Craziest experience whilst shooting in the field?
Being arrested, removed from the scene and locked up whilst on assignment in Yogyakarta covering the visit of the Emperor of Japan to Indonesia!
Apparently, my press card was for another person; the magazine I was working for must have made a mistake. Two burly military policemen walked over and escorted me from the scene, took my cameras and left me in a police lock. Once the Emperor had left, my cameras—surprisingly still with film—were returned to me and I was released. With no photos of the Emperor’s visit, I returned to Jakarta. Sadly that was the end of my work with that magazine!
Digital versus analog—how do they compare?
Digital is great, particularly for commercial shoots and for quick turnaround, but if I had the choice and it was possible, I would only work with large format colour negative film.
The slow process of working this way is meditative; it makes you think more about each shot. Setting up is a lengthy process and the reaction by people being shot with this camera is quite different. It’s not instant gratification photography because there is a big interval between shooting and getting the contact prints. The excitement of seeing the results after a long wait and the beauty and depth of film—the process and the craft of old-school photography is what I love.
You also shoot with your smartphone?
Smartphones are great cameras. The iPhone 7 has a 12-megapixel camera which is better quality than the first digital SLRs. For a recent edition of Bon Appétit Magazine, they shot the front cover and a full feature in Mexico with an iPhone 7.
The portrait series on my website was shot on an iPhone 5 using the Hipstamatic camera app and printed A4 size, they look really good. Using my phone to shoot this series made the subjects more relaxed and accessible.