I've been a designer in some form or other for over 20 years, working on products, computer software, mobile phones, websites, mobile apps and banking platforms. I studied photography when I got my BA and MFA degrees in art and design many years ago. But in 2015, I returned to photography again to pursue some of my interests there.
One of my passions is singing and the human voice, and as an extension of that, I specialise in taking high-quality photos of choral and acoustic events. These events are challenging because of typically very difficult lighting conditions (sometimes candlelight!) and the need for silent and unobtrusive photography. I work with the best low-light and totally silent camera on the market, and exceptionally versatile lenses. Performance photography is only as good as its lighting, and to address that I often install RGB LED silent and low-heat architectural lights to create a colour backdrop on architectural details of the venue, or to enhance the lighting on the performers. I am also one of the Founders and Trustees of The Fourth Choir in London and they allow me a lot of room to experiment (when I am not singing).
For me, photography is a way to enhance activities I enjoy, and one of them is walking alone in forests. This year, I started making images of forests to try to capture the qualities that make them so infinitely fascinating, and convey the sense of solitude, depth and discovery that I experience there. In the forest, the viewer is surrounded, and both seeing as well as passing through. Is it possible to capture this experience in a flat rectangular image?
I started by taking single exposures, but quickly abandoned that for in-camera multiple exposures because, for a long time, I have been fascinated by John Blakemore’s poetic tree landscapes, which capture movement by using multiple exposures of the same scene (between 5 and 50 exposures). He shot with black and white film, and his images got lighter with each exposure. But I use digital cameras and am exploring what happens to colour and depth when the images are overlaid.
Unlike Blakemore, I am limited by the number of exposures that my cameras are willing to take. But I can exponentially enhance the contribution of each exposure by using intentional camera movement and long exposures. I also have many options on how I chose to layer the images to make colours interact and blend in the camera.
The forest, depending on the season and time, is bleak and still, with all the bones of the trees exposed, or it is backlit, vibrant, and rustling with movement. I travel to seek out this diversity of forest settings, but even so, many of the results that emerge in my images surprise me. The in-camera movement and multiple exposures reduce unwanted detail, amplify colour, and create a natural ambiguity that seems more akin to the subjective natural gaze and early analogue Pictoralism than to the ever increasing precision of the modern digital camera.
I've always heard that you should photograph what you are passionate about, so I started a project to photograph women over 40 in 2016. This was also in response to the portfolios of so many photographers I saw that contain almost no women represented as individuals and no middle aged women, but plenty of middle aged men. It has been a wonderful but challenging experience, because it touches upon so many social and psychological issues for me and my participants. I've recently taken a break from shooting to seek out and study photographers who are doing this successfully, such as Brigitte Lacombe. I am also working on a series of self portraits to see if I can apply what I am learning to myself.
Tel: 079 1753 1301