Brought up in a hard working family, my father was a coal merchant and my grandparents were tomato farmers, so I’m no stranger to hard work and the outdoor life. I was once a world class competition bagpipe player having been a member of the brilliant Boghall & Bathgate Pipe band where I won many championships. (Nowadays, I only play for pleasure.). I’m both ambidextrous and dyslexic which means I can write with both hands but what I write rarely makes sense, so blogging is a challenge. I studied art for some time before moving on to study electronics, physics and maths at University. I was the official student union photographer during my studies. When I finished my studies, I worked as a semiconductor engineer where a very deep understanding of optics was required. I combine the technical and the artistic in my images but not always.
Founder and head judge of the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the year.
30+ years expertise in darkroom wet process printing.
20+ years expertise in “alternative” processes such as cyanotype, salt and platinum printing.
20+ years as a photography tutor
20 years expertise as a photoshop instructor
I’m an experienced off road driver and have access to off road tracks and wild places on several Scottish estates. Often, some of the location I travel to can be remote and my transport includes land rover 4×4 vehicles equipped to cope with rough terrain and adverse weather conditions that can occur quickly on the remote Scottish hills.
Several film cameras, consisting of 35mm, medium format, panoramic and large format 5×4 bodies.
A tripod and lots of film.
A digital camera
Filters – HiTech Firecrest. They’re the best without dispute.
There is a grand misconception put about (by photographers) that there is no such thing as originality and all photographers are inspired or influenced by other photographers or artists. The fact is that there are countless photographers that have little to no influences at all and I consider myself to be in this category. Whilst I have recently come to admire the work of certain photographers such as Michael Kenna and Josef Hoflehner, for the most part I have genuinely never been influenced by or familiar with any particular photographer. Up until 2014 I only ever owed one photography book by Lisl Dennis and I bought my first Ansel Adams book in 2015. I was only vaguely familiar with the work of the greats such as Adams, Cartier-Bresson and Salgado, and this was through browsing posters in Athena shops. The reason for this was that I realised many years ago that I could never see the world through the lenses of others, so I decided there was little point in trying. The disadvantage of this means that I am useless at parties when someone asks me anything about other photographers, but the advantage is that I took my influence by what I saw and felt, and this is what most likely formed my style.
Widely published in magazines, newspapers, books.