Image : GETHSEMANE
1. What sparked your interest in Photography ?
During the first year of my Graphic Design Degree Course at Exeter, I spent a week photographing the customers and the staff of an old school barbershop in the city and fell in love with the ability of the camera to capture fleeting moments, expressions and emotions. I discovered how a small shift in point of view could change the entire image, and how light can be a language in itself.
Up until then, I had always looked to drawing to express myself visually, but when I discovered that a photograph could convey how I felt at a given moment, and reacted to it’s light and composition, in an instant I was hooked.
" I discovered how a small shift in point of view could change the entire image, and how light can be a language in itself. "
2. Are you educated in Photography or self-taught ?
Majoring in Photography opened my eyes to the possibilities of the medium, and my college lecturers were outstanding. The emphasis was very much on reportage photography, with visits from documentarians like Paul Graham and James Revilious, and eye-opening trips to pioneering galleries like Cameraworks and The Photographers Gallery in London.
My first job was at a busy commercial studio in Leicester, where I quickly learned that shooting to a brief and a budget was a steep learning curve. That was the most intense period of learning for me, as I got to grips with controlling studio lighting over a vast range of assignments, in the studio and on location. I had my first experience of working to a deadline and a budget, which in the days before digital photography and Photoshop, meant that the photographer had to get it right in camera from the first attempt.
However, the learning never stops so I founded The School of Light, as an adjunct to my studio, to pass on my experience to up coming photographers in an atmosphere of exploration and curiosity.
Image : ENZYME
3. Who or what has been the biggest single influence in your way of thinking ?
Working in London from 1991, the biggest influence that drove me to be constantly pushing forward was the sheer quality of the other photographers working all around me, producing groundbreaking images for all kinds of applications.
These days, the person closest to my work is my wife Talin, whose highly evolved sense of design and pursuit for perfection is a constant source of inspiration.
4. You work has been referred to as “groundbreaking”. How so ?
If you are not moving forward as an artist, and challenging what you regard as your best, then you are doomed to copy, or at best, repeat the work of those who are breaking new ground.
Image : SAMARRA
" If you are not moving forward as an artist, and challenging what you regard as your best, then you are doomed to copy, or at best, repeat the work of those who are breaking new ground. "
5. Out of every series you ever produce, which is your favorite? Why ?
Currently, I am working on several different ideas, each connected by a common curiosity about forms and harmonies created by liquid dynamics and the forces of magnetism.
Chasing and shooting the fleeting moments of physical change that these natural phenomena display is endlessly fascinating and beautiful to me.
6. You have done plenty of projects in the past. What is your dream project ?
My favorite projects have always been collaborations that allow me to express myself as an artist and fulfill a wider requirement that hopefully puts my work in front of the maximum amount of people.
So, a permanent installation or exhibit, which is open to the public, would be my ideal commission right now. However, I reserve the right to modify this dream possibly to include a one man retrospective at Tate Modern.
Image : ANTIMONY
7. When you see young aspiring photographers showcase their work these days, what catches your eye or makes you understand they have something special ?
The work has to be beautiful, it must not be derivative and if I get to meet them, they need to know that they’re going to need a lot of help and inspiration on their way upwards from ‘aspiring’, so be a nice person, it goes a long way.
8.You are currently based in Los Angeles. What do you think of the Creative Community there ?
Moving here from London 10 years ago with my family was the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. Coming from such a cosmopolitan and endlessly inspiring environment, to the laid-back pace and smaller creative community of Los Angeles took some getting used to. However, once I’d got over trying to compare the two cities. I came to see the huge possibilities and evolving spirit of Los Angeles as a positive influence on my work and family life.
I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people here, who have consistently displayed openness and generosity, which are the hallmarks of this city and its creative drive.
Image : CONTINUED