I shall never tire of the coast and countryside that surrounds us here in the Southwest of England. Its grandeur is humbling – from the rawness of the high moorland, through its wooded river valleys and on to the rugged cliffs and beaches that fringe the ever changing surface of the seas.
I have bouldered and rock climbed its rough granite faces, kayaked in its moorland rivers, surfed in its big winter waves and in doing so, felt for those moments, that I have struck up some dialogue with the natural world.
I seek to make soulful photographs that are rich in detail & contrasting natural textures – and feel that they, by virtue of my deep admiration and considered study of the great outdoors, are imbued with emotional and at times visceral depth.
In my photography, I seek to invite the viewer to ‘step into the scene’ - to smell the ocean breeze, to hear the sounds of the gurgling whitewater racing over the boulders in the moorland, to want to reach out and touch the gnarled bark of the trees…. and to relish in the stormlight that bathes the land in an enchanted ambience for a few evanescent moments..
I have has been inspired by many artists of different genres -
Joseph Mallord William Turner stands out as a ‘Master of Light & Landscape’ for me - in both his classical and abstract painting, we are beguiled by fascinating light and a sense of being drawn into the scene. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s paintings again are masterful in the use of light, shadows and texture. John Constable’s landscapes inspire me for the way they are inviting us to share the charm of the bucolic scenes and his passion for these places shines through in each painting. Peder Mork Monsted's realist landscape paintings were full of fascinating organic hues, wonderful textural detail and a clarity of light so brilliantly crafted that it seems like one is looking through a window at the world, yet there is this deeply emotive depth imbued into them that is so reverant of the landscapes he portayed. These are a but few of many past and present fine art masters who's works fascinate me.
In photography I am fascinated by the works of Charlie Waite, Paul Wakefield, David Ward and Joe Cornish (who taught me on one of his workshops). Each of these landscape photographers, like the painters mentioned above, has mastered the way to create photos that invite us to consider more deeply the world around us. Their use of light & shadows and their ability to evoke an emotional response in the viewer is outstanding. They are all three excellent, passionate orators and authors.
The photographers who's work I most admire, are those driven by their passion for photography that they clearly wait for the defining moment, amidst the sometimes harsh weather conditions: the risk of losing their equipment at the mercy of waves, and from wading into rivers; waking at ridiculous times of the morning to bear witness to the dawn light as it bathes the land … watching the world as it wakes up and stretches to welcome the new day… whilst most people are still fast asleep. This dedication, drive, passion and exploration is part of what helps them elevate their work beyond the ‘snapshot’, or even ‘technically perfect ‘image and into something deeper… something which resonates inside us as we gaze at their work. As Joe Cornish has said many times, his mantra is that great photography is a combination of “Art, Craft & Soul”
More recently I have been inspired to experiment with ‘Intentional Camera Movements’ to create abstract land and seascapes after coming across the fascinating works of Chris Friel, Ted Leeming and Morag Paterson.
I have won several awards for my creative images, including the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s ‘Winning Landscapes’ photo competition for my ‘Emsworthy Barn’ photograph.
There is much for me yet to discover, a longing to continue to develop my craft and a deep rooted desire to bear witness, understand, connect with and record the beauty & grandeur of the world that surrounds me. I am keen to encourage others to look rather than glance at their surroundings and inspire them to make time to really explore their world.