Welcome to the site

Running a commercial darkroom has considerable benefits for a photographer but the drawbacks are that whilst everyone else has been out, travelling the countryside, making use of good weather, I am stuck inside processing their work! This makes for some frustration at times and this site is proof to the world that I can still take photographs and a reminder to me to get out and take some more! I hope you enjoy the site.

Life's a journey, but how did I arrive here?

I went through school expecting to be a geologist but I doodled compulsively in science lessons, played the cello, sang in the choir, acted in plays and watched clouds make faces in the sky, so I scraped into university. A geography professor addressed the first year students saying that 70% of what we would learn would be found outside the academic life at university: that suited me fine, so I spent more time in theatre, learnt to rock climb and picked up my first camera.
I should have studied art at school but Careers Advice never mentioned you get a job taking photographs, so I had to go the long way round to find out! A lucky break in 1982 gave me an assistants job working for the photographer, Michael Hall, who told me on my first day that photography was 90% business, 10% taking photographs. I learnt the business of photography from him and went back to college to learn the theory. Then I bumped into a young artist, Rebekah Tolley and from sharing our lives together for a number of years, I began to appreciate art. I changed direction and managed a photographic laboratory where I could learn more about printing.
I have had numerous exhibitions, which have been fun and have begun to pass on my knowledge by way of printing and photographic workshops. I continue to contribute printing articles to Black and White Photography magazine, having first been published in 2002.

Now I make photographs that need to be made and that draw on the strands of experience from my life and travel. I am often asked ‘Why are you taking these shots?’ and I reply that I am compelled to: they are an itch that won’t go away until I have put them on paper.

alistair baird portrait

In the Canadian Rockies

All images copyright. All rights reserved. Alistair Baird

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