Highton-Ridley fine art photography - images available as mounted  prints, on canvas, gifts and cards - page updated 4 March 2017

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...for the discerning lover of fine art photography


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Getting the most out of your visit...

We each have different points of view, and where we are in life affects how we 'see' imagery.

I hope that wherever life finds you, you are able to enjoy more than a moment's contemplation in any of the work here that intrigues you.

..and if you like a puzzle, I try to make recognisable comment at many levels, so keep on your toes! 



thumbnail of When The Salt Wind BlowsI was born and raised in the Scottish borders and Edinburgh before moving to Plymouth in 1970, aged 11. My interest in photography first took hold as a teenager and after 30 years pursuing other avenues of creativity in my business life, I again seriously picked up my camera.


My first experiences with cameras were at school, where I tried and enjoyed bw photography and made good use of their darkroom. As for my studies, I had an equal aptitude for both science and art but ended up going down the business route in my career. I'd pick up my camera again from time to time - I've owned a couple of Zeniths and a Praktica at various times - still getting a lot of enjoyment from both the taking and in the results.


But only with the onset of digital cameras could I get serious again - no messy chemicals and much more control than in the wet darkroom ..and the ability to dive in and out as my busy lifestyle allowed, I took to it like a duck to water... I could get the sorts of end result I was after that were beyond my wet-darkroom skills back when I was a teenager, messing with 35mm film, enlargers and developing baths.


In 2007 some friends in the local art community encouraged me to go public and, after having some work published in print magazines, I've been displaying with good success in local galleries.


The BBC took enough interest in a photo essay I did on urban decay, lost spaces and industrial ugliness, to feature an article about it on their web site. "His fascination with the black and white genre, interest in perspective and strong lines in his photos, truly shows Plymouth in a striking and arresting light". As a result of this, they recently commissioned an essay from me, "Plymouth - Intimate glimpses of hidden and changing character" (now set to music).


At the beginning of 2010 I made my work available online via my Zazzle shop on posters, cards and gifts and they have been selling well. Zazzle is an internationally recognised and respected print-on-demand supplier with a customer satisfaction and returns policy second to none.

Each of my designs there can be purchased as-is or personalized with a loved one's name or other text.

Desiderata on "I have Time" is my most popular seller - check for it in the slideshow below. It's a great bedroom wall poster for teenagers with angst, and good for adults, too :)


Fetching ...won't be a tick!

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Inspirational guidance

The full Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Go placidly amidst the noise and haste...

This poem has inspired young adults who are coming of age since the 1920's and is as popular today as it ever was. It has been given as a gift by loving parents, grandparents, godparents and aunts and uncles as essential life-wisdom ever since it was written.

They've found it to be one of the few ways for such wisdom to get past those raging hormones and support the upcoming generation through their rebellious years and beyond!


Artist's Statement

There's something raw about well-executed black and white photography that has always reached in and touched me deeply. Colour is all fine and dandy - some shots take my breath away in their appeal to my higher senses. But it takes b&w to pluck at my more basic, primaeval instincts. I think it's that connection which attracts me to this genre.


Light/line, tone/texture, pattern/perspective and structure/abstraction; when I see them in everyday scenes and objects, all it takes is the right convergence, the right viewpoint... there's beauty to be found in the most unexpected of places.


About my work

I'm told my photography shows a keen eye and incisive observation and that I find and reveal powerful imagery in the everyday and the mundane. I hope so, and invite you to reassess the familiar with fresh eyes and listen to the story I'm trying to tell.

And on the darker side, if I can occasionally draw you into an exploration of the cold, clinical, and bleak.. ..then I've achieved my aim.

Current and previous galleries where I've displayed

Some achievements

  • A fine art photo in black and white of the curve of a pony's neckRoland Levinsky Building used as the cover shot for the January 2012 Plymouth Magazine ...

  • A fine art photo in black and white of the curve of a pony's neckBarbican By Night used as the cover shot for the November 2011 Plymouth Magazine ...

  • Black and White Spider Awards Nominee Button
    Haystacks and TrackHaystacks and Tracks reached Nominee status, one step before Winner, in the 5th Annual Spider B&W Awards, 2009/2010, Nature category.

