I’d like to share with you the way I see the world.
Technically it’s photography, but calling it so may focus in on the process and technology. Calling it fine art might be a step too far. What’s more important to me is the context and inspiration behind an image. I think the ultimate context behind a photographic image is the life of the person who took it, their experience culminates in the decision and ability to record a particular image.
I used to be a full time management consultant. In retrospect I led a fairly unhealthy life. Long days, weekly business trips, unhealthy food, difficult relationships, professional frustration and if I am being completely honest – some loneliness.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was a bad winter flu. All the stress together led to pretty severe fatigue. Headaches, dizziness, muscle and joint pains, at one point I could barely walk.
Nothing wakes you up like the prospect of losing your independence.
I reacted to sickness with change. Yoga, meditation, veggie juice, positive thinking, reading, learning. I tried many things. It took a few years, but I recovered.
A Pleasant Surprise and an Idea
These new good habits gave me more than just my health. I discovered a new appreciation for life. I started to be thankful for simple things, and I found my thinking was more open and creative.
In part thanks to my new outlook I made a good impression on a beautiful, creative girl. She took amazing photos. It was a revelation how a moment could be captured, a person walking – the sense of movement, the colour, a scene in time.
Seeing the World
Part of my renewed energy was motivation to travel. I had travelled a lot before, but often on business or short trips.
After I recovered I moved from full time consulting into independent contracting. This way I could work for part of the year and take longer breaks to travel and enjoy life.
My first long trip was two months in Thailand. In Thailand I went to the gym every day, read books, relaxed by the pool, went to cool coffee shops, talked to the locals. It was amazing! My next destination was Japan. I love Japan. The design culture, colours, cleanliness, attention to detail, respect for tradition – so many beautiful things.
I had an Aha! moment. I was inspired to connect what I’d learnt from a certain girl with my love for travel. This led to my first photo walk.
It was an afternoon out in Naka Maguro. An area of Tokyo famous for Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in spring.
The Cherry trees line the Meguro river and make a beautiful coloured Canopy. These photos may be far from perfect, but they represent the first time I wandered around simply photographing anything that reasonated with me.
The experience was akin to meditation. Time passed smoothly, I felt great. I enjoyed myself so much I completely forget any shyness and even took close up photographs of strangers. Of course I apologised and asked permission to keep them afterwards.
My first experience of consciously taking photos was like finding magic.
Art or Not
Is photography fine art? Or a scarier question – is my photography fine art? I would never feel comfortable to declare that. What is art anyway? – a complicated discussion.
I’ll put this theoretical debate to the side, I’d rather talk in more concrete language about my intentions.
I am trying to share the way I see the world. What does that really mean? I think in part I try not to think too much about it. I try not to research and copy other artists.
Sometimes I’m stopped in my tracks by the geometry and colour in the world around us. Other times I see a situation that tells a deeper story about a person or a place. The way someone moves, the things people are doing, the relationship between people.
There are endless opportunities for visual inspiration in the day to day world around us.
Evolution of Style
I’ve heard that it’s important to have a visual style. Something cohesive about the images you present. I think it might be easier for a third party to judge my style. If I was to guess it would be about finding scenes with natural beauty and experimenting with novel composition – how do lines, angles, shapes enrich an image when composed in certain ways.
I would say I apply a similar style, but to a handful of different subject matters. This array of subjects could make my collection look eclectic, but there is a personal connection with every image.
I was born in a coastal town in Scotland. I love to visit the sea, to hear the clanging of metal in a harbour, to breathe the fresh air, especially crisp winter days with beautiful sunlight.
My other interest is local culture. Like a lot of people I enjoy walking the streets of a city in my free time. I’d much rather take a walk and have a tea or coffee at a street side cafe than watch TV or movies. It’s really nice to enjoy city architecture, people walking by, the unique sights that make cities individual – street food, buses, taxi’s, signs, fashion etc.
The Far East
During the last few years I’ve had a few trips out to Asia; Thailand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, I love the foods, the temples, aspects of the culture and lifestyle, it’s a refreshing change from the West (which I also love), part of the beauty in life is found in the diversity of design, culture, taste etc.
Another element that appears in my image collection from time to time is cars. When I grew up my dad was a car mechanic and a lorry driver. So I remember always being around cars when I was young. I also had a lot of fun racing old cars around a farm before I was old enough to drive! So I guess I have a soft spot for automative design; particularly classics with character.
I am available for commercial work – e-mail me.
I do sell fine art prints. I am testing out Saatchi Art, or I can also print on demand via print photobox in the UK or the print space for a more professional finish.
Please contact me.