Landscape photography is very important to me. But so is the continual change of the Potteries where I have lived all my life. This project started in the late 80's having seen a school being demolished in a town near to where I was working. The demolition took several weeks to complete and when finished, a car park was the result. It then hit me, I couldn't remember what the building looked like, even though it was standing there only weeks earlier. From that moment on I wanted to photograph old parts and buildings of Stoke on Trent - The Potteries. I didn't want just to record or document them though; the photographs had to be as visually dramatic as possible.

For this everything was shot on black & white film until I took possession of my Nikon D100 in June of 2004. Still everything had to be in black and white, which is now even more convenient being digital as there are no part exposed rolls of film in the fridge.

 
 

It is very strange to really look at where you live. Because there are so many Victorian houses, shops, pubs, and factories there is always somewhere to photograph. One problem is of course, change. The march of time. What you think will be there forever may be gone the very next month.

 
 
Many 'Pot Banks' are being or have been demolished. The original concept of what will eventually become a book has changed just like the landscape from which the idea came. You could almost look at this as a before and after but without being able to date the image easily. That is why I have deliberately excluded people and cars from the photographs.
 
 
The St Edwards project by comparison was quite a quick project. It was a hospital for the mentally ill from 1901 when it was built, up until closure in 2003. My wife as a psychiatric nurse worked on one of the wards up until the closure. The site has now been partly demolished for housing. What remains has been converted into apartments. Again another part of history was about to disappear. Photographs were taken as often as possible and I even got a guided tour before it closed.
 
 
The next project on the horizon will be to photograph the town of Leek . A Mill town about 5 miles east of the Potteries . This time I want to include people but still to look at the old rather than the new. Black and white is in my blood and I will look at a scene imagining it without colour. This also goes for landscapes probably because when I was learning photography, black and white gave me so much control and experimentation compared with colour. The square format is another great love of mine. I had a 6x6 Bronica for eight years and instantly took to the format. Some people have difficulty shooting square landscapes, but I think given the right subject the uniformity can work extremely well.