I have been involved in freelance photography for thirty one years, and photography in general for forty six. I used a camera for the first time at age thirteen (a Kodak Brownie 44a 127 roll film camera). Since then I have worked with small, medium, and large format film cameras. In 2004 digital technology had become mature enough for me to invest in my first DSLR. My current front line equipment comprises medium and small format DSLRs, though the medium format camera has become the workhorse in carrying about 99% of the load these days. It is better suited to the creation of large prints.
I rarely if ever look at the work of other photographers because I don’t want to be influenced by them. Anyone involved in what is broadly known as a creative art will generally fall into one of two categories. There are those who look at everything in their field and find originality in the way in which they blend individual elements and draw new ideas from them. Then there are those who look at absolutely nothing, and find originality from within themselves. Both approaches are right; it just depends on the individual. I belong to the second group. Somebody said once that photography is the easiest thing in the world to do, but the hardest thing to do distinctively. Distinctiveness is what I am seeking.
For some years I found I had been pressing up against the limits of conventional photographic imaging. I wanted to extend out into other forms of photography. There is nothing second-class about an image taken in an instant of time; it is simply one option among many. A photographer is not limited to it, however. All photographic and post-production techniques are valid when they allow a photographer to make real an image that starts in the mind. Photography is more than just photocopying. The art of painting will often lead an artist to look for essence rather than the detail of a subject. Photography can achieve the same thing.