Several years ago I discovered pinhole photography as an expressive medium and since I have photographed almost exclusively using pinhole cameras. I prefer to make my own cameras as I like the craftsmanship required and feel that it adds an extra dimension to the images I create. There seems to be a curious empathy between the homemade nature of our own lives and the representations we make of them using these cameras: the results are very individual; the clarity or otherwise of the result is very much down to the methods of manufacture and use employed by the photographer; unexpected - and often beautifully surprising - events of light and perspective frequently throw the user’s previsualisation into a role of very secondary importance.
The long exposures required, sometimes lasting hours, grace the images with a powerful sense of narrative. Indeed, I find myself working to produce photographs in series or sequence rather than single images. There is little conscious thought behind this, more that the inevitably slow processes involved allow - if not impose - a wider view of what is happening at the time. The first image will often spark ideas for modifications, expansions and developments on the theme and that wonderful sensation of ‘giving up’ or ceasing to ‘try so hard’ invades one’s being and the camera and the photographer’s eyes and heart become more of a guide or channel for light than instruments for clinical recording of a scene. Pinhole photography demands a certain level of acceptance that one won’t necessarily get what one expects and therein lies some of its wonder. There cannot be a pinhole photographer who has never reeled in amazement that he or she has played a part in creating something totally unimagined and wildly exciting which seems to have come from somewhere outside and beyond the intellect.
I find complexity detracts from the image-making process. The simplicity of using primitive and relatively uncontrollable media means that even a day spent achieving little in material terms still has a fundamentally satisfying aspect to it. The craft aspect is important for the same reasons; I like the physicality of prints and books. Photography is a very cerebral pursuit and to bring craft and physical dexterity into one’s work adds dimensions of earthiness and reality which are otherwise lacking.
My work is held in collections worldwide, including that of the Royal Photographic Society.
Prints of my images are available for sale, singly or as a series. Please use the contact form should you be interested in enquiring about purchase.