I always thought I’d remain trapped in a suit and tie, or at least in “business casual”, and that photography would remain a hobby. Somehow I escaped, and it became what I do.
photography and gunpowder
I always loved reportage-style photography – the work of guys like Don McCullin and Brian Harris’s early Independent work – and I think it led me to pursue long term projects like Speakers Corner and in recent years on historical re-enactment which (because of a history degree from Cambridge) has pushed other projects aside. My other photographic passion – landscape – might seem totally different, until you remember that my beloved Lake District is shaped by its mining history and the liberal application of gunpowder!
My photographic path has been “wet and dry”. Working for Heidelberg in the printing industry meant I became familiar with Photoshop around 1990, but I spent my days on the PC and needed something else for relaxation. So I loved darkroom work, while I was gradually building up my Photoshop digital skills. When I mentioned on my blog that I had got a Nikon D100, I got an opportunity to write my first book on digital B&W, and I’ve now written 10 or so books on digital photography, the latest two being published in 2013.
Unlike many photographers, I didn’t approach digital photography as a graphic artist. My murky past includes all those years as a chartered accountant (shush, I don’t want to ruin the image!) and implementing financial IT systems, so I’m very hot on Excel, OLAP cubes, and on integrating systems and migrating data between databases. These skills lend themselves to digital asset management and improving clients’ Lightroom and iView Media Pro /Expression Media productivity, and designing web sites. And I do know Photoshop pretty well too.