My love of photography began early. During school years, I developed an affection for the physical environment and particularly the weather. I like to think that the weather inspires and shapes most of my work. It can sharpen or soften the light on an object, or bring different hues and colours to a composure. The unpredictability of the weather is what makes the pictures special to me, as at a different time, the same image would look very different.
I chose to do photography as a creative outlet to balance the science part of my studies. I had always been a visual person, easily memorizing landmarks which would mean I would rarely get lost. I alsoremember being captivated as a younger teenager by some images of Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, who took photographs of the North Yorkshire coast and it’s people during the late Victorian times. The images immortalized a period of time on a visual media, and that really sparked something inside of me.
I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to learn to shoot on film, to have leapt into photography when I did. My first SLR camera was fully manual, and I had to buy and load film, then develop it afterwards. Film and paper was expensive back then, especially to a teenager, So I had to curb my desire to shoot everything I saw and learn to compose images and wait for the right time to take them. Today, we can shoot and shoot until we run out of memory-space neglecting to take time and think about the composition. Developing my own photographs is also something I cite as an important factor in my photography. Back in the mid-1990’s, photographs had to be manipulated either whilst taking the shot, for example, using filters or back in the darkroom. The primitive equipment I was using then meant that aside from cropping, dodging and burning, multiple exposures, or some cross processing, this was the extent of manipulation I could achieve. This carried forward into my photography today where I like to think that anything I work on, I could have achieved back in the darkroom. I hate to over process.
By the time digital photography had reached the masses, I had saved enough money to invest in my first digital SLR camera. Getting the EOS Canon allowed me to really start delving into photography, and allowed me some freedom of creativity without the associated costs. It was exciting to see the images immediately after taking them, and I quickly learnt how to operate the camera manually just as I had with my film cameras, something I still do today. Every now and again, I will even pick up my trusty 35mm SLR or my Lomo and shoot on film.
During my time in SoCal, I have experienced my fair share of common life tribulations. This has been reflected in recent work like ‘Vanished’ which show a trend in my work toward a more philosophical direction, something which I enjoy as liberating to the psyche. Work, such as the series Vanished, came about through recent explorations into my mind, and my thoughts about where we are headed as a species. We humans have a disconnect between a life of fact and consumerism, and that of values. There is a void there that needs examining and addressing. This void is important as it gives us meaning, a sense of being, and in a way, contributes to our spirituality.
The biggest influence on my work clearly has to be the weather or the sky. In much of my work there is an over emphasis on the sky, even in work themed around philosophy or abstract. Not enough people look up, and so by utilizing the sky, it is my intention that this offers a sense of hope even when the image itself has a dark connotation.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy my work whatever emotion it invokes within.