I first became interested in photography in 1979 while studying stage management and lighting design full time at Mountview Theatre School in North London.
After my graduation, I lit shows professionally around the UK and, in my spare time, started taking Spotlight photos for actors and actresses, Front of House photos for theatres, as well as doing "creative" photography to satisfy my artistic appetite.
In the mid-1980s, I decided to combine my love of lighting and photography and so moved into the film industry, working my way up from humble Clapper Loader to Director of Photography, shooting documentaries, music videos and dramas for broadcast.
I had to reluctantly retire from the film industry in the late nineties but, luckily, discovered Photoshop and computer-based design. After attending design courses at South London College of Printing, I worked as a website, multimedia and print designer.
After passing the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) exam for Photoshop 5.0, I started Examaids, wrote a book on Photoshop, and a Keyword Catalog (a controlled vocabulary hierarchy for stock photographers), and have also tech edited various Photoshop and Lightroom books.
As much as I enjoyed doing all the varied design work, I found that, unlike photography, it did not really come naturally to me and so took up stills photography once again.
I dabbled in portrait and film unit photography for a short period before taking up stock photography. I stopped doing it recently when it became unprofitable, and have gone back to doing black and white photography, which I have always been drawn towards.
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Shangara Singh | Photographer