Back in the 1980s what made me want a camera was seeing the work of Don McCullin, Brian Harris in the early Independent, Chris Killip or Sebastaio Salgado, and you might see this in my pursuit of long term documentary projects like Speakers Corner. But it’s never so simple, is it? Indeed, my big documentary interest, historical re-enactment, was more the result of my having read history at Cambridge, and while I was also a big fan of Robert Mapplethorpe, studio photography has always left me cold.
My other photographic love has always been landscape. I don’t believe in too much rationalisation, but 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. I also draw from my knowledge of art history. Turner is an obvious love, and in London it’s easy to see his less-known earlier work, but for someone a historian by inclination your influences can cover many centuries.
But should one ever explain one’s photography?
To destroy any artistic credibility I may possess, my murky past does contain many years as a spreadsheet warrior, a chartered accountant in fact. Eventually working spreadsheets actually 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. Surprising enough, 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.
Most of my Lightroom material is now over at http://lightroomsolutions.com/.
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 in general I 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 other people may benefit from the discussion.
My Italian is good, and I am OK in French and German. Don’t blame me for Brexit.
If you see me, do say hello. I am told I nowhere near as frightening as you may – quite rightly – imagine.