My work as a photographer began when I was a teenager in the late 1960s. The starting point was my passion for railways, particularly steam railways, and the only formal training in photography I have ever received was at a local night school class run by the renowned steam railway photographer Colin Garrett.

My photographic subject matter broadened when I went to Leeds University in 1972 to study Philosophy and the History of Science and Technology. I became fascinated by the industrial revolution and began to seek out what was left of its physical presence in the landscape as de-industrialisation got into full swing. This obsession has remained with me ever since.

After completing a postgraduate course in Museum Studies I spent a year working as an assistant at the Fox Talbot Museum of Photography in Lacock. There I developed a strong interest in the history of photography and this led to my joining the Museum of London as Curator of Photographs in 1979. I continued in this role until 2012 when I took early retirement to concentrate on my own photography.

Throughout my career I have continued to practice photography alongside my curatorial work. My first major independent photographic project in London was documenting the Isle of Dogs in London’s Docklands prior to its transformation in the early 1980s. The focus of this and subsequent projects has been the documenting of landscapes, environments and buildings about to either disappear or be transformed as the result of redevelopment.

It is very difficult to isolate particular influences on my work as a photographer. During my 30+ years working at a major London museum I met many photographers, some already very well known and others just starting out on what would become illustrious careers. Although documentary work is ostensibly factual, I have taken to heart the words of the legendary early documentary filmmaker, John Grierson, who described documentary as ‘the creative interpretation of reality’. Once I have identified my subject I immediately start thinking about context, composition, light and, more recently, colour. I want to create pictures that are more than just records, images that express something of my personal experience and feelings about the place.

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