Photo (light) graphia (writing/drawing)

When I was young, around 11-12, my father lit a small bonfire in the back garden. The sun was streaming through the trees as gorgeous beams of radiating light in the billowing smoke, and I remember thinking “this would make an cool photo!” So I ran into the house, grabbed my camera and took a picture of it. I’ll never forget how proud I was when the photo came back from the developers… good ole TruPrint lol! Not everyone understood my slight obsession with that picture, but somehow I had captured it all, and it was special, a moment where the light was right, and everything came together. It was ‘motivational poster’ worthy!

I have always been interested in photography from an early age, one of my uncles was a photographer. and he impressed greatly with the artistic results he got from from painting and retouching old school negatives, colourising b&w film by hand, and create extraordinary prints not unlike a lot of the results people get using Photoshop’s filters. He was a master and a true genius!

I never really knew any of the technical details/concepts back then, I just wanted to take good pictures, and that’s what I have built on. I’ve only had a few cameras over the years, the first was a dodgy old 110 cheapie, then a semi-respectable 35mm Canon, but what changed things was an Olympus C40 Zoom. Being the first digital camera I owned and only 4 megapixel, it introduced me to photography proper

At first I was using only the automatic settings, but as I began to understand the camera I switched to manual modes and exposures which changed everything, and also afforded me the ability to edit my photos in Paintshop Pro and Photoshop. Considering I was an Amiga child who’d cut his teeth on Deluxe Paint with graphics and photo manipulation for years (working with limited palettes of 32 colours mostly!), this was a god-send.  I rapidly developed my skills in editing and ‘shopping’ my photos (as well as a few commissions for family friends) working with JPGs and TIFFs.

Just as I was beginning to produce some great images, the Olympus broke, and I knew the next step had to be a DSLR which ended up being the Canon 400D (Rebel XTi). Again I stepped up my game, taking better photos than before, but the kit lens was a real let down… cue the EF 24-105 f/4 L IS USM, and it’s kinda just taken off from there!

My photography has improved much over the years and I still have a lot to learn. I owe much to three good friends, Chris & Steve France and Adam Alex, who have taught and inspired me with their photos and passion for the subject from many different angles. Last year I was honoured by a good friend asking me to assist at his wedding, taking pictures of the groom and best men while the main photographer attended to the bride, which I found very rewarding.

In January I attended a wedding photography workshop run by Adam Alex & XSiGHT Studios which completely changed my perspective from the ground up. We were asked to bring our favourite (best?) images for critique, but as I was selecting my photos the night before, I kept seeing all the mistakes I had made in them. In those three days I learned so much and made some fantastic friends, which has left me gagging to get out and do photo shoots!

Weddings are not currently my primary focus, because up until now my style has mostly been photojournalism which I do very well, but I need to step up my game in portraiture, this is where attending Adam’s workshop has boosted my technique. In the meantime I enjoy taking and do a good job of landscapes, architecture, macro/details, abstracts, and the odd random sporting event!

I will be posting various examples of my images thus far, and I want to offer an ‘almost free’ photo shoot around London or surrounding areas to anyone who is interested, for our mutual benefit of course. You’ll get lots of great photos, and I’ll gain much needed experience.  By all means contact me for details if you’re interested!