I originally grew up in Walsall, West Midlands until I was 21 then moved to live in Birmingham where I spent until 2007. After much soul searching, I decided to make a move and build a new life for myself on the east of coast of Scotland.
Growing up through the late 70s, 80’s and on into the early 90s I became an avid collector of vinyl LPs. As well as a real appreciation for various genre of music. I loved the artwork the artists had on their album and 12” single covers. To me they are works of art, which I found inspiring and sparked creativity within my own imagination. Of all the many artists, my favourite from the 80s undoubtedly was Helmut Newton, responsible for album covers for bands such as Visage. A German-Australian photographer, Helmut, was a “prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer who’s provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications.”
Birmingham had many creative individuals. I was impressed by early Boy George, Twiggy, Martin Degville, Khan & Bell to name a few. But having an eclectic and widely varied pallet, There are too many influences to mention here and as my horizons continue to broaden with new discoveries and experiences, I am continually adding new influences into my work.
In those day I expressed myself though the clothes I wore. Music and the 80s pop culture and underground were real passions of mine. I loved the Hi Energy scene in Birmingham and the club culture at Nightingale, Holy City Zoo and the Rum Runner.
As soon as I bought my first camera and my finger clicked the shutter, a love affair was born. I first realised what the camera could bring to my life, after battling depression and anxiety for a number of years. Finding I needed a creative outlet and a means to express my personal passion for art in its many forms.
I’ve never regretted it, My photography has actually brought more enjoyment and pleasure into my life than I could ever have imaged. My only regret over the years is I didn’t carry a camera around with me on my travels around the parts of the globe I have visited prior to discovering my aptitude for capturing life through a lense.
Learning from books, videos and continued practice over the years, I have tried different genres from macro to wedding photography but my real true passion lies in Landscapes and portraiture photography. I love the natural light. I find inspiration in unexpected places, people and objects. I’m always open to new ways of experimenting with light and colours and let my inspiration be my guide.
My Portraiture photography has been the front runner over the past 2 years. I have been involved in getting a collection of portraits together of tattooed men and women in and around Dundee and in particular people who have been tattooed by two brothers who work at a tattoo studio in the centre of Dundee called ‘Metalurgey’
Moving to the north east of Scotland in 2007 was a big life change from the busy city life of Birmingham to the rural life of the small town of Kirriemuir in Angus. It wasn’t long before I was exploring the landscape of the surrounding areas Forfar, Arbroath, Broughty Ferry and Montrose to name a few. On early mornings and sunset evenings the views and atmosphere are breathtakingly beautiful.
My editing is done in Photo Shop using the basic adjustment contrast and brightness I also tend to use antique filters and the overlay adjustment and some dodge and burn tools. I also apply the use of the Colour balance adjustment layer so I can work with colours separately making them brighter, darker or change them to a different hue altogether. The smart Sharpen command allows me a good level of control within the exposure and clarity within the sharpening in the frame. This tool also allows me to add the sharpening effect to the shadows or the highlight in the scene, sometimes I can work on an image for several hours, but that’s the perfectionist in me.
I have always used natural light but I may experiment with flash. I always strive to better and I’m very self-critical of my work.
My photography is improving and developing all the time and my on-going interest in art history is helping a great deal. I’ve been studying and reading recently the artists Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Jean Michel Basquiat who I find fascinating and intriguing in their work and life stories.
I also have huge respect for photographers such as Sarah Gardener, Laura Jade and Kilmarnock based Tommy Cairns.