Homeless man on the Millennium Bridge
Submitted in contest:
My love of photography started as a child. Family holidays to Wales or Somerset would bring with them all kinds of fantastic scenery that I had never seen before. I used to watch my Dad taking photographs of the views before he would then involve all of us for some fun family photos. Back at home there would be the ceremony of the family holiday slideshows. The projector and screen bought down from the loft, the living room would be darkened, the adventures would begin. The projector would make an annoying 'clonk, click, donk' as each slide was dropped into place. But each one would bring the magic of the moment back. Life as it was for that 125th of a second at f8. Days out and future holidays were different from then on. “Dad, Dad, Dad, can I have your camera” – “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Daaaad, I want to take a picture” – “Dad look at that” – “Dad, did you see? “Mum, I want a camera”. - I went on a school trip to Scarborough when I was 10, and was given my older sister’s camera to borrow and two rolls of film. Upon my return I must confess, I spent all my money on more film for the camera…. my pocket money providing the future funds to get them developed at Boots. By the time I went away with the secondary school, on crazy chemistry club trips to Talybont (Wales), or on more structured school holidays to Spain and America, I had my own 35mm Fuji. It was an essential part of my equipment for the day. My pockets brimming with Agfa film, I was ready... and happy; safe in the knowledge that moments would not be lost to the mists of fading memory. I was creating a window to my futures’ past. After my GCSEs I found myself at Art College, the best years of my life where creativity and character were encouraged. In this new learning environment I found my vocation and life’s passion, they had a darkroom! A lecturer, Matt Finn, provided great mentorship as well as being and endless torrent of knowledge. He taught me the most valuable lesson: Black & White photographs can never masquerade as reality. Now, I no longer had to wait in line at Boots, I could do it all myself, and find my own style. From there I went to The University of Derby and learned from among many others, the very highly respected John Blakemore. (Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society). I now like to spend my spare time exploring, my Pentax K-5 always in my hand and a bag of fixed length prime lenses over my shoulder. I watch the people, see new spaces, new shapes. I return to favorite places and try to record the scene differently, even though it is the same place and the same view. A personal perspective on a unique moment. My finger ready to fire when that moment comes. Digital photography gives me the means to shoot all day long wherever I go - without the limitations of processing costs, but I’d swap it in a heartbeat for a Leica and a limitless supply of Illford and Agfa film; a Darkroom will always be better than Lightroom. Film has a magic that digital simply can’t touch, but each allows me to capture that unique moment in time.