About

Brief:

Born in 1970, I'm a lifetime resident of South Devon in England. Happily married to my wonderful wife Tara, I have three children I'm very proud of; Daniel, Aaron and Abigail - all growing up way too fast, plus a barely tolerable number of cats.

Extended:

The printed photograph, and in particular black and white imagery, has long held an irresistible fascination for me. To this day I'm still unable to identify precisely what it is that evokes such a strong, emotive response when studying a beautifully crafted monochrome, almost regardless of the subject matter - yet I am certain of one aspect. In order to induce a wide-spread sense of appeal in it's audience, a photograph has typically been taken by someone with an affinity, a respect, an understanding even of that which is before the lens. That's not to intimate oddities don't crop up to buck the trend - indeed this helps perpetuate photography's accessibility and mass appeal, but to consistently beguile the viewer a series of pictures depend upon the innate, or learned (and just as often both) appreciation for any given subject from the person behind the lens.

In essence, photographic skill and ability rarely boil down to a question of nature or nurture. Such an idiom is too extreme, or if you'll pardon the pun too, well... black and white. As is frequently the way with such matters, it's more typically an amalgamation of both. Living beside a huge stretch of coastline amidst beautiful landscape as I do, my time spent within this environment has, far from causing me to become blasé, afforded me an upperhand in cultivating an appreciation and love for such surroundings. What I lacked was the skill to transfer what my eyes saw - and far more importantly the lasting impressions made upon me - to a type of media that would register them other than transient memories. I firmly believe there is much beyond our common perception of 'seeing' - there is a subtext to anything our eyes register, and it is a photographer's interpretation of this that's ultimately more important in producing an image. Perhaps therein lies a clue as to my predilection for monochrome - perhaps it's simply my personal subtext. Attempting to bridge the two, I remember venturing out with an old SLR some years ago, naively hopeful the images inside my head would blossom forth and realise themselves unbridled by my technical inexperience. My fumbled attempts at operating a hand-held light meter, of misinterpreting the photographic triangle and ineptitude at relaying anything other than shockingly awful compositions belayed my hopes, and were a cruel lesson to learn. The SLR was shelved amidst my frustration and disappointment, and eventually lost altogether.

Time passed, and a nagging creative urge remained unsatisfied. That was until one morning when, completely on a whim, I found myself in a well-known retail photography outlet contemplating buying a new D-SLR. I ignored the sanctimonious inner-voice that warned me off - reminding me of experience past, and instead walked from the store with my new purchase clutched firmly under one arm. It seemed a mistake... at first. My initial shots left me bitterly discouraged once again, and had it not been for a conscious effort to understand why, my photographic exploits may well have faltered permanently there and then. Instead, I started absorbing each and every scrap of knowledge, information, conjecture and scrutiny I could find on how to make a successful, rewarding image. Piles of magazines on the subject rapidly grew about the house, books were thumbed, internet forums digested and advice from the one or two people I knew actually taking photographs listened to. Peculiar terminology presented itself and demanded explanation: depth of field, F-stops (why did they choose a large F-number for a small aperture?!), hyperfocal distance, bracketed exposure, RAW, bokeh, chromatic aberration and many, many more slowly became more than just a random series of words. Throughout this, I did the one thing absolutely guaranteed to improve my pictures - I picked up my camera, went out, and started taking them in earnest. Each and every time I depressed the shutter button it seemed a tiny facet of realisation fell into place. I was smitten, and have been massively enthused to continue learning ever since.

Today, I'm thrilled I persevered. I have photographs I wish I'd shot differently of course, but how else could I know this not having taken them? Fortunately, there are also those I'm proud of, images that appeal to me on a fundamental level for a variety of reasons - images that I hope may hold some small attraction for others. My passion for monochrome is as fresh as ever, and I am a photographer who is learning to take pictures through a combination of both nature and nurture. Some of them were inside my head all along, yet I stumble across new ones when I least expect it - while continuing to seek the skill and finesse to commit them indelibly.

Andy.