I have had a passing interest in photography for many years - mainly as a record of places I'd been to whilst bushwalking.
In "my former life" as a University Professor teaching structural engineering in Australia and before that in Canada I started collecting 35mm slides of a technical nature (buildings, bridges, concrete, steel, timber etc.) that I could use in my teaching. In this role I was instrumental in the early 1990s to start collecting technical images of all aspects of structures and to start putting these images into a more pictorial "multimedia" orientated teaching environment.
Much later, after retiring from Academia, I moved from 35mm slides to digital cameras. A great deal later (about 2010) I invested in a Nikon D80 and after a few years I decided to get a few of my images commercially printed. I was blown away by the quality of the prints and this encouraged me to take photography a bit more seriously. I had also taken up 4WD and getting back into the Australian bush such as to the High Country in Victoria and New South Wales as well as doing the Simpson Desert and Central Australia. All this influences my current subjects although I am experimenting with different forms of photography and subjects.
Some of these new directions (I call them all "photoscapes") can be followed on a sister website www.photoscapes.com.au
My landscape / heritage / structures images can also be found at the international print on demand website (FAA or FineArtAmerica) http://peter-kneen.artistwebsites.com/
Back to this story ...
The first batches of printed images just had to be framed so I got them done commercially. Next came the credit card statement which prompted me to start investigating ways to decrease the cost of the finished framed images. At about this time, a friend was about to close her vacant art gallery in Braidwood in four weeks time. She said I could use the space for the remaining weeks so I spent the next 3-4 days madly printing and framing sufficient pictures to fill two rooms and a hallway. Braidwood is well supplied with artistic and creative people but the reaction to my first solo exhibition was very positive.
I managed to sell a few pictures but questions arose as to how to set a selling price. The idea of producing blank greeting cards for the Australian market was investigated. Feedback suggested that women were the main buyers of cards and that there were not a great deal of cards around that might be suitable to give to men - male friends, husbands, blokes or sons.
Meanwhile I started making work benches and buying picture framing equipment - mat boards, foam backing boards, a limited range of mouldings and a decent wide format printer. A good guillotine and foot operated nailer were acquired and after several months a better arrangement for glass cutting was fitted into the garage.
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Also - some of my work is available at the Braidwood Artisan Gallery