Back in the 1980s seeing the work of Don McCullin, Brian Harris in the early Independent, Chris Killip or Sebastaio Salgado was what made me want a camera. You might see this reflected in my pursuit of long term documentary projects like Speakers Corner, but it’s never so simple, is it? After all, I was also a fan of Robert Mapplethorpe and yet I never enjoyed studio photography, while my big documentary interest, historical re-enactment, had its roots in studying history at Cambridge and a lifelong passion for the subject.
My other photographic love has always been landscape. I distinctly remember noticing McCullin’s wonderful book of black and white Somerset landscape for their expressionist mood. Other favourites would be Fay Godwin and William Neill, while some of David Ward‘s ideas have been thought-provoking. Maybe these, and others, are influences, but just as much comes from my interest in art history, and I really don’t believe in explaining or rationalising too much. It’s not a good idea.
To destroy any artistic credibility I may possess, my murky past contains many years as a spreadsheet warrior, a chartered accountant in fact. Eventually, creating complex spreadsheets allowed me to start digging my way out of that career. Learning how to program and automate Excel eventually led me to financial IT consulting and implementing big accounting systems, OLAP cubes and “business intelligence”, migrating databases. Surprisingly, at least to some people, these skills and aptitudes lend themselves to managing lots of photos and the field of “digital asset management”, improving clients’ Lightroom productivity, and designing web sites. But after 25 years, I do know Photoshop pretty well too.
My Lightroom scribblings are now at my other web site, Lightroom Solutions.
You can contact me by emailing me. Please make your email’s subject line obviously human or leave it as set by the link.
I don’t mind technical questions but I generally encourage people to ask for help in public forums such as the LightroomForums. You’ll get other useful opinions (even if they may not be as right as mine!) and more people may benefit from the discussion.
My Italian is good, and I am OK in French and German. Don’t blame me for Brexit.
And if you see me, do say hello. I am reliably told I am nowhere near as frightening as you may – quite rightly – imagine.