John Beardsworth

Photographer, Author, Consultant

About me


I’m not sure one should ever describe or rationalise one’s photography, and categorising it into projects, landscape and historical re-enactment is obviously crude but at least it offers a few signposts and hints.

As a teenager I remember seeing the work of photojournalists like Don McCullin or Robert Capa in newspapers and magazines, and was struck by how the Independent newspaper used the pictures of Brian Harris. Maybe this interest led to my pursuing long term projects like Speakers Corner or trying to cover events like the death of the Queen, Brexit, Covid-19, or more-recently the protests against Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The interest in photographing historical re-enactment is more recent and is a development of having studied history at Cambridge, specialising in the English Civil War, and a continuing fascination with the subject and academic work.

Landscape is a different mentality and I’ll happily spend hours contemplating a view and resolving minor details before responding to a sudden change of light, but this takes me back to my dislike of rationalising or overthinking. Does one need to explain being drawn to natural beauty? I just hope you enjoy the pictures.

As well as the categorised galleries here, also see my Instagram where I post brand new stuff.


I’ve written about 10 books teaching aspects of digital photography, though my background wasn’t in photography or graphic arts and I had to figure things out. Photography had been a passionate hobby, and I loved darkroom printing, then working for the printing press manufacturer Heidelberg I first tried Photoshop in the early 1990s and slowly built up my digital experience with scanned negatives and slides. Then in 2003 I mentioned on my blog that I had just bought my first digital camera, 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 book. 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. In many ways, it’s still bang up to date.


My knowledge of Lightroom has origins in my murky past as a spreadsheet warrior. As a chartered accountant, in the 1990s I learnt to program Excel and databases and then moved to financial IT consulting, implementing big accounting systems, OLAP cubes and “business intelligence”. That background happened to be ideal for managing photos and the developing field of “digital asset management”, so I soon 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 about 30 years, I do know Photoshop pretty well too.

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


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 really not my fault. Seven years on, that still makes people laugh (and cry).

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 – expect.

You may also find me here: