When I was around 14 years of age I remember my father buying an Olympus Trip compact camera. I was already fascinated by the mechanics of cameras as we had a number of old ones around the house and I used to take them apart to see how they worked. Taking those first pictures with the Olympus Trip and then waiting excitedly for them to be developed gave me a great thrill and I was completely hooked. At around 18 my father then bought a Minolta SLR which I still have. I ended up using it more than him and would steal myself away whenever possible to take pictures.
What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
Back in 2007 I was out shooting and upon return received a message from a colleague that I needed to call a chap at Alamy, who I have some images with, as apparently I’d won a competition. This didn’t really make any sense to me as I’d only ever entered one competition and it wasn’t anything to do with Alamy. When I called the chap he advised me that Professional Photographer magazine had for some weeks been trying in vain to contact me to advise that one of my photographers had been chosen as a winner in the Fine Art category of the Professional Photographer of the Year competition. It was all quite surreal and very exciting as it was the first such competition I’d entered.
Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
I don’t particularly follow any well known photographers but if I have to think of one photographer who has inspired me it would be Emmanual Coupe, who I met on the above mentioned trip to Mull. I took great inspiration from seeing at first hand his dedication, his eye and his love of photography.
What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?
If I’m honest I’m fed up of lugging around heavy DSLRs and am currently enjoying using the micro four thirds system. I’m desperate to visit Iceland, my dream would be a couple of weeks with a 4×4 just free-wheeling around the island and shooting at will.
Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.
I’m quite a solitary person and therefore enjoy being somewhere away from the crowds, alone with just my camera, a beautiful landscape and the hope of some good light. Joining The Shed and seeing some other the other members’ work has recently inspired me.
Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?
Absolutely, I’ve learnt not to fret about missing every opportunity, they always come around again. For a period a few years back a number of things were preventing me from getting out with my camera and I let it really wind me up inside but I can now go for two or three weeks without the need to rush out every time the light looks promising. Taking a break also helps to keep some perspective.
What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
Light and composition, that’s it really for me.
How do you spend a creative day?
It depends, if I’m in a landscape mood I’ll head off to a new location in the hope of finding something interesting. I also spend a lot of time photographing flowers at home. Now that I’m proficient in my work flow I also enjoy processing my RAW images, something which I used to find a bit of a drag.