I don't know why, exactly, I like to take photographs. Perhaps it's simply because they give me pleasure. Perhaps it's because making a photograph takes me 'out' of myself. Photography is an 'outlet,' certainly, for some kind of creative impulse, which is not verbal - my usual form of expression - but seeks, I am learning, its own form of language, its own symbols and grammar.
My first camera, as I recall, was a battered box Brownie. I don't think it ever had film in it. I must have been seven or eight and my grandfather, who was in the film business (he worked for MGM at one stage, opened a drive-in cinema, did commissions, sometimes, on a 16mm Bolex) had given it to me. Later I was given a little Kodak Instamatic, and in my teens I took possession of a couple of my grandfather's old rangefinders - a Kodak, and a Voigtlander. Sadly, I have no idea what happened to them. Film was expensive, and having prints made was more so, so I didn't take pictures very often, but I remember the very physical, almost voluptuous feeling of pleasure that came from handling those cameras. Perhaps that's why the Leica D-Lux I own gives me such pleasure today - in its physical resemblance, its controls and handling, and image quality.
Once I was working and could afford it I bought a Nikon SLR, an FM, which I loved. I converted a spare bedroom into a darkroom, learned to develop film and make prints, even won a prize in a photo competition in the small town I was living in. Then children came, the darkroom went, and for years taking photos was simply a way of recording my children growing up, family events, holidays, travel, etc. The 'etc' says everything.
Now, in my sixties, I am rediscovering - relearning - photography again, with a deeper interest, a stronger desire, a growing passion. Reading Jeff Schewe's books, 'The Digital Negative' and 'The Digital Print' have helped me to see past the mere technical manipulation of images, past the 'recipe' or 'manual' to the landscapes of photographic vision and intent. At the same time, they have inspired me - along with the wonderful work of so many fine photographers - to attend more carefully not only to the capturing of the image, but the finer qualities of its development and reproduction.
I hope you will enjoy these images, and follow me as I go - learning to see, looking for signs.