The Site:For many years I have scoured the bookshelves and online resources devouring every snippet of information that looks useful, interesting or inspirational. I have benefitted enormously from the writing, support and enthusiasm of others and think its now my turn to get organised and pass on the very same. I’m committed to fine art and documentary photography and its a difficult path to cut, while being true to oneself. I hope that in time, this site will also be able to generate a little bit of income that will allow me to continue doing what I feel compelled to do: explore what it means to be alive and to be human, through photography. In doing so, I hope to help others with their journeys, whether that is choosing equipment, or finding inspiration and themselves in their work. Along the way, I also hope to provide a platform for charities I believe in and hope we can help support these causes.
The Photo Fundamentalist will start small and grow with time. I’m prepared to put the effort in, so please provide feedback and let me know what you think. I’ll try to be responsive and answer questions as best I can, so please fire away and lets see where this all goes!
About Me (Thomas Stanworth): Photography is at the root of everything. Seriously, it has taken over, which is why I am here and quite possibly why you are too! I’ve worked in military intelligence, security & risk management consulting and international development, but nothing has outlasted photography. It was there when I hit adulthood and over twenty years later it is my life, livelihood and the bane of my loved one’s lives!
Working with a safari company in Zimbabwe during my biology degree was the beginning. I took a camera (dad’s Pentax Spotmatic) simply to record the experience, but the first few 8”x6” prints changed that. I was hooked and returned to the UK knowing that it was the process… the act of photography that had captivated me.
With no crocodiles, elephants or lions at home, I began to focus on the landscape and soon became enamoured with the indirectness of black and white photography. A large format camera eventually arrived (MPP Mk VII) and soon after the spare bedroom in my military quarters stank of fixer! Yes, I now had a darkroom, courtesy of black tape, blackout plastic and a wallpapering table. Thankfully there were no spillages, because it still had a carpet…
Eventually, I left the army and deployed to Afghanistan to work as a security and political analyst. I took a camera, but only used it for ‘snaps’. Instead, I let the place soak into me and two years later woke up with the realisation that I had insights and perspectives that just had to be explored with a camera. ‘Russians and Royals, Afghanistan’ was borne – a three year endeavour – leading to numerous international photographic awards and exhibitions. Four more Afghanistan projects followed (and one in India), with further recognition and exhibitions, which now included the US, UK, Europe and Asia.
I consider myself a documentary photographer of sorts, although I feel in no way bound by a narrative structure. I work almost exclusively in B&W and, although now shooting largely digitally, I remain absolutely committed to the high standards set by darkroom prints, with both silver gelatin and gicleé examples residing in private collections across the world.
I’m now back in the UK working in photography full-time. This blog will be playing a vital role in a bigger picture that I will share as things unfold, but rest assured there is a lot more to come. Stay tuned!
You can see some of my personal work here at www.thomasstanworth.com