Neill Taylor LRPS
My photography started when I was 8 years old, with a Box Brownie. My father was a keen amateur photographer, and I spent hours with him in his darkroom, and in his makeshift home studio where he shot portraits of family and friends. His enthusiasm rubbed off on me, and I learnt much from him as well as being lucky enough to use some of his cameras and equipment as I grew up. I also studied his photography books and magazines.
For my own cameras, after the Box Brownie I had an Instamatic, then a Contax 35mm rangefinder, and later a succession of SLRs. I also dabbled with half-plate and whole-plate in those early days. I processed all my monochrome films and prints, and colour slides and prints from time to time. As a student in the 1970s I was darkroom manager of the University of Manchester Photographic Society, which meant I had a sizeable budget to equip and maintain our excellent darkroom.
My first foray into digital photography came in 2001 with an all-in-one camera boasting 2.1 megapixels! It sounds limited now, but a set of shots I took on the Greek island of Kefalonia were published in a travel magazine and looked every bit as good in print as others shot on 35mm film. That was also my first paid photographic job, and I've since had a number of other photos published in magazines, including a few cover pages.
After using a series of different DSLRs, these days I shoot mainly with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, which I love (and I still have a Mark I and a Mark II), together with a range of excellent lenses. In recent years I've taken to studio photography, hiring studio time or working in other locations using my own Elinchrom lighting equipment, or sometimes just using natural light. I still enjoy travel photography, landscape and, well, shooting anything that I see that appeals to me, which is a lot as I tend to recognize beauty in everything and everyone.
In 2015 I decided to set myself a goal to start improving my photography. I did the Open University / Royal Photographic Society course on digital photography, achieving one of the top marks, and then worked hard to obtain my LRPS in 2016. I consider that I am still learning, and I hope that never stops. I'm inspired by the work of many photogaphers and artists and I love working with others, there's always something new to learn from each individual's approach.
I like to be in control of the whole photographic process from start to finish, and generally do all my own printing, just like in the old film days. The computer has, of course, replaced my darkroom, and I've been using Photoshop since version 3 in the mid-1990s, when my digital images were generated by scanning film negatives. I do still occasionally shoot a film, having kept on to a couple of fine old film cameras, a Rolleiflex TLR and a Contax SLR.
I'm always keen to take on new projects and challenges, so if you have an idea for something creative that I could help you with, please do get in touch. Equally I'd be delighted to help you with family portraits, weddings, fashion or glamour shoots, event photography, or anything that you have in mind. See the Contact page for how to reach me.
You'll also find me on Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and PurplePort, and I have a selection of images available via the stock agency Alamy.