Hi David! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
I'm from Liverpool but I've spent most of my adult life in London and have three grown up children. I left art college as a painter but couldn't capture the drama of post-industrial Britain anywhere near as well as I could with photography. I worked for the Militant Newspaper for most of the 80s, freelanced in the 90s, followed by 14 years for Tower Hamlets Council.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
AThe strangest experience I've had while taking photos is having guns pointed at me, first in France, then Spain, then Belfast where three armoured land rovers stopped me and a pile of soldiers jumped out, all pointing machine guns at me from about two feet. A big angry sergeant asked what I was doing, I said I was photographing Harland and Wolfe shipbuilders for British Trade Unions, he said "so what were you doing on the Andersonstown Church steps last Saturday during the IRA demo? You be careful now”. It left me unsure of who I should be careful of!
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AI started taking pictures with Olympus OM1's and 2's and loved them, they were light and easy to use. I moved to Nikon FM's because of the lenses, some I still have, plus they were more robust during demonstrations and trouble. I use Nikon F3's with all my old prime lenses and a D750 for digital stuff. It's great that you can still use old Nikon lenses on the new cameras. I use 35mm black and white film and process and print myself.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
ATake pictures for yourself, ones you like and of subjects you know and care about. Be sensitive to people’s feelings but don't be intimidated, know your rights.
QWhat's the one thing you love most about Picfair?
A I like the freedom of Picfair, I can choose what to show and how much I think the photos are worth with no interference. It's easier than running a website where you have do everything yourself.