Prior to the camera, the world was visually recorded by artists, painters, sketchers and illustrators. Drawing was left up to skilled individuals, usually having trained as an apprentice for many years under a master. Eventually the camera came along to visually replicate the scene in front of it perfectly and thus the way of recording the world around us was changed. Painting and visual art shifted from being a literal interpretation to allowing for abstract ideas and constructs to be explored as visual artists sought to reimagine what their role in society was.

Similarly, I have been on the same kind of journey. Through studying art and the direction I could see it heading, I became frustrated at the art world. Walking into the shop-converted white-walled galleries with their polished faux wood floors where they championed PVC pipes sticking out of a wheelie bin as art worth exhibiting, rather than the works skilled talents of actual artists. I got the overwhelming sense that the Masters of Rembrandt’s stature would be turning in their grave if they could see what “art” had become. I turned my back from painting and looked for a new art form to express my ideas and record the world around me.

Style & TONE

I very quickly worked out that I wasn’t interested in working with people: models or weddings. I wanted it to be an extension of my art, which was predominantly landscape based.

“I only need black and white to say what I have to say. It is a matter of light and dark.”
– Colin McCahon

McCahon said this of his paintings. Yet for me, I found a lot of solace in removing the colours of the photograph and letting the tone tell the story. It forces the brain to create the picture a bit more, and you begin to realise the beauty in the form and subjects. Your eye has to truely look at the picture and fill in the blanks.

The graphics and design skills also come into play as the post-production of the photograph very much aligns with the digital darkroom. Allowing certain colours to be isolated creates a focal point for the viewer and juxtaposes the lack of colour in the rest of the frame.