Art & Photography
Creativity has always been in my blood, as they say. I was provided and encouraged to find my own way creatively. Always praised and encouraged to take the next step and explore my creativity and thoughts. Never, being given an answer to a question but encouraged to find out and develop my thoughts.
Photography, has always been part of my life since an early age. Exploring the Yorkshire countryside and historic sites with my uncle. He taught me the magic of photography in the darkroom. My love of photography carried on through my life. Having a home darkroom which was a kitchen transformation at night. To later having a darkroom all of my own with enlarger, deep tanks and trays of magic liquids. Prints hanging from pegs drying. After many years of home printing and waiting for packs of prints to be returned from the Boots. This could take a week of anticipation before you saw the images. I started thinking more about my photography . How could I make it individual and add the arty side of me to them?
The starting point was adding a sheet of clear glass over the paper under the enlarger, to this I’d add various liquids, oils or cling film in various shapes and styles. In the darkroom you couldn’t rush. You could be the darkroom for the weekend and get little to show for the experiments. Just discarded prints and used up chemicals but like any learning process it takes time. Eventually I decided I want to share my work by joining a local camera club, the mystical world of club photography. The variety of styles and skills, people and competitions. Starting at beginners level and watching the speakers and listening to the judges. I gradually realised it was a bigger world than I could ever imagine.
Six months passed and I decided to enter a competition, Three prints , tray processed and I received two high scores and a Highly Commended I was over the moon. It took a while to realise what a judge was and how much they varied. The realisation of the same images locations and subjects reappearing over and over again became slightly frustrating. Black Rock Cottage was a favourite at the time and probably still is.
One, night at the club we had a speaker, he was billed a photographer with his own style of photography. This was the night the lightbulb was switched on. Rikki O’Neill was the speaker, he showed all kinds of magical images. Polaroid images etched with a knitting needle and much more magic. This was the start of a whole new chapter of photography, by getting a very early version of Photoshop, this open the box that said endless possibilties. I like to take the next step with my images and always look for something different.
Changing the photographic image by adding textures and emotions to create something different and individual in a style of my own. My prints are a diary of my life.
There’s been milestones, entering my first club competition and getting my first award. After some time gaining the ARPS and FRPS in one year which gave all those people who said it’s “not proper photography” to see an acceptance by the RPS. Being encouraged by Keith Subberby to enter external exhibitions. Starting sharing my work by doing talks. Being sponsored by Permajet my first Paper company. My first award representing my club. Have been invited to Join Hahnemühle Fine Art as their first Brand Creative.
And now there’s Covid which changes everything.