I photograph places using the same approach I employ for photographing people, reportage, or even products. I am observing the light, the atmosphere, the prevailing mood, trying to capture and covey it’s very essence.
Landscapes and industrial landscapes in particular were an early obsession for me. As a student - in my determination and passion for landscape photography, I would take a 5x4 plate camera (a substantial thing) plus tripod on the bus or walk great distances with the kit, exploring and shooing, exhilarated by what I’d discovered I could do and inspired by the natural and the man made world.
‘This is how I see the world and I want to show you’, was then and is now – the ‘why’ for me.
It is a perfectly absorbing occupation to set out with my camera on my own. I find that there is a zone I enter, very consciously - where I let myself be led by what I see, putting my pragmatic and rational mind to the back seat and letting my visual perception and intuition take the lead. These states have their own time span and seem to close again once I’m satisfied I’ve got what I wanted to say, it’s rather a wonderful thing!
When I look at my images of places in particular, I think they’re very still, serene and peaceful, I’m often surprised by those qualities in my work but there they are, quietly confident, cutting through the noise. I am drawn to clean lines and graphic shapes; this theme is echoed throughout my work. My images of places are often unpeopled which emphasises the stillness and calm I’m apparently seeking out.
I find my landscape and cityscape work calls on different disciplines from my other work, portraits for example which ask for being very present and engaged.
As a child, my family didn’t own a car, so regular walks, over long distances were unremarkable for us. I’m now very grateful for that because in my family, we’ve all remained dedicated and enthusiastic walkers and I use walking a lot in my photography of places. For me walking and photographing is meditative, I use my daily walk to think, ponder, consolidate ideas, compose messages or conversations, I ask myself how I am, I think about the people in my life and my work and what I'm going to do next, walking and shooting, just figuring it all out.