Gallery: a personal approach taken to photography

The pictures that will show in the gallery space, changing slowly from time to time, were taken across a long period of time starting in the early 1970s. Those from the forty years to 2011 were all taken on film. At least half were taken using a fixed 50mm lens camera, which led to the development of an approach where the photography involved a direct contact with the subject matter – up close even if not personal (Very few are of people).

That was not the age of taking multiple shots and selecting the best one; nor a time of firing off some nearly-right shots and editing them later. There was no in-store do-it-yourself cropping; no same-day reprinting. Those early shots were taken in the awareness that there was a maximum of 36 shots on the film, the film was then processed by sending it off in an envelope and waiting a couple of tense weeks for the prints or slides to arrive back in the post, hoping that there were no wasted exposures. The feeling was that each shot had to be right first time. Composition was paramount; exposure was critical; depth of focus was vital.

The same discipline was applied after I upgraded to a single lens reflex camera with interchangeable lenses that covered the range from macro close-up to telephoto shots of distant objects.

Out of more than a thousand shots no more than six were given any post-development treatment (and these were unwanted slides that were then deliberately distressed manually). Although the original negatives and slides have been digitised for inclusion on this website, this has been done on an ‘as was’ basis ie with no onscreen manipulation, no use of photoshop or other software, no messing with the original.

Photographs from 2011 onwards have tended to be digital but the original approach has remained with me – getting the shot right in the first place; no later manipulation other than some very minor cropping around the edges; and so on. I still feel that my photography needs to involve a close contact with whatever subject matter catches my eye.

Pictures included in the Gallery are simply ones from personal choice. They often connect across to other themes on this website – or might simply be some aspect of my own preferences at that time.

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