John Probert Photography

A mini-biography

Like many photographers, I don't much like having my own photo taken, but just so that you can get a feel for who's talking to you, here I am, looking the other way.

I come originally from Evesham, home of asparagus and plums, but am now based in Ruislip in the London Borough of Hillingdon (or in Middlesex according to the Royal Mail).

Way back in time

I retired in 2012 from a career in what might loosely be called IT, primarily as a systems analyst; much of that time was with a large and once properous photographic manufacturer. Being in such an environment encouraged me to take my own photographs, but I took mainly slides, and getting prints from slides was notoriously difficult in those days. I also didn't really enjoy messing with chemicals in the darkroom, so much of my work never saw the light of day beyond the slide box.

The more recent past

Then there was digital, and my background meant I could understand it better than some, and could have "creative control" over my pictures. For some photographers, that means that if you don't like the sky in a photograph, then you just replace it with a different sky and, hey presto, all is well. My preference is to take a photograph when the sky is more interesting. However I do admit to tweaking most of my images, to crop them or straighten them, and to improve the contrast or the brightness, and there are times when I attempt to do something a little more ambitious or unorthodox - for example, the images in the "Poster Edges" Group within my Main Gallery, and in the "Choose your Colour" Gallery.

My first digital prints were from my slides. I bought an expensive slide scanner that captured an original image from the slide, and enabled me to work towards a final image that satisfied me. I continued to use Canon film cameras until 2006, by which time the quality of digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras had improved a lot, and I bought my first digital camera. I'm now on my third Canon digital SLR, although it's still not close to the top of the range. The lens matters more than the camera, and the ability to see the image matters more than both.

I have tried using a compact camera, and one or two photos taken with that are scattered through my galleries, but I can't get used to not having a viewfinder. I certainly can't see myself taking too many pictures with my smartphone any time soon!

Display and exhibition

Over the last 15 years or more, I have displayed my photographs at a number of small exhibitions - for more details click here. I expect to do rather less of this in future, and plan to branch out into cards and postcards, but I am focusing more on my web presence these days. Please explore the site - I hope it is fairly straighforward. You can now order all prints automatically, but if you would like a summary of what's available at what prices, or would like some advice on mounting, framing, and fitting a picture into your own surroundings, have a look at the page called About Your Prints.

The Royal Photographic Society

You may notice the graphic at the bottom of each page, and spot that my copyright text includes the letters LRPS after my name, which stands for Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society, the first of their photographic distinctions. One of these days I will probably stick my neck out and apply for Associateship (ARPS). Fellowship is pretty much for superior beings!