Why ‘The Mountain Photographer’?
It all began in April in 2002 when we took a family holiday for the first time in the English Lake District. Whilst waiting for the Ullswater boat I was completely mesmerised by the surrounding snow-capped peaks. It was a seminal moment. For some inexplicable reason I wanted to climb and be up there on the peaks. Several trips trips to Snowdonia and the Lake District followed. I love mountains. I love the sensation of isolation, desolation and wilderness. I find the experience cathartic. What a gift it is to be there! Gazing down from the heights. Freedom! Never have I felt such peace. Bliss!
When I am not on a mountain, and that is quite naturally most of the time, I am logistically confined to the South East corner of Wales trying to make photographs of my local area in the lower Wye Valley.
I am a Fell walker first and photographer second. I have no pretensions about my “work”. I just enjoy hiking and making pictures.
How did all this start?
For my 20th birthday my late Mum presented me with a small box diligently decorated with all the typical wrappings. “What’s this” was my rather ungrateful response. My skepticism was well founded as the previous year Mum presented me with a screwdriver and the year before that a toolbox. With a degree of trepidation I nervously unpacked the gift with occasional glances to the smiling Mother. With a perplexed grimace on my face I pulled out a camera. “A camera!!!”. I didn’t even want a camera. “You can take pictures of my skittle club’s matches now” said Mum grinning widely. I still have it, a Praktica MTL5. It still works and it started what has became an obsession, a total and complete consuming obsession.
Who am I?
Autistic, reclusive, obsessive, compulsive, insular, intense, private, focussed, driven, perfectionist, uncommunicative, taciturn, anonymous.
Why I do it?
Because I have to! I love landscapes, mainly Welsh. I love the mood and tone of monochrome and the subtle tones of colour. I love texture, tone, shadow, light. I like to photograph anything and anywhere I can see these elements. A story is often irrelevant and you will find no arty-farty psycho babble. The negative and the RAW file is the essence of absolute truth.
Where do I go from here?
I don’t know really! I hope I can capture the evocative mood of the Welsh landscape or the amazing textures found in the things of everyday life. If people enjoy my work that makes my "job" complete. If I can but dream, I would like to photograph for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC or be a MAGNUM photographer, or work for the National Trust or CADW. It’s just a dream and one can dream! Can't one?
Who are my influences?
Fay Godwin, Leni Riefenstahl, Barry Thornton, Francis Meadow Sutcliffe, Bruce Percy, Sebastiao Salgado, John Clow, Josef Sudek, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Henri Cartier Bresson, David Hurn, Terence Donovan, George Davidson, Ansel Adams, last, but by no means least Charlie Waite.
Of them all, Fay Godwin, Barry Thornton, Bruce Percy and Charlie Waite are my personal favourites. These chaps set the standard to which I aspire.