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The personal bit;
I’ve been taking photographs since the 1970’s, when I started as a darkroom assistant with a large Industrial Group in Smethwick, Birmingham.
I then left to work as Darkroom Manager with Caters, probably the best-known Press and Public Relations Agency in the Midlands.
I loved darkroom work, but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in one, so I bluffed my way into a job as a photographer with an Industrial and Commercial studio based in Bilston, at the heart of the so-called “Black Country”.
After serving a 5-year apprenticeship in the drop forges, furnaces and rolling mills of the Midlands, I had the opportunity to go solo, taking on work for some of the most respected Design Studios, Advertising/PR Agencies and manufacturers across the UK.
After 11 years as a freelance I needed a new challenge, so my career took a different path in 1993 when I veered off into the Forensic field, becoming a Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) with a Midlands Police Force. During my 22 years' service I also spent 2 years as an Investigation Manager in the Professional Standards Department.
I retired early, in June 2015. Since then, I've been exploring the challenges of Artisan Cheese Making, Garden Maintenance and Guitar Building. Nothing has exploded so far...
I'm incredibly fortunate to have been taking photographs for so long and I won’t be stopping for a while yet.
The technical bit;
I’ve used all sorts of hardware over the years…the name on the front is largely irrelevant as they’re only tools, like a carpenter’s chisels.
In 2009 I changed allegiance from Nikon to Canon and their EOS 5D Mk II. In 2015 I upgraded to the Mk III.
In 2017 I realised I was leaving my kit at home when I should be carrying it with me more, so I hunted down some lighter gear that would be more portable...enter the incredible Fujifilm X-T2 with those astonishing Fujinons.
I've also used a Canon Powershot G10 compact or, more recently, a Sony RX100.
I try to limit my time on the computer, but I feel the digital darkroom is as important as our old darkrooms were, back in the beginning.
I use Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Nik Silver Efex Pro2, although I keep digital work to a minimum...if there is a photographic route I'll take it.
Prints are made on Permajet or Hahnemuhle papers.
As you’ll see from the galleries lots of things inspire me, but I’ll apologise if you’re looking for fluffy kittens or other chocolate-box type pictures…you won’t find them here.
Please feel free to leave comments in the Feedback section. I can be contacted for print sales the same way.
Finally, all images are ©Chris Bestall.
Any copying/downloading/printing of the very low-res versions you see here will make me very angry and my Solicitor very wealthy.