The Renaissance Era
I told my career adviser at school that I wanted to learn a bit of everything, I seem to remember that he wanted me to be a little more specific, he had a posh new computer program that could sort this out for me if I could just give it something to play with.
As Robert Heinlein suggested, ‘Specialisation is for insects.’
I was lucky to have learned the piano for a number of years as a child, popping over to see John and Ian, a cosmopolitan gay couple who would fuss over my red curly hair whilst setting tricky tasks to enhance the art of connecting with sound. I was cared for and gained a love of music. I took the spirit of those years into my teens and although I dropped the piano, I picked up a guitar and slotted into the raw chaos of the early 90’s. These days there’s less disharmony, but the love and the spirit remains in my music.
I went to college and did a marine fitting course, worked in a few boat yards, went to college in London to learn how to build musical instruments.
I didn’t really want to be a boat fitter, or a luthier, what I did want to do was learn all of the little bits that went into doing both of these things. As a result I did many things that used these skills, such as furniture building and welding on the new airport in Hong Kong.
The job in Hong Kong gave me the cash to learn scuba diving so I was able to continue roaming!
Moving Image and Scuba Diving
Before the internet age one of the best ways to earn a living in the wilds was to teach scuba diving. I loved doing this for a while, working for a dive school where I drove an old long tail boat to the clear bays to do confined water training, then cluttered back with an old Thai engine that hauled us through the clear sea.
I then decided that a bit or autonomy would be handy, so I got a camera and housing from Singapore, then set-up making underwater video on Koh Tao in Thailand. This kept the rent paid for two years on what was a relatively untouched island at the time, there was no-one else making video in this way so I got a free ride on the boat every day, I also got to spend so much time relaxing underwater on my own that I got to know the fish, the little nooks and crannies and a whole new world that is so different from the one above the waves.
Video Production Company
After running a business making underwater video for a few years I returned to the UK and, as my specialisation was run and gun video, or just getting the job done on the move, I filmed anything from festivals to live performances.
I now specialise in using the minimum of equipment, hence I can get anywhere and still create video with stuff that can fit in a flight bag, but still creating 4k video and good gimbal footage.
In the last year I have been making videos with a company that works using blockchain technology, so I have been to Singapore, Korea, Berlin, Bangkok, Malaysia and Japan.
South Hill Park is an interesting place, an old royal hunting lodge that is too near Bracknell for comfort, but comforts Bracknell with it’s creativity.
SHP was managed for a good while by a very creative director who brought many projects to the place, including a yearly festival but also a wonderful arts project that I got involved in with a photographer and a musician, truly a learning experience for us all.
My love of photography started with an Olympus camera back when you had to carry rolls of film with you for weeks until finding a place to capture them.
Here is a small collection of pictures that were displayed at an exhibition in the basque country.
Whilst doing my dive instructor exams in Tioman, Malaysia, I came across a Norwegian man who was sitting on a beach, with a laptop, working. I saw my future, so I learned many of the basics regarding website management, image manipulation, SEO, how to build and secure a server, 3d software, built one of the early Template stores and then managed websites for clients such as County Hall and the London Film Museum in London. These days I use that early adopter experience to make the web a less befuddling place for other people.
I love mountains, walking in the Andes, the lake district, they are places to get perspective.
I had fun learning to paraglide in Nepal, flying with the birds in the Himalaya.
I also enjoyed scuba Diving amongst coral or swimming in wild waves with a simple pair of goggles, which I tend to do more than scuba diving now.
The next video is from Malaysia recently where I slung my hammock on a beach, in the early hours the skies opened and I was drenched, but it was fun.