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‘Monochrome’ Book

Monochrome is being published in October 2023, but is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all good bookshops.

Monochrome is my new book, by Trope Publishing in Chicago being launched in October 2023. It is the opposite of AI and is likened to taking photography back to its origins.

monochrome platinum images book cover
Book cover for Monochrome Platinum Images

Photography is my passion, I think photography found me. At school, being wildly dyslexic, I was floundering. My school, Holland Park, now known as the Socialists’ Eton, had amazing facilities including dark rooms and studios. It was my salvation. It enabled me to leave school aged 15 and get a job as an assistant photographer.

My fine art work is an ongoing journey of discovery, experimenting with different processes, lenses and techniques, such as x-rays, mammogram limited focus, anamorphic, and solarisation. I’m always looking for, and photographing, people, things and places that I find visually stimulating. A lot of my work starts with a clean piece of paper, putting the ingredients together, be it an object or a collaborative model, stylist, hair and make-up artist, and seeing what magic occurs.

I don’t want to take pictures. I want to create them. This led me to work with the father and son team Paul and Max Caffell of 31 Studio, Gloucestershire, England, the foremost specialist for platinum printing in the UK.

With platinum printing there is no reliance on factory-prepared materials, each print of an edition is unique, being executed singly as though it were the only example of that image, an unrepeatable dialogue between the image, the chemistry and the printer’s skill.

My hand-produced platinum prints are made using the original Platinotype method devised by William Willis in 1876. The starting point is a precious and noble metal, platinum, which is used in this art of chemical alchemy. Platinum prints have a far larger tonal range than can be achieved by modern black-and-white print processes, giving them a distinctively rich, luminous quality with great shadow detail. They are of archive quality and will last many lifetimes.

One of the most exciting things I have been experimenting with is solarisation or to use the technical term the Sabatier effect, named after Armand Sabatier. It is discussed as early as 1857 by Mr William Jackson in a letter to the editor of the Journal of the Photographic Society of London. During the C19th many artists and photographers quietly enjoyed this method of expression.

I absolutely love the unpredictability and variations achieved by the solarisation process, using modern computer technology with traditional techniques, which results in truly unique works of art.

I started out shooting on glass plates at school and printing on glass plates for my first job. In my early career, I was working with 10×8” cameras and I have spent years in darkrooms getting my hands wet. In the latter part of my career, I have now embraced digital photography. Just like a negative, a digital file is a starting point for opportunities.