Si Root, from Charing, is the owner of The Hideout, a local design and digital agency. SI has a passion for black and white photography. You’ll often find him at weekends searching for nearby groynes or old abandoned ships to shoot.
“Even at a young age I was fascinated by early Victorian pinhole photography; the detail captured in the sepia or black and white tones. Practising with the instant film cameras of the 70’s and 80’s as a kid, I liked to take photos but never wanted to be a professional photographer".
Totally self-taught over the years, taking inspiration from a quote from the legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, “ A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” This is so true. It doesn’t matter how good your equipment is, it’s all about the final composition. With this in mind I never really like to limit myself to one genre of photography and I’ll always challenge myself to ‘give it a go’.
There are definitely some I’ve failed at and need more work; not quite mastered sports photography and often end up with an out of focus image or the subject is out the frame, gone!
With the ‘give it a go’ approach, coupled with my passion for black and white photography, I usually achieve the composition I’m after. I prefer black and white, a format that can easily change the perception or mood of a composition. Don’t get me wrong, some images look equally great in colour but I always end up starting with the dark side.
Fractured – Jamie Kirby, Fractured. The Hope & Ruin, Brighton Date: 12 March 2017
I will always try to shoot any subject but my passion is long exposure sea or waterscapes. I love the apprehension of the final result after standing there while the camera exposes the image over several minutes. Equally, I have a love of live music and gig photography, taking influence from the music photographers of the late 70’s and early 80’s with their images of the punk and new wave music scenes. Pennie Smith’s famous image of Paul Simon smashing his guitar at the Palladium gig in 1979 has got to be one of the greatest rock’n’roll images of all time. For me, this culminated in the best adulation with photo credits on a new album released this year by 80’s new wave band The Vapors. The artwork for the album ‘Together’ has some of my images for the band profiles and the main back cover which I’m most humbled about!
My camera of choice is the Nikon Z7. Nikon’s first mirrorless camera. But equally, I’m at home with my iPhone which can take a great shot!
When using my DSLR I always shoot in RAW format, manual mode to challenge my camera skills. Sometimes, you need to react quickly to your surroundings and conditions to achieve the base composition, especially with gig photography. In manual mode there are many different ways to obtain the same result or the odd accidental surprise, it all comes down to aperture, shutter speed, ISO, the lens used and the light source. So, I always utilise the intricate electronics and escape the confines of the automatic settings; gives so much more scope.
U – Reculver Castle, nr Herne Bay, Kent Date: 27 July 2012
Anyway enough words, let the images do the talking.
Veteran – Havana, Cuba Date: 09 April 2019