Located in Derbyshire, UK we are a family run photography website exhibiting collections of images shot in various locations around the world, including our beautiful home county. Browsing our pages, you will also discover a large number of Blogs, Reviews, Photo Walks and Travel Diaries, along with a growing collection of aerial drone videos for your viewing pleasure! PhotoArk is constantly growing so please check back from time to time to see what is new. We also have a presence on prominent social media sites so follow, like, or just keep an eye on us!
Behind the Scenes
Here at PhotoArk there are just two us providing everything you see, including the ethereal website coding itself. At the moment we have the workload well balanced; one of us enjoys delving around in html and carrying out web design and coding tasks. The other enjoys writing all of our fabulous content like blogs, reviews and photo walks. But the one thing that unites us is our love of photography & travel. The fusion of these two elements is what produces the synergy to maintain and update PhotoArk. We don't have an office or even a nice shed that we can pretend is an office. Instead, the site is maintained where most sites should be maintained from...a dimly lit bedroom surrounded by the detritus of many photo campaigns. Most of our content updates are done Tuesday evenings...no idea why it fell on this day, but it has become something of a ritual known by all the household as 'PhotoArk Tuesday'. Irrespective of where we may be in the world, we always set aside Tuesday evenings to work on PhotoArk. The site is our labour of love, our catharsis to hectic lifesyles and jobs. Magic lies within a camera lens and we hope PhotoArk shows this in some way, however small.
Meet the Team
Born in the small town of Matlock in the Derbyshire Dales, beautiful scenery has always been on my doorstep. For the majority of my childhood I took the scenery for granted having never known any other landscape. But this soon changed as my dad and co-founder of PhotoArk slowly moulded me into a photographer. At the age of 10 years old I brought my first ‘decent’ camera, a Fuji FinePix S3000 which accompanied me on many of walks with my parents. Slowly I learnt the creative aspects of digital manipulation and I soon outgrew the specifications of the camera. It was my ambition to own a digital SLR, so after much saving and research I purchased an Olympus E-510 with 14-42 & 40-150mm lenses. I fell in love with the camera from day one; it became my best travel companion and further fuelled my passion for photography.
Several years went by and my Olympus E-510 gradually became out-dated. I longed for a more robust, professional camera system. I considered many different brands, all shapes and sizes but it wasn’t until I went to the Focus on Imaging Camera Show that I found my next travel companion. A Pentax K-5 with 16-50mm f2.8 lens. It is robust, chunky, portable, weather sealed, and gorgeous to use! And it is with this camera many of my images for PhotoArk will be taken.
It was around this time in 2012 PhotoArk was born, incorporating another one of my favourite hobbies… web development. As a kid I loved dabbling with html and content management systems such as Joomla but that was all it ever amounted to…dabbling. PhotoArk gave it all a purpose, driving me to learn more and more about web development and styling so that we can keep making PhotoArk better and better. But PhotoArk’s influence didn’t stop their, my whole mentality around photography completely changed as I knew I could showcase my work to the world. Its because of this that I take so much pride in my photography and strive to capture the best possible images I can.
Photography wise, my K-5 has accompanied me on so many trips, capturing some of the most breath taking moments I have ever seen. As the years passed my lens collection grew & grew along with my love of Pentax kit. So when Pentax announced the release of the K-3 Prestige, I knew it would become my new travel companion. Sure enough, in January 2015 it took it’s maiden voyage along with my Limited 20-40mm to the glorious city of New York. Since then it has been at my side whenever a photographic opportunity arose.
The last few years have seen my curiosity in primes grow considerably, fuelled even more by Pentax releasing what is known as ‘the holy trinity’ of prime lenses. This led to me purchasing the Pentax Limited 31mm f1.8 making it the fastest lens I have ever owned!
From around thirteen years old I possessed a working camera of some kind, but found film and processing costs restricted my efforts to 'special' occasions i.e. holidays, family get-togethers etc. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 110, which lasted for around six years before crapping out at a Gary Numan concert in Sheffield, back in 1979. Distraught at being 'cameraless', I purchased a Polaroid Instant camera. Film for it was expensive, but at least there were no processing costs. It was big, ugly and very noisy, but found its way to my side on many occasions.
Two years later, I was offered a second hand Zenit SLR for a few pounds. I saw this as a cheap ticket into the world of 'real' 35mm photography and snapped it up. Armed initially only with a 50mm Helios lens, the camera accompanied me on many walks and holidays before expiring during the summer of 1982. As anyone who began their true photographic interests with one of these early Russian leviathans will know, mastery of the art could only be gained by leaning and understanding basic photographic techniques, along with a fair amount of trial and error. The only other lens I purchased for the Zenit was of the 135mm focal length.
Following the Zenit's death, I came across the Olympus OM1n. It felt right in my hands, logically designed and solid. So, for the princely sum of £124 (I still have the original sales receipt!) I became the proud owner of the OM and a ubiquitous Zuiko 50mm f1.8 standard lens. This became my photographic workhorse for the next nine years. Toward the end of 1991, and after picking up various photographic assignments, I decided that it was time to add a new camera body and purchased the OM4Ti. Over the next 25 years, I steadily built a collection of Zuiko optics, some of which became life–long favorites. I also added a few more bodies, including the legendary OM3Ti. To this day, I love transparency film. I still believe there is nothing better than a well-exposed projected slide.
In 2005, I purchased an Olympus E-1 with 11-22mm and 50mm Digital Zuiko lenses. Following this, I acquired a Leica X1 that afforded me true portability with incredible image quality. The X1 was replaced with the Leica X Typ 113 which became my primary camera for a little over two years. Fuelled by interest in Ethan’s growing Pentax system, it was inevitable that I became restless for another interchangeable lens system camera. After a long evaluation process I decided to remain with Leica and brought into their TL system. Presently I am using the TL 35 and 60mm primes, along with a 11-23 zoom.
Apart from PhotoArk, I provide material for optical and computer brochures, image libraries, have featured in Amateur Photographer, Outdoor Photographer and other photographic magazines. I am also involved in product and staff portrait photography. However, my favorite achievement was to have a portrait of my son Ethan selected by Kodak, for 'picture of the day' on their website.