You could say I was born to the smell of darkroom chemicals as my father was working as a portrait photographer at the time and his darkroom was in the basement of our rented London flat.
My first camera was a Zenit B and I remember being very proud of a picture I took in our local park of a winter tree silhouetted against stormy grey clouds - I was ten at the time!
However, my interest lay dormant for the next 25 years, until I joined the Swindon Camera Club (now 'upgraded' to the Swindon Photographic Society).
I learnt a lot from the other members and also read photographic magazines avidly. In 1992 I gained my Licentiateship from the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS) and a year later my Associateship (ARPS). One day I would like to try for the Fellowship....
After 15 years of membership my interest began to wain a little, to be revived with a vengeance by the advent of the digital age. My first encounter with digital came through winning a HP Photosmart 618 compact in a photographic competition. It was only 2 megapixels and by today's standards the quality was awful - but I was hooked!
In the summer of 2005 I re-mortgaged the house (no kidding!) and splashed out on my first digital kit - a Canon EOS 1Ds MkII. This has since been replaced by a Canon 5D MkII.
For those of you who are interested in this kind of thing - my current lenses are the Canon 24-105 f4L IS USM and the Canon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS USM. Most, if not all of the images in the 'Botanica' galleries were taken with the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM macro lens. I also have a Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 DG EX lens, but I seldom use it - I find the distortion at the widest end a bit too much for my liking. I always use a tripod for landscape and macro work and the Manfrotto Neotech, whilst not the lightest, is sturdy and a doddle to set up and collapse quickly. I have the usual range of landscape filters, although I often bracket exposures and then merge different images in Photoshop to get a high dynamic range, rather than using neutral grads - my feeling is that having spent a fortune on top quality lenses, do I then want to degrade the image by putting some more glass/resin in front of the optic? But this varies according to my mood. OK - enough of the techie stuff!
The purchase of all that high end kit marked my transition from 'amateur' to 'professional' when I started submitting images to magazines (see Publications) and to Alamy, an online stock library (see Links) in earnest. Freelance photography - and journalism - is now, very nearly, my full time occupation.
I will gladly undertake commissions and most of the images are available for sale for editorial or commercial use. Please contact me via the Contact page.