About me

 

I was born in Nottinghamn in 1963, but my family moved to Exeter , Devon when I was 8 years old. Despite a few periods of living in other parts of the country I always seem to end up coming back, and I’m now living in Exeter again. It’s good to be back with my friends and family.

I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I got my first camera when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It was a cheap plastic Diana that I got by collecting tokens from packets of breakfast cereal. Looking back on it now it was a terrible camera, with no light meter, no aperture control and only a limited range of shutter speeds, but it was enough for a 9-year-old and it sparked my interest. Ironically Diana cameras are now being made again, and are very fashionable with the sort of spiky-haired art college photographers who think that a badly exposed, optically distorted photograph taken on a cheap plastic camera prone to light leaks is "art", especially if they hand-print it on fiber-based paper with torn edges.

A few years later, my father gave me his old bellows-front 120 roll film Agfa Isolette. Although it was about 30 years old when I first got it, it was still in good condition and was a much more capable camera than the Diana. I converted a cupboard in my parent’s bathroom into a darkroom, and began developing and printing my own black & white photos. I wish I still had that old Agfa. It’d probably be worth quite a bit by now...

I eventually outgrew the capabilities of the Isolette, and bought myself a cheap Cosina GT1G 35mm SLR. It took Pentax lenses, so it was an easy progression to a Pentax ME Super, which I bought in 1980. I still have it, and it still works perfectly nearly 30 years later. Despite the versatility of 35mm, I missed the superior image quality of medium format, so I bought a Mamiya C330, and later a 645 Super. A friend and I built a colour darkroom in the basement of a house we were sharing, and I soon began taking photos for local bands and shooting the occasional wedding.

In 1988 I moved to London to go to university as a mature student, where I studied photography and journalism. After university, I worked for a while as a professional photographer, shooting mainly portfolio shots for models and some commercial work for several companies. Unfortunately, circumstances arose that meant I had to move back to Exeter in 1993, and I had to put my career on hold for a while. I did several different jobs for a few years, until I answered an ad in the local paper for a staff writer at Rapide Publishing. I started working on Ultimate PC, at the time the UK's most popular PC games magazine, in 1997. Who says that years spent playing computer games is a waste of time?

Unfortunately, Rapide went bust in 1999, but after freelancing for a few months I was asked to help start a new publishing company in Exeter called Predator Publishing, and became Deputy Editor of DVD Monthly, so I guess all that time spent watching movies helped as well. After a year at Predator I moved to Paragon Publishing in Bournemouth to work on Digital Photography Made Easy, and then in 2002 I was recruited by Nigel Atherton, Editor of What Digital Camera magazine, to help with the launch of a new magazine called Better Digital Photography. I worked on the magazine for nearly two years as Deputy Editor, but it has now closed because IPC decided to spend the money launching Nuts instead...

After working for two years as a freelance writer and photographer, with my reviews, tutorials and features appearing in several magazines including Digital Camera Shopper from Future Publishing, Digital Camera Buyer and Digital Photography User from Highbury Entertainment, I was approached by Riyad Emeran to work full-time as Digital Photography Editor for his popular TrustedReviews.com website, where I worked until the end of 2010.

Until recently I was working on a project alongside Tim Smalley, formerly Editor of ExpertReviews and a brilliant landscape photographer, but unfortunately we were badly let down by some of the people we were working with and that project has now been abandoned. Instead I am working on a series of books about digital phography, and I will soon be launching my own camera review and tutorial site. There will be some major changess to this site too as soon as the new site is ready.

I still work as a photographer shooting mainly for stock libraries as well as other commissioned work. You can find my work on Alamy and iStock. If you’d like to buy any prints or purchase a licence to use any of my photos for commercial purposes, please click the Store link at the top of the page.