Born in 1970, I've never quite made it away from the city of Coventry, the industrial heart of the West Midlands. I was certainly interested in art at school, studying it up to 'A' Level but as soon as I moved into my adult years it became something I used to do. I had a lot of creative influence around me from when I was very small, my father was a highly proficient water colour artist and my favourite uncle owned his own photographic business so I guess the writing was on the wall that I would end up falling into something similar later in life...
Despite maintaining an interest in art and architecture for many years, it took me until my thirties to completely fall into photography and the art of making images. Somehow the whole thing about film and the dark room had always intimidated me, but when quality digital equipment finally became affordable and chemicals were no longer involved(!) I decided to dive in and haven't regretted a moment. I have now learned to control every aspect of my photography from vision to the final print - I even do my own framing and mounting; a complete experience I cannot wait to share with people.
Finding photography undoubtedly reawakened my creative instincts, I finally feel like I was born to be an artist and since developing my vision and freeing my creative mind I fell into an obsession with photographing the landscape, but not necessarily in the way as you might ordinarily find. My drive is all about the art of the landscape and it's something I feel very passionately about; it's how I can use different photographic techniques to craft a more artistic, often ethereal image. You see for me at least, landscape photography is about more than seeing, it's about how you connect yourself to the earth. To this end I particularly love the simplicity that monochromatic images bring - without the distraction of colour you are left with the three key essential elements of a photograph; form, texture and light. How you see the manipulation of those elements as an artist and individual is the truly creative moment.
Maybe I should start by saying that I'm absolutely not in photography for awards, acceptance in the art world or 'pats on the back' by any means, but conversely of course I'd be lying if I said it wasn't great to get the occasional acknowledgement for something I've created with my own skills and vision along the way. First and foremost though I love the escapism and genuine connectivity I get with the landscape and just being out there in elements is often enough for me. I spend a slice of time just looking at the environment around me and I could also go on and talk at length about the simple enjoyment I get from the act of image making itself. It all adds up to something of a spiritual and fulfilling pursuit for me but regardless of how wrapped up in this world you can get, one thing is still missing... Art and photography is the last great sharing platform we have which cuts across all layers and experiences of humanity. I think its place has become even more important in this increasing insular and secular world we live in - photography creates a common language, a world where words are not necessary and one where anyone can feel inspired. This is the reason why I want to share my work with others.
Inevitably the act of sharing can lead to some attention and during the last couple of years I've started to receive some mainstream recognition for my work. In 2011 my image Sunday Morning Bay was commended at the Sony World Photography Awards and this was followed up in 2012 with Stories From Atlantis appearing at the Getty Gallery in London's West End following national competition success. I have been short listed for the prestigious Landscape Photographer Of The Year in both 2011 and 2012, with my image Departure selected to appear in the awards exhibition at The National Theatre Gallery London. It's been a great pleasure and a humbling experience to be part of these awards especially given the distinguished company of the other photographers I've found myself in, artists who I've respected for years.
I'm finally dedicating myself full time to this craft to see where any of this will take me. It will certainly be interesting to see what things follow next, one thing I know for sure it's certainly been an interesting journey already.