Inside this issue
I am an outdoor / landscape photographer, photographic and creative educator, accredited Adobe Education Trainer, speaker and mentor. I specialises in exploring the landscape including, importantly, human interaction with and shaping of the landscape to explore visual storytelling. I find great inspiration from working in projects both short and long term.
I have always been passionate about black and white photography but also explore colour when it suits the image or project. I love to explore themes and personal interpretations / notions of self, place, space and journeys within the landscape which is very much an experiential response to my education as a Geographer.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Many of us know Rob as one half of the duo (take a bow, Karen) behind the Connected Exhibitions that are held each Spring at Patchings Art Centre near Nottingham. A lot of his time and energy goes into this but he is passionate about many other aspects of photography, as you will soon learn.
Can you tell readers a little about yourself – your education, early interests and career?
As a child, I’d always had a love of the outdoors, not necessarily photography, and would love to spend time with family and friends exploring the Peak District - close to where we lived - and the coast. The coast was always massively inspirational and important to me, being somewhere I spent a lot of time with my grandparents especially, immersing myself in the atmosphere, sights, sounds, smells and emotion of this special place.
I grew up in the industrial midlands of the 1970s, hailing from the Nottingham / Derby borders; the sights and sounds of urban and industrial areas have helped shape who I am personally and creatively, and were also instrumental in me asking questions about the why’s and wherefores of human interaction with and impact on our landscape/environment.
This led on to my passion through school for Geography and ultimately to me becoming a Geographer by education through University.
In my younger years I always had some degree of interest in photography and have owned numerous small point and shoot film cameras although I can’t say as many do ‘my first introduction to photography was with my father’s / grandfather’s box brownie’ as it wasn’t, although I do remember my Grandad having an old box brownie in the spare room that I used to be fascinated with the textures on and played with as small child.
My Dad gave me my two first ‘serious’ cameras; an Olympus Trip 35 which I still have and use today with black and white film, and the Praktica BX20 kit he bought for holidays to Spain. I think during my college / Uni years I used these much less and the BX20 was sold at a car boot although I have bought pretty much the same kit about 10 years ago.