Technical aspects


Up till 1980 I used black and white film - usually Ilford FP4 35mm, and printed using an enlarger in a darkened room at home. My brother gave me a 1948 Kodak Retina camera for my 18th birthday, which was great. It was 35mm, and had belows that folded flat so I could carry it around in my pocket.

From 1980 to 2003 I worked exclusively with 35mm colour slides, printing using the Cibachrome process. I used Pentax cameras (which have included MX, ME, and P30 models) and usually used fixed length lenses of 50mm, 135mm and 200mm. (Before that, for a short while I used colour negative film, sent the films off to cheap processors, and most were rubbish. I tried printing from negatives, but only a few worked - it's not to be recommended).

In 2003 I bought a digital camera and hardly used film at all after that. For a while most work displayed was still from slides, but all new work is digital. Of the material shown here only the Blenheim Palace Park series, some of the Fields, and Groundscapes were film based.

Now that I work digitally many slides have been scanned for digital use, directly from the slide. In many ways I prefered the results of cibachrome printing - when it works it produces wonderful results - but find that digital printing is much more controlable. I can print slides digitally, that I knew would work disasterously if I tried them as cibachromes.

I print using an Epson inkjet printer which is the type Giclee printers use (eight different cartridges, and inks and paper that are long lasting). I could call it "Giclee" if I wanted as Giclee really just means inkjet printing, using good quality printers such as I use. I use an Epson 8 cartridge printer because up till recently it had the best print longevity, and gives the fullest colour range. Epson claim over 70 years longetivity with these inks and using their paper. In practical terms, as far as I know, this is about the best longevity that can be offered. It's best to keep any photograph under glass, and not to put it anywhere in direct sunshine.

I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to technical aspects of photography. For me it's the image and what it conveys that is important. If it's completely out of focus I won't use it, but as long as the image is how I want it to be, I'll use it.