My life long love of photography started early when I was gifted a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye with it’s over-sized flash reflector and Bakelite body. It quickly became a constant companion. While I have moved on to other more advanced gear that small photographic wonder is perched in a place of respect in my studio where it can be loving admired for the memories attached to it.
Throughout my formative years in school I could always be found with a camera in hand. Perhaps some serious antique or the trusty Nikon I purchased from a summer of serious hard work. Although colour film was available, I gravitated to black and white for the contrasts, abstract potential and warm patterns of light that I could capture. Initially these were images that my own eye did not perceive. Yet over time I learned to see what my camera would transpose to film. The magic of a darkroom was yet another reason why my love of black & white photography was solidified. Developing images onto photographic paper was special, as the images reveled themselves to the world, I was the first to witness it. Colour darkroom technique presents you with a finished image, you can never watch the image slowly emerge on the blank paper like you can with black and white.
Aside from shooting and experimenting with many different cameras and films I began to shoot as a professional and over time eventually was submitting regularly to magazines, newspapers, and working for corporate clients. The trusted Brownie would still get hauled out, hand rolled Kodak infrared 620 film would be loaded, and I would seek out to capture images no one had ever seen.
Over the years I moved from my trusty but bulky Nikon F2 Pantomimic to the equally spectacular, yet considerably more compact Olympus OM1. Shooting in black & white was still my medium of choice and infrared my personal preference when available. Eventually I boxed up my darkroom, and moved into the digital age. My love of the creative aspects of a darkroom led me to digital manipulation of images, and eventually a life long personal and professional creative digital artist and graphic designer.
As my world shifted from analog to digital along with the masses, my collection of Olympus OM gear, and my nearly indestructible OM3T was shelved in favour of a new Olympus E500. Many digital bodies have come and gone, but I have stayed true to the Olympus line, just because of my familiarity and my original OM series lenses were of use even in the digital universe. Seeing an online advertisement for an infrared modified E420 Olympus camera body in 2008, I took the leap. Shooting infrared again and having the ability to use a full suite of digital editing tools was a return to the feel of shooting infrared back in the day.
Musicians talk about “finding their voice”, when they discover the instrument that speaks to them, that one where they can channel their creativity with little or no effort. As a musician mine is a Fender Rhodes Mark 2 piano, as an artistic photographer it is not a specific piece of equipment, but a process. While shooting Infrared one afternoon in 2012 I decided to shoot everything for HDR (High Dynamic Range) after a friend introduced me to the process. When I applied the HDR filters to that first image I knew right away I had found my photographic voice. The results were so close to the now discontinued Kodak IR film results with the soft focus and warm tones. While the equipment was different the results felt like I was shooting again with my old Brownie, I have never stopped shooting IR-HDR since.
This website is dedicated to my love of IR-HDR, displays a slice of my work, and musings about, photography, HDR, IR, and a love of old cameras.