I began teaching (and continued learning) photography the following year, 1982. I taught in clubs (MCPC & the University of the West Indies Camera Club, UWICC) for ten years, sitting on the executive bodies for eleven.
My photo life started in black & white, SLRs, 135 roll film, and access to darkrooms and chemistry through the clubs (and, sometimes, the help of a chemistry teacher). Post processing involved darkrooms, light tables, reels, tanks, chemical baths, enlargers, dodging, burning, cutting, mounting,… commitment.
Living in a mountainous, tropical country, there was so much to shoot. When asked to pick my main genre, it was easier to pick what was not a main genre. That would have been architecture, as I did not have a lift, shift, tilt, swing camera. I did have such an enlarger but was taught to capture it right in camera and there will be less to do in the darkroom. Nevertheless, my favourite genre became abstract as it challenged me to make others see (and like) what my eye had made manifest in my mind.
That naturally led me to portraiture, to capture people as I saw them, how they wanted to be seen, and as how they felt they were. The challenge drove me and would not let go. Indeed, with every genre was the drive of the challenge; to shoot what everyone else has shot but make it not as others have portrayed. Flora & fauna, landscapes, even the moon.
My favourite technique was available light which led me to master flash. Of course it did; I wanted my flash to look as natural as available light. At UWICC, I ended up teaching both the workshops on available light and the one on flash. Both started with the humorous phrase, “Nothing is more challenging than shooting with….”
I accepted every challenge and overcame. Now in the world of digital imaging, I have not only accepted DSLRs, but also digital paint and ray traced rendering. Even more challenges to face with determination and success.
Top Rock Photography is an homage to where it began for me; “The City Set Upon A Hill,” at the peak of the Santa Cruz mountains, Munro College. Where it will lead me, I do not know. I make my art from above it all.