Capturing the weird world of people, places and things

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I am a life long learner.   I have picked up a number of archaic skills:  hand tool joinery (see me cut 1/2 blind dovetails by hand!), skin on frame and stitch & glue boat-building, pulling wrenches on my old motorbikes, sidecars, 13thC spring-pole lathe turning and "old-fashioned" film photography.  My home is a living history museum.  Oh yeah, I'm really into 3D photography stereo views (19th Century, Holmes format). That's what a liberal arts education does to you!

I've managed a UK based engineering firm, created and oversaw a language department in a US college, and started an employment training and woodworking school in Wales. However, I've found that the flexible hours, easy nature, robust exercise and choice pickings of the demolition business suit my needs perfectly. Paid to break things? Yes!! Do I miss the stress of teaching and managing teachers full time? Hell no!!

I usually (happily) restrict myself to an old 35 mm SLR, with only film speed, shutter speed and aperture to play with.  Anything more would allow the camera to steal from me the ability to get exactly what I wanted.  I detest anything "automatic". However, I am beginning to detest myself!  I have fallen for the cheap tricks and seductive ease of a friend's smooth, sexy digital camera.

Update: I now have a digital camera. It's like having unlimited ammunition! But it has made me lazy in composition, staging, lighting...

Many aspects and genres of photography interest me: both in viewing the work of others, and shooting my own stuff.  Take a look at the range of themes in the galleries.  May I suggest you look at the "Creative" gallery? I've found staged allegorical photographs can say in seconds what I cannot communicate effectively in writing.

Why "redcoat"?  Well, I'm British (although I spend long periods in Canada).  I love history - as you may have guessed (social, political, economic, the history of ideas and science).  My e-mail address ( is easy to explain down the phone: "red like the colour, coat like what you wear, 1812 like the overture..."


Justin Ball





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