My first camera was a Russian Zenit 11 SLR, bought for me by my parents. Back then, aged 11 in the 80s, I instinctively wanted to shoot in black and white and asked my father to get me black and white film.
Buttermere Reflections by Rory Garforth
I’ve always loved noir and the look of old movies. I’ve stuck with black and white because I love the timeless, classic feel it gives. I also love the drama in a black and white image with its strong contrast and texture; something I’ve never really achieved in a colour image. I’m also colour blind and have often wondered if this has influenced my photography. My black and white images tend to be strong, high contrast and sometimes powerful – I’m working on soft, gentle and subtle!
Whitby Abbey by Rory Garforth
My appreciation for landscape and wide open skies comes from early trips to the coast in Yorkshire, and my love of mountains from hiking trips to Scotland and the Lake District. Photography wise, my earliest influences were Ansel Adams, Fay Goodwin and particularly Michael Kenna. I felt that his photography showed me what I really wanted to learn and aspire to. Another is Bill Brandt, who really got me interested in street photography and whose dramatic landscapes of Skye first drew me to that location. I really admire the work of Susan Burnstine, she uses handmade cameras and lenses creating a really unique look. I love her book, ‘Within Shadows’.
Storm Warning - Old Man of Storr by Rory Garforth
There’s nothing quite like photographing Yorkshire! For me, it really does have all the ingredients you need: the coast, the amazing countryside, the cities, the nature, the history, the list goes on and on. I take the creative process of photography and in particular landscape and nature photography very seriously. For me it’s about finding inspiring places to create images and then the persistence to not settle for whatever conditions I may encounter during that first visit, but to continue going back again and again until conditions are perfect – generally for me, the worse the weather, the better for my mono work. I want my images to have an impact on the viewer, to invite them in.
This is the Sea by Rory Garforth
My set up these days is quite basic. I’ve always used Nikon SLRs. I currently use a Nikon D800 with Nikon/Voigtlander lenses and only use primes (20mm / 35mm / 50mm / 58mm 90mm), mainly manual focus. I like using one focal length, it forces me to think about angles and perspective much more. I’m always physically moving to get the shot I want. I’m not interested in staying in one place, zooming in and out! I also love how primes really isolate the subject and the benefits for low light work. I use various filters for landscapes, B&W Grads/ND Filters for long exposure work. For Street photography I love the Fuji X100 and the Leica M6. Both small, light, quiet and discrete. Perfect for ‘shooting from the hip’.
Smoking Man by Rory Garforth