About the Book
I began work on the South Downs book in 2009 and completed it in 2018. My daughters were small when I started and at university when finished.
It was to be a long term project on a subject I loved, using everything I had learned about photography over the years, to describe a unique environment and my attachment to it.
The book is quite minimal with very few words as I wanted to tell a story using the language of photography. It is about looking at, and experiencing, the South Downs landscape .
About the Website
This website adds some more words to go with the landscapes, background information and thoughts that would have changed the way the book was read if included in print. So this is an experiment using modern, web based technology together with an old, paper based one.
The site also supplies more information about the book itself, where you can buy a copy or a print etc. and provides a place for anyone interested in print sales, exhibitions of the work etc to leave their contact details.
About the Photographer
While still at school I was introduced to the wonders of black and white photography by my friend Charlie Carter. In 1979, a year after messing up my A levels, I was working as a photographer's assistant and training as a black and white printer at a commercial studio in a London basement. The basement was in Baker Street and underneath one of the worlds leading ad agencies, Foote Cone and Belding. We worked on many of their campaigns.
It was a high energy business but not my cup of tea and after four years I was ready to move on. I traveled to Greece, lay in the sun, slept on the beach and worked cleaning bars and labouring before heading off to Pakistan and India with a Nikon FE, standard 50mm lens, small bag of film and a very tall Dutchman called Martien.
On my return I was unsure about my future in photography when a friend informed me that four years working had qualified me for a full grant.
Getting paid to study photography at art college for three years seemed like a very good idea.
I headed up to Trent Poly with a box full of black and white prints made from my trip to India and got offered a place for the following year.
I graduated with a 1st in 1986 and have been a freelance photographer ever since.
You can see more of my work here: www.tomlee.gallery