John Beardsworth

Photographer, Author, Consultant

About me

Photography

My photography is varied but ranges from landscape to documentary.

The work of photojournalists like Don McCullin and Brian Harris in the early Independent newspaper was what first made me want a camera in my late 20s, and I also remember being impressed by shows by Chris Killip and Sebastaio Salgado. So I like long term projects, one early one being on Speakers Corner, and in the last 10 years I’ve photographed a wide variety of historical re-enactment – my history degree from Cambridge meeting my inner McCullin. In 2018-19 I started a project on Brexit.

Landscape has always been my other love. Perhaps surprisingly, McCullin was an early favourite as I had his wonderful book of harsh black and white Somerset landscapes. Others would be Fay Godwin and William Neill, while more recently some of David Ward‘s ideas have been thought-provoking. Yet just as much inspiration comes from my interest in art history.

Author

I’ve written about 10 books on digital photography, but I hadn’t worked as a photographer or artist when I wrote the first one. In fact I had been a “spreadsheet warrior”, then in IT, and photography had been merely a hobby. But working for the big printing press manufacturer Heidelberg meant I was familiar with Photoshop about 1990 and while I loved darkroom printing, in the 90s I had built up my digital skills with scanned negatives and slides – a “wet and dry” route. Then in 2003 I mentioned on my blog that I had just bought a Nikon D100, and this led to the opportunity to write the first of three books on digital B&W.

Advanced Digital Black and White Photography is probably my favourite. Partly that’s because I know it contained a few big firsts for books on the subject – Lightroom, Photoshop’s B&W panel, using SilverEfex, and smart object workflows. It’s still bang up to date.

Consultant

I have moved all my newer Lightroom content over to my other web site, Lightroom Solutions.

My knowledge of Lightroom has origins in my murky past as a spreadsheet warrior. Qualifying as a chartered accountant, I learnt to program Excel and databases and became more of a financial IT guy and eventually was in consulting roles, implementing big accounting systems, OLAP cubes and “business intelligence”. That background happens to be ideal for managing photos and the field of “digital asset management”, so I found myself improving clients’ Lightroom productivity and designing web sites (my own web site has been going since 1997) which integrate efficiently with their workflows. And after using it for 28 years, I do know Photoshop pretty well too.

 

Contact

You can contact me by email. Please make your subject line obviously human or leave it as set by the link.

My Italian is good, and I am OK in French and German. Please don’t blame me for Brexit – it’s definitely not my fault.

And if you see me somewhere, do say hello. I am told that in person I am nowhere near as frightening as you may – quite reasonably – imagine.