I first took up photography as a 10-year-old when my Dad bought me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie 127, which I used to snap all sorts of things from my pet guinea pigs to school trips. That was replaced by an Ilford Sportsman, my first 35mm camera which I still have today although it hasn’t been used in decades and is looking a bit tatty round the edges.
It wasn’t until I joined my first camera club in the early ‘80s that I first realised that this could be a serious hobby and so it has developed from there into something of a passion.
I now have a particular interest in landscape-based work which, from my base in Stroud in the Cotswolds – at the heart of the Five Valleys – seems quite appropriate somehow.
Let’s get one thing clear: I’m not the sort of photographer who gets up in the early hours to get to some distant location at the crack of dawn to catch the first rays of sunlight creeping over yonder hill. Nice though that is, it’s too simplistic for my liking. The most important factor in any image is the content or subject matter before you. So, first and foremost, I choose my subjects very carefully and then make the most of the conditions prevalent at the time – or wait until they are right. That requires patience but it works in the end. The other important factor is that post-processing has changed to an extent that would have been unimaginable even 10 years ago. Whilst you can't rescue a poor image, it is possible to make a good image better by the prudent use of, in my case, Photoshop.
The most important factor in producing any photographic image, however, is does it truly represent not just what you saw at the time but what you felt and experienced? And, of course, do you like it .........?
Much toil and effort has paid off over recent years which have seen my first published images in Amateur Photographer and the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year along with a few awards including medals in the 123rd Toronto International Salon and Midphot and various ribbons.
For the record, I have been a member and Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society for many years now and, whilst I value that privilege highly, the most important thing is to get out and take photographs at every opportunity.