New York Photography
New York Photography
New York Photography
New York Photography

I’ve been lucky enough to mess around with cameras for as long as I can remember, practically growing up in the darkroom, my father was an avid photographer and made an honest income snapping weddings. As a child, our small house went through various incarnations of homemade darkrooms. I remember at one point; dad converted the small cupboard under our stairs in the living room. Tiny to say the least, with a round, sprung seat fixed to the back of the door. No more than elbow width, dad managed to juggle, negatives, enlargers, and chemicals. It was in this tiny space I first witnessed the magic of photography. It was magic, watching dad tilt back and forth the trays of developer, and fixer, I was mesmerised.

I look back on those days with fond memories; I was hooked. Since then, 40+ years later, I have had my own incredible journey with photography. Having progressed through various cameras (Canon fanboy), from my first AE-1 to the current EOS 5d MkIV, I have now become purely digital, locked into a world of Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop.

I’m fortunate enough to have travelled a fair bit in my time. Again, looking back to childhood we used to laugh at how many rides the camera gear had taken, never to have seen the light of day. It’s the same now, of course. I take trips where the equipment stays packed away in cases and others where the camera is continuously attached to its tripod, flung on cushions in the back, Scotland & Iceland are classic examples.

I’m not by any stretch a professional photographer. I work consulting organisations on how to be leaner. I usually go into bank’s or other large institutions and advise on how best to eliminate waste, in respect to ways of working, planning, and manufacturing. I guess I’m reasonably good at as I keep landing contracts and that’s fine by me as it pays for these fantastic adventures.

Outside of this, I have a wide and varied background. Raised in Ramsgate, Kent, I am the youngest of four other siblings. I’ve served with the British armed forces, started but shortly ended  a Jet Engine apprenticeship for Pratt & Whitney, made Compact Discs for 12 hours a day (nasty), sold insurance, designed websites and posters for movies (Spiderman, Monsters Inc’), worked as a DJ, security guard, bouncer, in fact, this list goes on forever, I’m sure you get picture.

I left school in Ramsgate with minimal exam results but decided to pick up the pieces later when I returned to full-time education as a mature student. Having zero A-levels meant a years worth of cramming for an ‘Access to Higher Education’ certificate before joining Plymouth University where I read Computer Design and Human-Computer Interaction.

Anyhow, massive digression. As a serious hobby, I like to take photos. It’s a hard one, as I’m always contesting narrative in my head. I’m lucky if I find 10/1000 pictures that I like, or consider taking to post. Most of my images are taken with post-production in mind. I shoot RAW as default and spend a great deal of time on post, bouncing between Photoshop and Lightroom.

It’s an odd one, and I think fast becoming the norm, I rarely print images. In the studio, we have a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, and I think I’ve used it no more than a hundred times (as a ratio to over half a million images catalogued and stored and you get the idea); instead, we store, collect and protect. Looking back as a child, dad would have thousands of negatives stored away, but there were always prints knocking around.

I don’t have a style, or maybe I do. I love the medium of black and white but love messing with colours in post. I’m intrigued by architecture, people, and landscapes but fascinated with shape. As you can see from my portfolio, the work spreads itself across various styles. I think of photography as the capturing of a moment in time. A specific epoch that only I managed to grab. As an evidence taker I then have a choice, do I keep it honest, as it was or do I manufacture, creating something new. Something I’ve always been fond of is the stylisation capability of Photoshop, and for the most part, my work often incorporates an ‘Oil Painting’ feel, masking, dodging, burning as I go.

I hope you enjoy the site and thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch, please feel free, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks

Rick Cook