About the Photographer
I was born on the 8th July 1947, in Lewisham, South
For 30 years, I pursued a career in the National Health
Service specialising in Histopathology and Cytology.
Working in various teaching hospitals in and around
London, photography became an everyday component of
my working life, recording and documenting cases, preparing
training and educational material and for publication
A career in diagnostic pathology involved the visual
analysis of tissue and cell samples by microscopy using
a wide variety of preparatory and staining techniques.
The mind was trained to be highly analytical, often
looking for the smallest evidence of change and working
to the highest standards of accuracy, technique and
Running parallel to my career has been a love of the
natural world, particularly the landscape; broadening
one's experience by the opportunity to travel. It seemed
to have been a natural progression to transfer my photographic
skills from work to pleasure. The relevance to my personal
photography became obvious: analysis, interpretation
and decision. It was not just about looking, but seeing!
A significant milestone was achieved in 1985, being
awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society,
in the field of Pictorial Photography.
After sustaining the unavoidable physical and emotional
battering of successive healthcare reorganisations,
the opportunity for early retirement arose, allowing
me to further my passion for photography, music and
the garden. Time has allowed me to widen my photographic
interests to include architecture and most recently
plant macro-photography. Embracing both digital and
traditional photography has brought an understanding
of the strength and weaknesses of both media, regarding
both as complimentary.
Over the years I have contributed towards many group
and solo exhibitions and I regularly lecture to photographic
and other interested societies. My images are widely
published and many examples of my work held in private
collections. The introduction of digitally produced
art prints has been successful in bringing the art of
photography to a wider audience.
One of the constants in my life has been a passion
for photography, in particular the landscape. It is
an emotional relationship, understanding nature, fulfilling
an inner need. We all in different ways try to make
sense of our world, look for meaning, or perhaps simply
seek perfection in an imperfect world. Fortunately,
photography has allowed me to express my feelings towards
the environment and our relationship to it, capturing
a few special moments in time.
"Reacting with nature "is dedicated to the
wonder and variety of nature and the art of photography.
It reflects the notion of photography as a three way
process: an interaction with nature, one's own spirit
and that of the viewer.
A career in diagnostic pathology has trained me to
have an analytical and precise approach, necessary to
seek out the essential elements of a scene, decide what's
important and how best to translate them into a final
image. Combining this with a creative and sensitive
mind, has given me the ability to balance the intellect
and emotions, so necessary to materialise an idea. Experience
also brings the ability to pre-visualise the final image,
but part of the magic of photography is still the surprise
or disappointment of viewing the end result!
Growing older has helped too. Indeed maturity has brought
an increasing emphasis on a more spiritual attitude
to life, together with a greater appreciation of beauty
in all its forms. The principles of simplicity, purity,
harmony and balance as embodied in Japanese concepts
of Zen, are relevant to photography.
From a visual viewpoint, I am particularly interested
in the idea of the "minimum", which is essentially
the pursuit of simplicity, exploring the possibilities
it offers as a means of working creatively. Stripping
out the extraneous matter, whether it is detail or perhaps
colour, allows the essentials to shine through and brings
rewards in a clarity and directness of vision.
Take simplicity for instance: less is often more, more
for the imagination. A person's shadow, more powerful
than the person. Reeds reflecting in still water, suggesting
a musical notation. Simplicity however, whether in art,
architecture or life itself, requires discipline and
does not come easy.
Another aspect, which to helps to focus, is to not
worry too much what other photographers are doing, or
what is fashionable. Select a theme, choose a technique
and work it through. Follow your instinct; take care
with advice! Learning from your own mistakes, brings
about a greater purity in thought and action.
Much of my photographic activity has been in the wilder
parts of this country and in northern "climes",
such as Iceland and Norway. What is it that attracts
me to such areas? Fundamentally, a heightened awareness,
brought about by changing one's relationship with nature.
Being close to nature and in awe of it, provides enough
anxiety to fire the imagination. It is also the realisation
of the transience of life and that everything inevitably
returns to nature. The elemental nature of the landscape
highlights the capacity for genesis or destruction.
Landscape is ever changing, both in the physical and
temporal sense, bringing a conflict between timelessness
and progression. We try to rationalise nature by making
order out of chaos. In nature, every action has a reaction
and we function best when there is harmony and balance.
More recently, I have developed a fascination for architecture,
which offers an alternative stimulation from that when
confronting nature in the wild. In the urban environment
man strives to dominate and we call it civilisation.
Perhaps as an antedote for the stresses of modern life,
I look for inspiration through the Japanese philosophy
of reconnecting man to nature, using architecture as
an intermediary. It is this interface between nature
and man, where changing light and weather react with
structure to give form, shape, pattern, texture and
the delineation of space, thus setting the stage for
inspiration. Abstraction, attention to design, exploring
spatial qualities, suggests the need for control in
the urban environment. Here, I am often drawn to use
man's presence, either real or suggested, as an emotional
counter-balance, perhaps reminding myself that great
architecture can allow us to interact with nature and
not to hide from it.
Plant macro-photography is a further challenge and
there is much to learn. There is no short cut to experience.
The perfection of beauty and variation in nature demands
perfection in technique. Lighting, exposure, contrast,
focus and even the background all need to be finely
judged. At high magnification the smallest blemish stands
out, the slightest breeze becomes a hurricane and every
shadow a canyon. With such a strong aesthetic, it is
more difficult to express individuality without resorting
to gimmickry. However, when the whole becomes greater
than the sum of its parts, an image of great pictorial
appeal can be created. Perhaps it is one area where
one should be content to let nature speak for itself,
rather than to impose.
Photography is inherently a rather personal affair,
but it would be satisfying to think that my images could
touch upon the souls of others. I hope that in some
small way, my photographs provide inspiration to look
at, think about and perhaps re-evaluate our visual world.