70's Bill takes a selfie

Photography began as an obsession when I was about 12 years old, then through secondary school / university years.  It took a back seat for a while as I ran a family cropping farm and raised 3 children with my wife for 20 years.
Things took a turn when diagnosed with a spinal tumour in my late 30's. After a few years of battling a physical job with physical limitations a change was needed. We left farming behind and I slowly created a job for myself as a photographer creating images for rural businesses, based in Methven. While the rural commercial work was the mainstay I did a real mixture of other work; plenty of head shots, portraits, team photos and so on.  I also sold many landscape prints from our home based gallery, as well as doing several large commercial artwork fit out projects. For many years I produced a local calendar, and two books of landscape photography.
In 2022 my wife Cherie and I moved to Christchurch and embraced semi-retirement, with the opportunity to rediscover photography without the commercial pressure.

Current projects
As I transition from 'work' photography back to photography purely for creative satisfaction I am working on several themes:
- Rediscovering Christchurch today; and the vibrant city that continues to reemerge from the 2011 earthquake chaos. Some of my earliest photography was as a school kid in the 70's; images captured in the Square back then take on a special significance.
- People: every individual interests me. Photography is a bridge for me to hear stories, understand people, and allow their uniqueness to be captured.  I especially enjoy one to one sessions with individuals, taking time to see what evolves. There are three rough sub themes: Environmental portraits - people in their happy space; creative portraits (often in a studio setting; and Figurative artwork.  I love hearing from people who want to get in front of my camera.
- South Island landscapes and towns.  I especially like small town South Island.  One of my earliest influences was Robin Morrison's "South Island from the Road".  His images instantly connected to me.
Making prints has always been an important final part of the photographic process for me.
I spent many hours as a youngster in the darkroom developing all my own film then making prints.  It was a slow, methodical, often frustrating process but ultimately rewarding when everything worked.
Since the early 2000's I've fully embraced digital pigment printing; the beautiful papers and archival pigment inks blow away anything I could ever do in the darkroom. The learning curve is much steeper though, with a fully colour managed workflow crucial.
My current state of the art process uses Epson Ultrachrome Pro 10 pigment inks on a variety of Canson archival papers.

Creative mode engaged. Cape Tribulation, August 2023
photo: Anna Ward

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams
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