Paul was born half way through the twentieth century into a world that was still recovering from the ravages of World War II and yet it was also a world full of new prospects and change.
From a very early age Paul was drawn to his father’s camera and how it was able to capture those moments when normal people turned into statues with fixed grins. When captured on celluloid the “Actors” would be forever held in awkward mock relaxation… this was something he wanted to do!
Today digital cameras cost you nothing to take a picture but film was expensive and the results were never guaranteed. So for Paul, as a child, taking a picture was a considered a rare event with an attached excitement that now seems incomprehensible in our throw away society.
Paul recalls his childhood slipping by in a haze of sunny days, fishing adventures and cycle rides with the chance of taking some photos when the family went on their annual summer vacation, usually somewhere exotic like the Isle of Wight!
Childhood moved aside as Paul became a young adult, this was the end of the swinging 60’s and surfing had entered his life!
Surfing became a massive part, an all consuming part of Paul’s life introducing him to people and new friends from all walks of life and other parts of the world.
It seems impossible looking back today to grasp how different this life style was from the norm of the day. Paul, now instead of being part of the 9 to 5, started a family, “it’s expected of you” and routine was a free spirit planning his next surfing trip either here in the UK or (then) exotic places like France or Morocco … What he didn’t know at the time was surfing was about to bring photography back into his life with a bang.
Looking through the glossy surfing magazines of the late 1960’s and 70’s Paul started to realise that hardly anybody in the UK were taking surfing photos and perhaps this was a way of joining his two passions, he was at the beach surfing so why not take a camera and shoot the action as well? … The surf photographer was born!
Many years have passed since that fateful day when Paul decided to edge into the world of professional photography and he himself has gone through many transitions, he has had surfing photographs published in various magazines and even in a book charting the history of British surfing but he admits that the photographs are an embarrassment to him as the quality is so poor by todays standard.
Here in the 21st century you find Paul has moved his attention away from the beach and to the wilds of Exmoor where he follows the red deer through their cycle of life, he also tries to capture the scenery and the life that is Exmoor … Does he miss the beach and the surfing? …
Paul admits he does, sometimes he finds himself thinking of a return to the water but looking back he had the best days surfing had to offer … when people talk about surfing they talk about “his” time, “his” trips and “his” experiences because now its organised and ordinary.
When Paul briefly went back to taking surfing photographs in 2010 he met and old surfing friend from the 70s, his friend looked at Pauls new photograph’s and said “you see things differently than everyone else” ………. He still does!