I've been interested in photography for pretty much as long as I can remember. As a kid, my very first camera was a horrific rectangular contraption, a Kodak Instamax I think, that worked with disposable flash bars and produced photos of such poor quality and little impression (perhaps helped by my 8-year old camera handling skills) that I've lost them all.
I was bitten by the photography bug proper as a 17-year old during a school trip to Moscow. I remember sporting a crappy plastic Agfa number and meeting Andrew, who strolled around with a beautiful glass and leather creation that needed a tripod and about 5 minutes to make each photo. I asked him what he was doing and got my first lesson in apertures, shutter speeds and exposures. I doubt I understood a word of it, but when he sent me the pictures he had taken, I knew I wanted an SLR straight away.
It wasn't until a year later that I actually got my hands on one. I was a peniless gap-year student and my good old grandpa decided that I would make better use of his Olympus than him. He was that kind of a guy (plus he had upgraded to something more sophisticated). It was a lovely, old-fashioned manual focus camera and I roamed around Europe with it taking some truly terrible blurry photos, plus the odd good one. Photography was all about travel for me back then, and vice versa. I knew very early on that I wasn't much interested in taking photos of people.
When I got back from Europe and started working as a teacher, I splashed out on a 'state of the art' Minolta SLR with autofocus and all the bells and whistles. I developed a taste for black and white photography and spent half my wages on Ilford film and £9.99 (quite a lot in 2000) developing. I started university with that camera, but was unfortunately relieved of it whilst sleeping on a train just outside of Marseilles. I was gutted and certainly too broke to replace it. I couldn't afford another SLR until 8 years later and by that time the world had gone digital. My stolen Minolta was the last film camera I used.
I burned through some forgettable digital cameras from 2002 onwards: a 2MP Nikon, a 5 MP Sony and a Minolta Dimage, but none of them really felt like real photography tools to me. I longed for a DSLR. When I finally got my hands on my first Canon in 2009, I was living in Spain.
So, Spain and photography are inextricably linked in my mind. I first came here in 2004 to spend my intial PhD year in Malaga. Until then, I had never really had any interest in Spain, having studied French and Russian and spent most of my travel time in those countries. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with the place and came back to live permanently in 2008 after having founded my <a title="Spanish Food" href="http://www.thetapaslunchcompany.co.uk">Spanish food export business, The Tapas Lunch Company</a>, in the UK in 2005. Since then, we've also created a huge website for Spanish food lovers called <a title="Spanish Food World" href="http://www.spanishfoodworld.co.uk">Spanish Food World</a>.
Over the last few years I've gradually rediscovered the art of photography in my adopted homeland. I love Spain, its landscapes, people, food, traditions and values. I have this country to thank for a great business, an enjoyable lifestyle and my lovely wife. I hope this love, bordering on obsession, comes through in my images.
Travel was the reason I picked up a camera in the first place and still remains my number one photographic interest. I'm happiest capturing landscapes and cityscapes, but as I get further into my thirties, I seem to be developing an inexplicable interest in food, hence my expanding waistline and collection of tapas shots, which feature quite heavily here. I also take the odd picture of my dog Chili. As well as the artistic side of photography, I also take guilty pleasure in being a technology geek and gear nerd. I'm an engineer by training, so am intrigued by the technicalities of digital image capture and processing as well as being overly excited by expensive camera gear. It's a problem I'm learning to live with.
I hope you enjoy the collection, and do feel free to drop me a line.
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