I live in Portsmouth, Hampshire in a flat overlooking the Solent with views across to the Isle of Wight. My work is based in Fleet, Hampshire but has also included the opportunity to travel to locations around the world such as Corsica, Cyprus, Oman, South Africa and the Falkland Islands. I'm a graduate of Bristol University where I studied mathematics [and got a First - Rob], which probably explains some my liking for patterns and shapes in my photographs.
I have been taking pictures since 1986, predominantly in 35mm but more recently in large format (5×4). I also dabble in digital and medium format from time to time.
My aim in photography is to produce images that I like. Quite a lot of my images are made in the landscape, but I tend to class myself as a 'natural light photographer' rather than, to my mind the more limiting, 'landscape photographer'.
My favourite photo destination is Iceland, which I have been to most years since 2001. I also find the sheer variety and expanse of the American landscape inspiring. Most of my photo trips in recent years have been with Light and Land, where I have learnt a lot from the tour leaders and the other people on the trip. In the coming years I hope to start taking more pictures closer to home here in the UK.
Outside of photography I have a keen interest in music, both live and recorded. I have also been a loyal follower of Reading Football Club since first seeing them in a pre-season friendly with my dad and older brother back in August 1974. We are now all season ticket holders.
I have been interested in photography for many years. The earliest image I can remember taking was of a frost covered thatched cottage in Hungerford, Berkshire. Although it was taken on a 110 camera, there was something about the picture that I liked. This was in the early 1980s, but I didn't actually buy a camera (a Pentax P30) until 1986 with some money left to me by my great uncle Arthur. It is somewhat fitting that my photography reflects the outdoor world, as it was Uncle Arthur who used to take me out on walks in and around the Dorset village where I grew up.
During the late 1990s my photography had got into a bit of a rut. The initial excitement of taking pictures had died away and I found myself taking the same pictures of the same places. So in 2001 I decided to travel to Iceland with Light and Land, mainly because I had always wanted to go to Iceland. With some trepidation I set off, not really knowing what to expect as all my previous trips had been on my own. Group photography was not what I was used to! However, this trip, led by David Ward, proved to be the springboard for a whole new phase of photography as not only was my interest rekindled, but also the feedback I had taken when we met up a few months later. At this point I was still using print film, rarely used a tripod and hardly ever used filters - but all that was to change!
In 2003 I decided that I wanted to take my photography forward, so invested in some new lenses, started using Fuji Velvia slide film, bought a Gitzo tripod and invested in some Lee filters. I also resolved to use as much of my leave as possible on photo trips, so found myself in Yosemite and Death Valley (with David Ward and Joe Cornish),
[There is more on Chris's development as a photographer in the article Developing Style and Vision - Rob]
I own a large number of cameras, some of which get used more than others. I started with Pentax 35mm SLRs, with a P30 (1986) and a MZ-5 (around 1989), to which I added a digital SLR (*-ist D) in 2006. I have a couple of digital compacts from Canon - an old 2.1MB IXUS from 1999 and a G9 from 2007. In 2006 I took the plunge into large format photography with a Linhof Technikardan, which is my main camera at the moment. In complete contrast to the TK, I also have a Holga plastic camera (bought in 2006) and a Diana F bought in 2008. I tend to use the Holga for black and white 6×6, while the Diana is used for colour prints, again in the square format. I've accumulated a couple of 35mm compacts on the way and still have a Halina 110 camera tucked away somewhere on which I took my very first photo.
[The Halina turned up when I was clearing out his flat. Chris never threw anything away - Rob]