Photo: Louise Knight / ngileah photography
I acquired my first camera when I was twelve after my elder sister gave me her old and unwanted Kodak Sterling; a folding camera that took eight 2¼×3¼ exposures on 820 film. It had a 105mm/F4.5 lens and a range of shutters speeds from 1/25 to 1/200. This compared to the Brownie that my parents had, was state-of-the-art. It wasn’t of course, but it did give me the opportunity to experiment with different exposures and to discover what photography was really about. Learning how to take a picture in the manual mode was so eye-opening that I fell in love with the medium.
When I was seventeen I joined my first camera club and entered a few local photo competitions. I never won much, but by putting my photographs up against other more experienced photographers and listening to their critiques I began to learn a lot about the craft. By the time I was nineteen I had moved up to a Leica M3 and had added a wide angle and a couple of telephoto lenses to my camera bag. I had also progressed from B&W to taking and processing colour; another giant leap for me.
Since those early days I have taken photos in 23 different countries. There have been periods in my life when other interests have sidetracked my love with photography, first it was mountaineering and then motorsport (somehow, risk taking has always fascinated me), but once these temporary diversions had passed I was back to my first love, "photography".
I believe that the best “people shots” occur naturally, but you need to be in the right place at the right time to capture them. At university I studied social anthropology, so I thought why not combine this with photography. In this way I could blend my two interests into something quite special. It also meant that I could meet people and see different things while at the the same time being creative. My pictures are a simile for what and how I feel about the human interactions within my community. This is what “Community Images” strives to achieve.
When I take photographs I am trying to be both a biographer and an artist to the subjects of my pictures. My photographs are just brief moments of real life that I have captured with my camera. I have been doing this since I was twelve and it is what I want to continue to do for the rest of my life.
Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers
Photography is still a very new medium and everything must be tried and dare.
Look at lots of exhibitions and books, and don’t get hung up on cameras and technical things. Photography is about images.
Photography is (a means by which we)…learn to see the ordinary.