WILCOX BROWN Film and Photography

Starting out…

A collection of tear-sheets and images from the 90s

I was fortunate to start out on small regional magazine with highly creative editor, giving me a wide creative freedom illustrated by 'Rosie'; shot by firelight on black and white T-Max film pushed to around 25,000 ISO; very unusual in 1990. I processed all my own film. Moving on in '93, I joined John Blashford-Snell, looking for giant Asian Elephants in the Nepalese Terai. We found them and the pictures were used world-wide. This was pre-digital when images had to be shipped by post, as transparencies.

The spreads here are some of those that survive for Country Living and Country Life magazines; always the most interesting work in the diary and frequently challenging too.

Versatility was the key and one day it could be a political protest like the Countryside March of 1999, followed by a shoot for Waitrose (Blue Vinney cheese), followed by studio shoot the next day, on 5x4" film or later a 6x7cm Mamiya RZ, with multiple flashes and frequently, multiple exposures too.

From '95 everything was shot on film and then scanned, except 'Colour Meters' a very early experiment with digital capture, from 1995, shot on a Leaf Lumina scan camera. In 2000 after years of scanning pictures, I went digital. Always wanting to push the bounds I shot RAW, processing was close to impossible for a while, but somehow I managed to shoot the entirety of the book 'A Taste of Life' in RAW by early 2002. It took 10 days to process the 270 images in Breeze Browser.

Capture One software changed everything from December 2002, finally giving me a true digital darkroom that continues to this day, and now includes moving images too.

Before anyone asks, Serena de la Hey did go on from 'Metaphors' to create the iconic Willow Man beside the UK's M5 motorway.