I had my first camera as a child in the 1960s – a cheap plastic thing that would have made a Holga look sophisticated! I next got interested in photography when I picked up a copy of ‘Hana’ by Ishimoto from a ‘remainders’ pile in a bookshop sometime round about 1995. That lead to an early interest in monochrome floral photography, and my first SLR (film of course!).
In 1999 I moved from the urban South East of the UK to a village in Cheshire, and the more rural environment fed a growing interest in landscape photography, again primarily monochrome. In 2000 I spent a week at Lakeland Photographic Holidays, and saw some of John Gravett’s lith prints from infrared negatives while I was there. I liked the effects of the infrared film and the processing, and started using the Konica infrared film, and experimenting with the lith processing. I never really got the lith processing under sufficient control … more a few happy accidents and lots of wasted paper! (I’d built a darkroom in a small spare room in the house when we moved in.) Two or three years later the film was no longer available, and the move to digital had started, forcing a (temporary) end to my experiments with infrared photography.
In 2009 I had an older digital SLR converted to infrared and am once again able to take photographs using infrared light though its a very different medium to film infrared – as well as giving the option of using the false colour images without first changing them into monochrome.
I also shoot my main digital images in colour and convert in the computer, rather than accepting the camera’s built in monochrome conversions. This gives me much more flexibility in developing the final image – I wrote an article on my approach to digital monochrome photography following a request from the local camera club for a talk on the subject. With the ability to choose between colour and monochrome images on a shot by shot basis, rather than dependent on the film in the camera, I now produce more colour images than before, though I am still mainly interested in monochrome photography.
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My monochrome photography has been selected for exhibitions in the UK and France. I was selected for the inaugural Swansea City Exhibition of International Photography in Wales, and the Hype Gallery in Arles, France. My work has also been published in a number of photographic books and magazines in recent years, primarily in those concentrating on monochrome photography. Images have appeared in ‘Black and White Photography’, ‘Mono’, and ‘Digital Photography’ magazines, and also in three editions of ‘Best of Friends’, an annual yearbook of photography, no longer being published. In October 2010, one of my infrared prints, Puff, the magic dragon was selected for the Royal Photographic Society’s infrared 100 exhibition, curated by Andy Finney.
In 2011, I restarted entering FIAP and BPE sponsored exhibitions after a long lapse, and have had a number of acceptances, the first being Silloth Steps and Old and New both being accepted for the Bristol International Salon of Photography. I also had acceptances from the Glasgow Salon and had two prints retained by the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) for the folios they circulate around the clubs in the region, and for their Annual Summer Exhibition.
Keep up to date
Find my photography elsewhere
mike finley on flickr: there is a wider selection of my images on flickr, mostly colour and infrared.
mike finley in the Rogue Gene Gallery: another selection of my work.
and finally, I’m starting up a blipfoto account.
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