Photography has been part of life from my early life. Growing up in Masterton, next door to local identity Ben Irons, a keen photographer, who would show me his pictures – many of them taken prior to WWI. I recall his images of New York with horse drawn cabs. One of my grandfathers, Wally Saunders also had an interest in photography working for Waterworths in Wellington upon return from WWI. He didn’t have much fortune there as the business succumbed to a fire after which he moved to Masterton establishing a business selling “Sporting Goods, Radios, Gramophones and Kodaks”. Again he lost his business, this time to the 1942 earthquake. Still his early movies are now in the NZ Film Archive and most of his family photographs the Wairarapa Archive. However I believe that it was Ben who influenced me most, especially when he set up his camera to take photographs of my siblings and I with himself included using the “buzz, click” self-timer.
Over the past almost 30 years I have been in the photography game with periods working for T.A.Macalister (the NZ agent for Nikon), establishing and running The Nikon Photo Centre in downtown Auckland, Photo Remuera in Auckland, distributing processing machinery from the now defunct Swiss brand Gretag before ending up back in the Wairarapa.
During the period in Remuera I instigated the import of what I understand was the third digital mini-lab in the world and entered the world of Adobe Photoshop and Mac computers. Travel to the Las Vegas PMA show and Photokina in Germany followed where I demonstrated digital printing. It was all scan and print then, one at a time!
This venture into digital has led me down the digital path and today I am the first New Zealand based Adobe Community Professional and an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom. Getting word of Lightroom before the public release I have been involved since the early days of this now widely accepted product. I test pre-release versions and offer input into features for both Lightroom.
Today I am a free-lance photographer specialising in documentary, people, landscapes and creative images while providing training and tutoring either in small group sessions or by individual appointment.
This dovetails into my role as a moderator for Adobe’s User Forums, Lightroom Forums and Photoshop.com.
The Wairarapa, like the whole of New Zealand, is a stunning place to shoot images and I am privileged to be in a position to be able to document some of the happenings in the valley and capturing the magnificent landscape.
I enjoy the sense of community in the smaller towns and share about this most weeks in a news column “Out and About” in the local weekly newspaper “Midweek”.
In January 2012 I was involved with the tragic Ballooning accident in Carterton, New Zealand as the photographer for flights by the fated balloon.
Later in 2012 a chance came to visit Uganda which I took up and so a new adventure has commenced with a return journey from May until September in 2013…..