Hi! My name is Keith. I was born in Scotland and now live in Australia with my wife and son. This is what I looked like in 1976, ploughing a field in Japan. Many years have passed since then; most of the hair has gone and I’ve gained some weight; but I’d like to think that I am still the same person who helped plough that field.
When I turned thirty and accepted the fact that my life, on its present course, was going nowhere, I abandoned my adolescent dream of becoming a photojournalist and embarked upon a career in IT. Thirty years later, I was able to retire from work and return to what I regarded as unfinished business. That’s my life in a nutshell.
In the intervening years, I didn’t do much photography. I’d take pictures when I was travelling; but not with the same intensity or singleness of purpose. Often, the images I took were little more than mementos of places I’d visited – holiday snaps, if you like. Of course, I’d try to do a good job of taking them; but that was usually a secondary concern. At this time, I rarely took photographs gratia artis. I rarely went out to “shoot”.
After my son was born, my attention turned to recording his journey through life. Yes, baby pictures! Once again, I tried to do a good job in taking them. But once again, photography for the sake of photography was not the primary objective. Then finally, when he developed an interest in tennis, I developed a corresponding interest in photographing tennis players in action. Initially, I photographed my son on the tennis court. Then, I graduated to taking shots of professional players. And after an hiatus of almost thirty years, my interest in photography, albeit a very specific form of photography, was reignited.
During this time, my equipment reflected my level of interest in photography. Before I turned thirty, I’d be lugging around a bag full of SLR bodies and interchangeable lenses. Then I downsized to a pocket film camera; then to a pocket digital camera and finally upgraded to a digital SLR when my interest in tennis photography started to grow. By this time, the world had evolved and new technologies offered many new possibilities. I had already given away my conventional darkroom equipment to a young colleague at work who’d been bitten by the bug. Now, with a computer, a film scanner and Photoshop, I can achieve the same results without the mess.
Looking back there were opportunities and choices. I learned a great deal and I regret nothing. I feel as though I have already lived one lifetime; and this is my new beginning.