Saturday, 7 June 2014

Photography


A view of Green Moor from the A629 at Wortley

In my experience, words do not just flow on to the page - an idea is laid down as blocks of rough text and then hacked, chiselled and finally polished into shape. For this reason, I much prefer the idea that a good picture is worth a thousand words.

The first camera that I bought was an Olympus Trip, to record my observations whilst making a geological map of the Borrowdale Volcanics in the English Lake District, as part of my undergraduate mapping project, but there wasn’t anything to suggest that photography would become such an important part of my working life and a real personal passion.

The big, heavy second hand Praktica that I bought when I joined the building restoration industry was soon changed for a Pentax, but it served its purpose to publicise Triton Building Restoration Ltd. in brochures, press releases and national trade exhibitions.


Before digital cameras, the costs effectively limited me to taking “before and after” photos, and I soon learned how to be selective with the subject matter – concentrating on the architectural details that are found in historic buildings.

Architecture and Sculpture
After leaving Triton, I had more time to develop my interests in photography and I learned how to use a darkroom. Making full use of my English Heritage and National Trust membership, a very wide range of historic buildings and monuments  provided me with most of my subject material.

A photograph album left open at a trade exhibition turned into a brief to record as many examples of post-war architectural sculpture that I could find, for the National Monuments Record. It sharpened my practical skills and opened up my eyes to other possibilities with the visual arts.

For 25 years, a camera has been an essential tool that I have used to record and publicise all of my work. Attending The Sheffield College for a year, to obtain a formal qualification, I learned how to use large and medium format cameras, improved my darkroom techniques and gained an insight into artificial lighting and studio photography, as well as studying the theory. 


Semi-precious stones

My photographic library now extends to well over 40,000 images, with my work appearing in hundreds of publications - in print and online - and I have been a prize winner in several international photographic competitions. My Glowing Edges Designs artwork, based on photomicrographs of rock thin sections, can also be seen on the walls of friend's houses all over the world - and they have been turned into silk scarves, ceramic tiles and 'tavoli in pietra lavica ceramizzata' too.


Rock Art