Photography: film and digital

I have a collection of some 3000 plant and scenery slides, taken in the UK, Japan, China and Albania. In addition, I have a larger and rapidly expanding portfolio of digital images of botanical and other subjects. The link on the left will take you to some gallery pages which give an idea of the wide variety of work that interests me.

Spores of Equisetum fluviatile
Spores of Equisetum fluviatile, with elaters
(composite of 5 images)

Although I take a very wide range of photographs, from people and places to gardens, most of my work concerns plants. Increasingly, I derive special satisfaction from macro work, with the aim of revealing unappreciated details of plants and flower structure. This continues in the long tradition of botanical illustration from its earliest days to the highly detailed line drawings of the late Stella Ross-Craig (Drawings of British Plants) and others.

As a botanist, I enjoy the advantage of knowing (or being able to work out) exactly what I am looking at, where plants are concerned! I take especial care that the tiniest details are clearly shown, but also that they can be related to the whole plant.  Although much of my macro work is done under studio conditions, I also enjoy recording individual plants as a part of their natural habitat.

Many of these images lend themselves to use in the composite botanical illustrations recently pioneered by my colleague Niki Simpson, for whom I have provided a number of images, as well as botanical and technical input.

I use a Canon digital SLR with various lenses and other equipment, and shoot in RAW mode. The RAW images are processed to TIFF or JPG images with the excellent Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (previously I used the now-extinct Raw Shooter Premium). To keep track of my images, I catalogue them with the rather complex but powerful IMatch. However, I am increasingly relying on the digital asset management capabilities of Lightroom. I also make occasional use of CombineZM, as in the Equisetum image above and some of the images in the close-up gallery.

Finally, whilst I am not a big blog-watcher, I must mention Jeffrey Friedl's blog. With its blend of subject matter - basically, photography and life in Japan, it is full of interest for me (and evidently, for many others) and is highly recommended.