(anorak mode engaged!!)



 NIKON  D3s & D200  digital SLR cameras

Sigma, Tamron & Nikon Lenses from 10mm to 500mm

1.4x & 1.7x teleconvertors : Macro extension tubes & Vivitar 'macro-ring flash'

Nikon SB, Metz, Sunpak, Starblitz flashguns & Multiblitz Portable studio flash units


MY HISTORY (so far!)
I started taking photos while still at school (Carrickfergus Secondary boo!), In the early 70's a friend's uncle took us both to the Ulster Grand Prix, my first ever bike race, I was instantly hooked, the speed, smell and excitement was like nothing I had experienced before.  

I started going to more motorcycle races and wanted to get some shots to keep, got a free camera with a promotion on Corn Flakes or something like that!, an unbranded 110 film compact. Very disappointing results, read Amateur Photographer magazine and learned that I needed better gear.  While saving up my pocket money for a 35mm SLR I used a 126 film compact. Bought my first 'proper' camera in 1976, a Zenith E 35mm SLR and a couple of cheap 'screw fit' lenses. Phenomenal difference in image quality immediately!!, fully manual camera, it was a great learning tool, teaching me about shutter speed/lens aperture relationships to get both the correct exposure as well as affecting the final image.  I find that even now with auto program & focusing etc. I still set the camera using manual for many of my shots, I feel this can give me more consistency in my results (although I may be wrong but I still don't fully trust the camera to pick the settings I want! ... unless there is now a telepathy setting!!).

When I got my first job & wage packet I bought an Olympus OM10 (with manual adapter!!) and a zoom lens, this along with an autowinder meant I was soon using up film (and money!!) by the lorry load.  Joined my local camera club (Carrickfergus Camera Club) and learned much from the more experienced members of the club. Started developing (pun) an interest in doing my own Monochrome printing, found it very satisfying to be involved in the whole image producing process from start to finish.

Over the next few years I upgraded my equipment, staying with the Olympus gear as I found it to be small, light (even with motordrives attached) and very reliable (Only once did I have to send a camera for repair when the shutter jammed on my OM2N). The size was very important to me as I was increasingly carrying more and more gear with me on my motorcycle to the different races etc.

For scenic and 'still' shots I got some 120 roll film gear (Bronica ETRS) and was astounded by the smoothness and clarity, especially in monochrome, available with this format. After buying my first house in 1986 I converted one of the bedrooms into a darkroom and was able to work 'til the 'wee' hours printing my results from that days shooting. As my job has always involved shift working the disruption to my sleep pattern seemed normal to me!.

I found the local camera club to be of great help as entering the monthly competitions challenges you to look at different aspects and subjects of photography, outside your normal interests. For the next 10 years or so I was fortunate enough to be asked to other clubs etc to give talks on both sports photography as well as basic darkroom techniques, meeting many other people with the same interests always results in ideas and tips. The fact that I live in a country with many natural, historic and photogenic subjects helps immensely!

During the late 80's a friends son started racing in the junior moto-x locally and I went along to help and get a few photos, soon most of the other mums and dads wanted photos of their kids and I was able to supply many of them with what small profit being used to buy my friend's son the occasional tyre or moto-x shirt etc.  Getting to know the event organizers, and being the only 'regular' photographer at the meetings I was able to get into many of the restricted areas to get the best shot (occasional 'near miss' but never got crashed into, luckily!!). Often my photos were used in local and national papers & magazines promoting or reporting on the events. 

Around this time I purchased a scanner (hand held) for my Atari ST computer and started scanning some photos and manipulating them on screen, results were absolutely dreadful!!, the resolutions available for both screen and basic printers would resemble a picture made with 'Lego' blocks!, it was 10 years too soon to get any useable results, but a good learning experience nonetheless.

During the 90's many things happened to take up my time, marriage, kids, playing in a band and working part time in a recording studio as well as my full time job. Very little time for 'serious' photography, just snaps of the kids etc. (not to put family snaps down, in the long run they will be the most important shots you will probably take!!) with the occasional serious job (usually an album cover shoot or publicity shots connected with the music recording studio). In 1999 I went back to school (evening classes) and took up a photography class to rekindle my interest in 'serious' photography.

My interest in computing led me to try the world of digital photography and I purchased a Kodak compact digital camera, the quality was surprisingly good and with a good quality printer I was able to produce results to compete with my 35mm gear (in colour anyway). The biggest difference was the expense, no more film & processing costs!! which at the height of my interest in the 80's I had been using between 10-15 films at a motorcycle race!. Now I can take photos, do any manipulation on the PC and print out just the best work at minimal cost. The computer also has the benefit of allowing me to restore old photos very conveniently, It's great for retouching and repairing images, often very old Black & White, which people would bring to see if I can 'clean' them up or provide extra prints of. With time and patience even the worst scored or ripped photo can usually be made the best of.

I found that as my interest increased the limitations of a small zoom compact camera became more and more apparent and I purchased a Fuji digital SLR with a 6x optical zoom (equivalent to 35-210mm focal length), with supplementary lenses available to increase (or decrease) the focal length as required. With spot and multi zone metering as well as programmed, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual settings as well as a host of other 'user' settings.  I then purchased a Nikon D70 digital SLR with interchangeable lens,  a few Nikon Lenses, a 50mm 'prime' lens (Mainly for low light, Macro with ext. rings & portraits), an 18-70mm, 70-300, 80-200mm f2.8 & Nikkor 300mm ( also a 1.7x teleconverter, 'crop' factor of 1.5 on digital sensor gives an equivalent 35mm image size range of approx 27-630mm )

From 2004 until 2011 I supplied photographs for some local, National & International motorsports magazines (Irish Racer,  Dirt MX, Acceller8, Dirt Bike Rider, plus a couple of  Italian & Spanish magazines used some of my Road Racing pics in articles) & Organisations (2&4 wheel steering group, Motorcycle Racing Association, Northern Ireland Motorcycle tours & many m/cycle clubs), mainly (but not exclusively!) youth moto-X & Supermoto (I was DirtMX Magazine's youth MX & Supermoto photographer as well as one of the pool of photographers which supplied Irish Racer magazine) .

From 2012, for various reasons, I will be greatly reducing my media work and branching into more varied photographic areas.