I was born in 1970s West Cumbria and studied Film and Television Production in Manchester. After graduating, I worked as an assistant, paving the way for a career as a Director of Photography. Over the past 12 years as DOP I am lucky to have shot films that have been awarded BAFTA, RTS and numerous other awards. I have filmed diverse subjects in equally diverse environments and have been fortunate enough to travel to over 60 countries shooting both fiction and documentary. I have shot on a variety of formats that includes film, tape and now RAW digital formats such as the RED or Alexa.
Fruitful and rewarding years making documentaries has allowed me to learn the art and craft of photography. The pressure and also joy of filming real events, often with out the advantage of bigger lamps or equipment, has given me the insight to know what and when to use to fullest advantage. It is not only creating and using beautiful light that is essential, it is the relationship between that light, the camera and the scene that typifies the role of the cinematographer.
Documentaries and then drama-docs led me to drama and whilst these three genres are often radically different they all have the same requirement; to tell the story with interesting pictures eliciting narrative and emotion at the same time. Working in an ever demanding industry where time and budget must sit with creativity and high production values, it is these experiences that I draw upon. There are times for minimalism yet there are times that a “bigger set up” is essential to maintain scene continuity and control. The key is to know what to employ when.
I started my career on film and still love it. That said, time and technology wait for no man and the development of numerous digital systems keeps me on my toes. Irrespective of the technology and format, to which too much attention is often given, stories are still there to be told. I have been lucky enough to shoot films that have taken me all over the world and met all kinds of fascinating people. Collaboration, be it with a young documentary director or an experienced, award winning drama director, is an essential part of what I do. The excitement of working closely with people to help create a film is second to none.