© Alec Gill - Photographer - alec.gill@hotmail.co.uk  /  Paul Berriff - Producer + Curator - pberriff@aol.com


Passion for People through Pictures

Every photographer has a unique style and motivation for taking pictures - a sort of fingerprint special to them. If I can paraphrase a Greek philosopher, I believe: "We photograph the world not as it is, but as we are". Given that, here is the backstory about how I entered the world of photography.
Thanks to my seafaring father, there was a French camera knocking about the family home (c.1950s). I was fascinated by its shutters, drop-down bellows and 120 roll film. Whilst working in freight forwarding offices (1962), I bought a Zeiss Ikonette (3.5 cm) camera. Later, I built a darkroom in my attic bedroom.
A transformation came in August 1970 when dad urged me to pay £12 to an elderly warehouse man in our street for his old German Rolleicord twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera and its leather case. 
Its bigger 6x6cm B&W negative format was powerful. The look of the TLR had dignity and status. It showed that the photographer was serious about taking pictures - not just snaps! It was my passport to places and gave me a reason, in October 1971, to walk around the Bogside of Derry and the Falls Road of Belfast during the height of the bombing campaign in Ulster.
People, not places, are my focus. Their physical surroundings are merely a backdrop to humans doing what they do - surviving from day to day. During the summer of 1973, I hitch-hiked around the Middle East before heading back to the UK via Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey, Yugoslavia etc - with a rucksack on my back and Rolleicord camera around my neck. 
But in 1974 I decided to become 'a tourist in my own town' and photographed the Hessle Roaders in Hull's lively fishing community. That same year I became a mature student studying Psychology at the University of Hull. From working-class roots, it was a challenge to enter the middle-class world of academia; but I was keen to learn 'what makes people tick'. As a result, I consider myself 'a psychologist with a camera' - dedicated to a specific and special community.
I am excited by the present-day evolving digital age and happy to have made the transition from the old to the new. I eagerly embrace the dynamic new technology - long may it continue to benefit future generations.