I live on Tyneside, in a small village on the outskirts of Newcastle and Gateshead. It’s almost in the countryside, with lots of nice walks and all the amenities of a city close by. Yet within an hour or so, I can be lacing my boots up and heading out into the Cheviots. Then there’s the North Pennines and the Durham Dales, or the wonderful North East Coast.
I can’t say I’m a native as my beginnings were on an RAF base in Cambridgeshire. Yet I moved here when I was eleven, so I'm almost from the North East, but not quite. I may have moved away occasionally because of college or work, but have always returned. I still rather like it here, it’s a bit special.
It was whilst I was away at Art College that I discovered clay. Strictly speaking, that was initially on my foundation course at Sunderland, but that felt like away back then. I found I could throw pots on the wheel and so started my working life as Studio Potter, as well as teaching pottery night classes.
I worked in other potteries, production throwing, product design and mouldmaking, this saw a gradual move into industry. Primarily tableware and sanitaryware as a production manager and latterly, a factory manager.
In comparison, I'm fairly new to photography. As there's more than a bit about that in the next section, I'll let it continue there.
On a school trip, I distinctly remember looking into the viewfinder of a Kodak Brownie, not really knowing what I was doing. My first encounter with a camera and not the most auspicious of starts. So I returned to my drawing, nothing could really compete, I was always happy with pencil and paper.
It was drawing that took me onto Art College, where I was taught how to use a camera, develop film and print in the darkroom. Yet it was only so we could record our proper work, not something to be creative with. Which is all I ever used a camera for, taking slides of my ceramics and maybe the occasional holiday snap.
So it was a bit of a surprise to find myself thinking it might be nice to start taking photographs whilst out hiking, maybe do some drawing from them. So I purchased an entry level Nikon D40X with a couple of lenses, looked down the viewfinder and realised, I still didn't really know what I was doing.
This time something seemed to click (please excuse the pun) and I persevered. It was all a bit of a struggle and frustrating to begin with and often still is. Yet with lots of practice, my skills and photography developed, my interest in the landscape grew and I now appeared to go out hiking just to take photographs.
So it is from my many wanders amongst the landscape that my photographs come. As I carry my increasingly heavy rucksack, especially after the purchase of my Nikon D800, I take with me a phrase that sums up the whole process quite nicely. At first you have to learn the alphabet but then you have to make up the language.
I'm very much there with the first bit and the language is coming along nicely too. Which still gives a need to get out, practice and take more photographs.
I often head to my trusted places, I have a few. They're just somewhere I love to be and know that I can find something new and different as the seasons progress. Which is I hope, what I'm trying to say and convey with my photography. That I love where I am and what I'm seeing, with a bit of me in there as well.
Before you ask, I have indeed started to do some drawing from my photographs. Just practicing at the moment, reacquainting myself with the alphabet, but at least some of the letters are the same.
All of my work is professionally printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Photographic Paper byand are printed with a lustre finish. The print quality is excellent, the best I have tried and fortunately, they're quite local to me.
If you like what you see and are interested in purchasing any of my photographs, then please.
Below are the print sizes currently available:
Size: Print 7½" x 5" - Price £10 00
Size: Print 12" x 8" - Price £20 00
Size: Print 15" x 10" - Price £30 00
If you would like a different size or type of print than listed, or if you see one on Flickr, then again please.
All prints are posted in a sturdy flat cardboard pack dispatched using Royal Mail first class. Please allow up to 14 days for delivery, as all prints are printed once purchased. Please note, you will be ordering a print only, they do not come mounted or framed.