I find the natural world an incredible source of inspiration, full of plant life that is waiting to be discovered. This exhibition shows a mix of pieces from my first body of work looking at abstract parts of flowers and colour, mainly concentrating on Gerbera and Nigella from 1996 -7.
The next main exploration of Tropical Waterlily’s - Nymphaea - taken and exhibited at Kew Garden Waterlily House from 2000 - 3. Followed by more recent shots of moss, fungi and local scenery after moving to Perthshire in 2005.Tropical Waterlily's are the most unusual flowers I have ever seen, they have such a complex structure and their colours are so vibrant and varied, they almost look unreal. The flower lasts 4 days opening up and revealing more of the centre each day. There is one night-flowering Nymphaea ‘Woods White Knight’ captured early in the morning, the anthers are very flat and the centre has an egg-like appearance. The other Nymphaea are day flowering.
Some of my images are taken in the wild, some plants I grow and some are observed while in a vase. Wherever I find my subjects I always find something interesting within the detail to photograph. Sometimes a nostalgic connection draws me in , as with the Dandelion clock , which stirred my imagination. I hope to show the viewer something different, that may often be overlooked.
Techie info!
All but one of the images were taken on a 35mm SLR Pentax K1000, the odd one is the Grass which was shot on a medium format SLR Mamiya 645.
I use Colour Negative film as I love the subtle qualities, smooth colours and blends of tone it is able to capture. Film stock is a mixture of Agfa, Kodak and Fuji, Some of the films are now obsolete, but I still use Fuji Reala. The print is what it’s all about for me. I individually hand print the negatives in my darkroom. This gives me total control to produce an accurate and well exposed print. The prints are then spotted - a process to eliminate the dust/hairs that always crop up somewhere! This is done with a very fine brush and mixing coloured dyes to blend in to the print perfectly. The 3 small prints: Cep, Mosscape on a wall in Comrie and Turret Burn, are all original prints from my darkroom.
The large scale images have be generated from my 10 x 8 hand prints, scanned on a flatbed scanner at High Resolution. The prints were produced using the traditional process using Lambda printer and laminated with perspex. I will continue using film and the darkroom, that is my passion, the art of creating the perfect photograph print from negative.