Black+White Photography Magazine

January 28, 2016

I am happy to have the three pictures below published in the recent Black+White Photography issue 185. The pictures and an interview are featured in the 60-Second Exposure section.

Untitled photo

I took up photography because…
I am an electrical engineer by trade, so when the first digital cameras came out I was fascinated by the technology behind them. I bought an Olympus C2100-UZ with my first pay cheque: it had a 2.1Mp sensor and 10:1 zoom lens. Back then it seemed miraculous. Gradually I became more interested in making pictures than the tools used to create them.

Tell us about your favourite photographic themes.
As a keen hiker, I really enjoy being outdoors – this has led to a passion for seascapes, landscapes and treescapes, which I often shoot using long exposures. This technique helps me to work out the essence of a scene or subject. I’m also drawn to interesting buildings and architectural details.

What’s the biggest risk you have taken as a photographer?
I once climbed down a very steep ravine, despite injuring my knee a few months earlier.

Do you have a photographic habit that you wish you could shake?
Having returned from one photographic trip, I always wait too long before embarking on the next. Photography isn’t my profession – I’m an amateur who enjoys taking pictures – so there’s a lot going on in my life. I have a family who I want to spend time with and a house that seems to need constant repair. Also, at present, I’m not that motivated to take pictures – if I take a break I often find that the urge comes back.

Who has been the greatest influence on your photography?
I’ve never really studied the photographic masters of the past, so it’s hard to name one person. However, I do like the work and approach of Cole Thompson – a modern day photographer whose compositions are exceptionally well thought out.

Tell us about a photographic opportunity you have missed.
I miss quite a few photographic opportunities, particularly when I’m out and about with my family. I might see an intriguing subject, but I know that with my style and pace it can take an hour or so to get a single shot, so I usually drive on.

What has been your most embarrassing moment as a photographer?
So far I’ve been lucky enough not to embarrass myself too much.

Tell us your favourite photographic quote.
‘A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said, “I love your pictures – they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera”. He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: “That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove”.’ Sam Haskins.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest photographic discovery of all time?
Digital cameras might not exist were it not for the development of the CMOS sensor, so I’ll opt for that. I would never have got into photography if it still required using chemicals, so this leap in technology has had a big impact on me.

What would you say to your younger self?
Go out and make photographs – and take your time!

Which characteristics do you need to become a photographer?
You need to be patient: when you’re shooting seascapes and landscapes the light, clouds, sky, and even your mood has to be just right. You also need to be persistent: on my way to work I pass the same tree every day, but it has taken me five years to come up with a composition of it I’m happy with.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
I have a wild imagination.

What is your dream project?
It would be great to spend two or three weeks in Alaska just taking pictures. It’s such a fascinating part of the world, and I would love to explore it fully. In my head it’s still relatively untouched, but in my heart I know that simply isn’t true.

What single thing would improve your photography?
Having more time to go out and make pictures.

If you hadn’t become a photographer, what would you be doing right now?
I’d like to think that I would be exploring nature in some way.

Embarcadero Stairs 4

Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, California

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