About

Welcome to my Virtually Grey Gallery. I hope you enjoy your visit. I would be very pleased to hear from you if you have any comments or questions - please use the 'contact' link above.

I’ve worked for more than 40 years producing pictures, exclusively in Black & White until about 2012 when Colour entered my world. The landscape is where I look for my pictures, but to say I'm a landscape photographer is rather misleading. Whilst out walking I find many things to photograph. Most of my work is of components or elements of the landscape (micro-landscapes) rather the panoramas and vistas that landscape usually brings to mind. Trees, streams, fungi, clouds, rocks, reflections, patterns, water, grasses; in fact anything more or less "natural" runs the risk of me pointing my camera at it. Ultimately my criterion for taking a photograph is that the final image must at least have the prospect of being "striking" and "frame-able" once the raw image has passed through my digital darkroom. There are many exceptions to my “natural” subjects with the occasional building or other evidence of human presence here and there! I am not a landscape purist. For example, I enjoy photographing inside cathedrals and churches. The natural high contrast lighting inside is particularly challenging, and exceptionally rewarding.

My early interest in photography eventually drew me into working for ILFORD for the first 12 years of my career in engineering, manufacturing, production planning and latterly in IT. My roles didn't directly involve me in photography, but working for the business was a huge encouragement for my interest in photography.

I keep my enthusiasm for photography by travelling abroad as often as possible with family and photography friends, and by undertaking photo-hiking projects. Over the last few years projects have included hiking in both directions along The Cotswold Way (just over 200 miles) and The Thames Path (almost 400 miles), as well as on The Malvern Hills, The Worcester-Birmingham Canal, and throughout 2016 on Bredon Hill.

Prior to 1994 I used OM1 and OM4 cameras. I graduated to using a mahogany and brass Zone VI 5x4 field camera until 2008 when I treated myself to a new much lighter weight Chamonix 5x4. I used a selection of 4 Nikkor large format lenses – 90mm SW f8 – 135mm W f8 – f210mm W f5.6 – 300mm M f9. I used Kodak's 100TMax in Readyload single sheet film holders processed conventionally, usually in XTOL until Kodak stopped the production of Readyloads, so I changed to 400TMax sheets in conventional film holders.

Until about 2001 I printed all of my work in my own wet darkroom. Thereafter I converted completely to the digital production of my prints, starting with scanning my 5x4 negatives. Photoshop and Lightroom are now my "darkroom". The transition helped me to achieve that which I always found less than satisfactory in the wet darkroom, namely the carefully controlled enhancement of a print without obvious evidence of the processes. An inkjet print is at least indistinguishable in terms of sharpness and smoothness of tone to the naked eye from a conventional silver print, and many would say “better than”. I now use Epson’s K3 Ultrachrome HD pigment inks in an Epson SC-P800 printer using Print Tool with ICC profiles created with QTR software, both from Roy Harrington (see my “Links”). Printed onto carefully matched paper the results are stunning with the full deep rich black shadow areas through all shades of grey to clear paper-base white highlights; or toned to any hue required. And colour prints are just as impressive. The best ink and paper manufactures recognise the importance of longevity and it is now claimed that carefully selected paper and ink combinations have a life of well in excess of 100 years.

Since about 2012 digital capture has taken over as my preferred means of taking photographs. I bought a Canon 7D in 2009 and have now moved on to a full frame Sony A7II and a selection of zoom lenses. The power of capturing an image in colour then having the freedom to manipulate the RAW file in Lightroom and/or PhotoShop is liberating. Since my move to digital capture the larger proportion of my work is now in colour. Which do I prefer? It's the image that decides.