I cannot remember not having a camera. My Dad, John, is a very keen amateur who taught me the basics pretty well when I was young. He bought me a Kodak Retinette IIB when I was about 13. I had a truly awful Kodak disc camera at 15 – such poor quality – but snapping friends was all I wanted a camera for. For a long time that’s all I did. I dug out my Retinette when Tone and I toured Europe a few years ago, for black and white photos.
When I first used a digital camera I found the immediacy very satisfying. It took me longer to get really into it – the macro facility on the Nikon Coolpix 4500 was brilliant so I decided to record every opening flower in our small garden. I am now using a Nikon D90, usually with a Nikkor 18-55 or 70-300mm lenses, or a Sigma 150-500mm for wildlife, when I am feeling fit and fancy carrying it! I also use the excellent Canon PowerShot S95 which goes everywhere I go.
I am now using a Nikon D90 and D40 and my main subjects are landscape, garden birds and live performance. I enjoy taking photos of details and I’m particularly attracted by shadows and textures. My partner Tony Jones and I had a joint exhibition of coastal landscapes “Edgescape” in 2007 at Burslem School of Art. I won a prize in the Urban Vision Open Competition in 2008, and was a judge in 2010. I have exhibited in the Collective Members and Open Exhibitions each year since we formed in 2008.
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Creative Communities Unit of the Faculty of Arts Media and Design at Staffordshire University, and I am involved in community arts activities including photography. Along with Tony, I have been teaching digital photography workshops regularly for the last eight years.
I have been a volunteer at Burslem School of Art for many years and I am a founder member of the Collective. I am keen to encourage and support everyone who wants to take photographs to do so and get the pleasure of showing their images in public.