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I was born in Edinburgh in 1973 and have lived in and around the city most of my life. I've been taking photographs for around twenty years, but in the last few years it's become an all consuming passion.
I'm an avid collector of vintage cameras and photographs of Scotland, with a photographic collection now running into thousands of images - mainly of Edinburgh.
After finishing school I went to Aberdeen University for four years to study law and qualified as a solicitor in 1998. I then went to work with the Registers of Scotland for nearly ten years and have been self employed since leaving in 2007.
I enjoy taking a wide range of photos, but mainly specialise in Scotland and the wonderful cities of Edinburgh and London. I have a very simple philosophy of capturing the things I find beautiful and interesting and doing my utmost best to capture the spirit of, and the essence behind, the subjects I'm taking.
I always stay true to myself and never worry about what people think of my photographs, not everyone can like them, although there's no greater pleasure than in others enjoying the pictures you create. It's hard to put into words what photography means for me. I think it brings me closer to the world around me, to the extent that I see things that were previously invisible to me. It definitely makes the world a more magical place - especially through the well-worn eyes of a grown up. I can only liken it to a kind of personal meditation.
To capture a moment in time is still an amazing privilege, even today, when everyone has a camera in their pocket. Every time I set off on a project, I always feel the excitement of a great treasure hunt - always hoping that I'll stumble across a magical place, or a moment in time, that I can capture forever and share with others. Photography brings me huge excitement and joy and I simply can't envisage life without it.
In 2017, I set up Tours of Edinburgh and diversified into leading photographic tours around Edinburgh, which is great fun. I love teaching people how to use their cameras and, seeing them come alive to the possibilities and joy that great photography can give them, is hugely rewarding.
Editing photographs is a very big part of digital photography nowadays and it's very hard to compete with the popularity of photoshop images and instagram filters that are ubiquitous to Social media these days. In the quest for likes and huge followings photos are being digitally manipulated in increasingly pleasing and complicated ways which I feel is moving us away from a sense of truth and reality about the world around us. I have nothing against Photoshop, but prefer not to use it and to err on the side of reality - most of the time - because I take photos first and foremost for myself and my own enjoyment.
I generally use very basic editing adjustments in Lightroom and do not add anything to my photos that wasn't there in front of me at the time. I rarely use filters either, except for a vignette when I feel it adds to the scene. However, that's not to say that I don't occasionally let loose sometimes for artistic effect! - but only when it feels instinctively right to do so and it'll be obvious to the viewer when I've gone down that artistic route. I can't resist indulging in a bit of selective colouring at times!
Photoshop looks like a lot of fun and I do genuinely love all the enormous colourful moons, sunsets and composite images that appear in social media photos these days - but it's really not for me. I like things to be as they were in front of me at the time, so that I can look back and enjoy a lasting emotional connection to my images.
Times and technology change rapidly and I think the line between graphic-design and straightforward photography is now very blurred. It's important to say, that every kind of photography is equally valid and important - you just have to find your style and what you're happiest doing - there is no right and wrong. Images have been manipulated long before Photoshop arrived and the most important thing is to simply have fun and enjoy yourself - like everything in life that's all that really matters.
I'm just old-school and want my pictures to simply look like the scene that presented itself to me at the time. I believe you can only really look back and get real pleasure from your images if they truly match what was in your head and heart at the time.
I guess, therefore, that photography is a deeply emotional thing for me and I'm very thankful to have it in my life.
t. 07400 705 357