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As well as being an author of fiction, I am also a photojournalist.
I first got into photography when he was 10 years old. Back then I was a budding ornithologist and spent many hours photographing birds. I was 16 when I bought my first 35mm SLR camera, a Fujica STX-1n, which I soon grew out of when I discovered the optical limitations of its screw-in lenses. After much research (magazines and asking Fleet Street press photographers what cameras they used - there was no internet back then) I bought a Nikon FM2, and later an F3, so I could benefit from the superb optical quality of Nikon's lenses. My Nikon F3 and Nikkor 300mm F2.8 lens was a combo I loved working with, especially while sitting along the touchlines at Highbury and White Heart Lane with the other press photographers while shooting football matches for two north London newspapers.
For studio and commercial work I favoured a Hasselblad 500cm medium format camera. Although I preferred the 6x7 format of the Mamiya RB and RZ67 Pro cameras, I felt that the Carl Zeiss Planar T star lenses on a Hassleblad produced sharper images. The fact that Victor Hasselblad was born on the same day (8th March) as myself - be it 60 years earlier - made my medium format camera choice a little easier.
I devoured many books on photography and photographic techniques and studied photography at a college in north London. I have a natural eye for a good picture, especially with regard to composition and angle. I've always said that there are three vital ingredients that make up a good photograph: subject matter, lighting and composition, anything above and beyond this is down to individual creativity.
In my late teens and early twenties I covered several news stories for local newspapers where I wrote up the stories and shot the accompanying photographs. I also ran (with another photographer) a photographic studio in north London specialising in commercial and advertising photography.
As the years rolled along so did technology and over the course of a few short years film was all but dead in the water as digital took over. Today I shoot with full-frame Pro DSLR cameras coupled with the finest lenses available.
My areas of photographic expertise are: news, investigative journalism, sport, commercial, corporate, portraiture and anything unorthodox.
I'm based in Cambridgeshire, UK.
Note about photographs: I was a photographer before the word 'digital' was ever associated with photography hence I like to get the image as perfect as it possibly can be during the shooting stage: subject matter, composition, lighting and exposure for example. If I want a beautiful warm yellow hue I will wait until the 'magic hour' (about an hour before the sun goes down) before shooting any given outdoor shot, rather than drag the hue slider around in post-production. Likewise, I will compose the shot to perfection (typically using a tripod) rather than crop in post. I will also take the time to remove a stray discarded crisp packet from the foreground of a shot, rather than airbrush it out later. This way the postproduction work on my RAW images require little by way of processing (just like the old days with chemical developing and printing). Working this way maintains maximum image quality, authenticity and, in certain cases, ethics. I try to think like some of my favourite photographers of yesteryear: Bob Carlos Clarke, Patrick Lichfield, Terence Donovan, David Bailey, Beverley Goodway and Ansel Adams, by striving to achieve a great shot to start with.
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