I guess my involvement with photography started when I was around ten years of age, with the gift of a Ross-Ensign Fulvueflex camera from my father, who was himself a keen amateur at the time. Suffering a prolonged hospitalisation at about that time, my earliest efforts were of a visiting circus troupe, many casual portraits of the nursing staff and a shot of the lad in the next bed to me, who at the precise moment that I pressed the shutter, mistakenly let his pyjama bottoms drop, so that I obtained a rather memorable image of his suddenly bare rear. The chemist who processed the latter warned my parents (in jest, I’m fairly sure, this being about 1958!) against my producing images of this rather saucy kind in future! Must look out the negs sometime! the circus ones, I mean.
Fast forward to around 1966, yes, I’m THAT old, and I started to shoot pics of the rapidly expanding rock music scene. I’d always been keen on guitar music, since I heard Bert Weedon playing ‘Apache’, (later covered by The Shadows, thankfully!), but didn’t have the grit and determination (and probably the talent) to learn to play myself, so my response to the music was to shoot pictures of the bands. Most of these were taken at the now long-defunct Redcar Jazz Club and inspired the production of a book in 1996. Sadly, many of the musicians I photographed are now dead, but both those and many of those who managed to survive the rigours of the rock music lifestyle are now music icons, and so the images are sought after, having been published worldwide and are in many private collections as original prints.
Late 1967 I enrolled on a professional photography course at Blackpool College of Art, studying Industrial and Commercial photography, and entered the world of professional photography early in 1971. It was the landscape which truly got me inspired though, and I eventually returned to my native North East England via a succession of jobs, and having taken a full-time post lecturing in professional photography, got to work building what has become my now fairly extensive folio of landscape work. These images too are in many private collections worldwide.
At the same time, I became involved with Montage Gallery in Castleton, North Yorkshire, selling my expanding range of landscape work from there to begin with, and after the original owner decided to retire, took it over as my own, from where I now work. The gallery has gained an excellent reputation over its sixteen years since foundation, for providing a high quality range of contemporary art, and latterly for my extensive collection of photographs for sale. If you’re ever in the area, look us up; you will be assured of a warm welcome, and photography chat if you wish!
By the way, my pastimes include collecting/restoring vintage Italian motorcycles, and as well as many other collections, (my wife says I have a collection of collections!), an ever growing army of pinball machines which I also enjoy restoring and playing, and of which I think I have around 25, so these topics are always open for discussion too!