It all started when I came into the world in 1957 on a council estate in Dartford, Kent UK. Born as a twin to a Mother & Father with a brave new modern world mind set where their children should strive forward, explore and discover. My Father had unlimited artistic talents and he encouraged me from a very young age to develop mine in every creative medium available at the time. In addition, there was another influence coming through, my Uncle. He had taken up amateur photography, including his own developing & printing. This intrigued me as I watched the magic of images appear in the red light of his darkroom.
From Russia with Love
At the age of twelve I was gifted my first camera, a Russian Cosmos 35mm rangefinder. At this time I only shot in black and white as I could not afford the colour film processing. I learnt to develop my own film, and creating prints from make-do darkrooms in various household cupboards. By sixteen I had got my first SLR, another Russian camera with the much-loved Zenit E. Around this time colour photography then started to become more affordable with the use of 35mm Transparency film. As you can imagine this resulted in the inevitable family slide show!
In 1973 I went to Design College studying Three-Dimensional Design. However, I spent many an hour in the college photographic darkrooms creating large sized prints. This was something I could not do from my small home cupboard darkroom. At college I really grew my love of the printed photographic image which has never gone away. Although my career path led me into a professional life of Design & Architecture, photography was never that far away. It would always seem to creep into my work as well as being there for pleasure. Fast forward and the start of the Digital Revolution, with a completely new approach as to how images could be created. I could not wait to embrace this exciting change in photography. The chance to put into play the creative editing skills I had gained from my Design background. However, I held back, waiting for a maturity in the technology to arrive. I wanted my photographs to be fully printed as hung Artwork rather than just being low res screen images.
That time finally came. So with my Hasselblad X1DII and Nikon 850 it’s now out of the Darkroom and in with a computer Lightroom! When capturing shots, I always have in the back of my mind the possibilities of next stage in the process of taking the camera image and translating this into a printable piece of Photographic Art. Although I am now using modern equipment and techniques, somewhere in the background the red light is still on and the magic is waiting to appear.
In 2017 I formed the OPENPAGE-STUDIO for not only my own work, but for other like-minded photographers to share their passion and collaborate in our overall vision. This has now developed into the current on-line Photographic Art Galleries at OPENPHOTO-STUDIO UK and OPENPHOTO-STORE USA.
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