  • A fine art photo in black and white of the curve of a pony's neckCurve Of The Neck selected and published by the BBC in Oct 09, on their In Pictures blog with the theme Minimal. This shot of Benjy was taken at the Miniature Pony Centre on Dartmoor. All foals are presently named after Tors on Dartmoor - until they run out of Tors...
  • A fine art photo in black and white of a the seafront at Felixstowe, pebble beach, a couple and beach hutsA fine art photo in black and white of a lone haystack sitting on razed fields with tracks left by a tractor
    Walking The Dogs and Haystack And Tracks have both been shortlisted for potential selection by the Editors in this year's Photographer of the Year competition.
  • My photo essay Plymouth—Intimate glimpses of a changing character was commissioned by the BBC and used in the relaunch of their Devon web site in September 09. It made lead story! See my essay on the BBC Devon site. If you like, see it set to music on Youtube by my good friend, thereminist Gordon Charlton (Beat Frequency).
  • A fine art photo in black and white of a boy splashing in winter waves on Felixstowe beachCaught by the surf selected and published by the BBC in Aug 09, on their In Pictures blog with the theme Dance. The shot was taken in Winter on Felixstowe seafront.
  • A fine art photo in black and white of abandoned boats decaying in a muddy creekRotting Boat Carcasses selected and published by the BBC in July 09, also on their In Pictures blog, this time with the theme Time.
  • Urban Ugly March 2008: The BBC featured me and my photo essay on neglected and derelict spaces of Plymouth. See it here...
  • thumbnail of Rectilinear MosaicsRectilinear Mosaics earned me a place in the Hotshots section when it was published in the October 07 issue of Digital Camera Magazine. It's a hot of the archiecture of a building in Arundel Street, close to Temple tube station, London.
  • Warner Holidays used some of my images of bowlers in a tv / cinema advert.
  • thumbnail of minimalist snowy street scene in black and whiteOne, Two, Three - Snow! - although not a finalist, it was an editor's choice in the Photographer Of The Year competition 2007, Digital Camera Magazine.
  • A piece about my Parkart exhibition appeared in What's On South West magazine.

Contemporary Photographic Influences


Influences beyond photography

  • Martin Bush contemporary abstract painter.
  • Kizzy Colins contemporary artist, whom I thank for drawing my attention to the potential for art in the meanest urban spaces.
  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, a book by Douglas R Hofstadter.
  • Nicolas Ridley, one of my ancestors - well he must have been an influence somewhere along the (gene) line!

Links to other great photography and photographers

  • Lorri Freedman As well as having a fine portfolio, Lorri also  blogs on photography and Photoshop tips and tricks.
  • Melissa Ayr, abstract artist
    Melissa Ayr is an international expressionist abstract artist. Her art is on the cutting edge of color with bold flowing blends of light and dark. Her style is colorful, vibrant and full of texture. She incorporates high energy, fluidity, growth and life.
  • PixiPort Fineart Photography Gallery
    A site devoted to the promotion and inspiration of photo artists, writers and photojournalists.
    For almost a decade, Pixiport has showcased artists and connected them to collectors, licensers, and the world.
    Art and advertisers are reviewed and selected through evaluation.
  • Evan Jacobs
    Evan's work is stunning and evocative. I was particularly impressed by his people gallery and anyone interested in this type of photography should see his work and take note. The accompanying music is a real treat, too!
  • Guy J Brown
    Guy is a master of muted high dynamic range colour and produces fine monochrome images across a number of genres.
  • Darkness and Light
    Black and white pictures of London, Oxford, Cambridge and the Lake District - atmospheric sepia and black/white photographs of England by Derek Langley.
  • Ian Woolcock Photography
    Landscape photography from Cornwall and further afield by Ian Woolcock.
  • tony cobley photography
    Tony's a local professional photographer based in Ivybridge, offering services which include commercial and wedding photography, stock images of the Westcountry and photography workshops / camera tuition.
  • Rob Barron
    Rob is a fully-qualified professional teacher and photographer of 40 years experience. An accredited Adobe Photoshop tutor, Rob regularly teaches individuals and groups.
  • Devon Photography
    Andy's site features photography from various locations in Devon along with a few out of county images and some macro and floral work.
  • Didgi Widgi
    An online urban canvas art and urban photography gallery featuring contemporary abstract art, black & white and pop art.
  • Devonscenes Photography
    Malcolm's landscape photos include the South Devon coast between Dartmouth and Burgh Island, seascapes and other scenes of Devon including Dartmoor.

Local links

Well, I live in Plymouth, Devon and thought you might be interested in some of the great sites about this historic coastal city with a huge naval tradition.
  • Mayflower Steps - Plymouth Past and Present
    All about Plymouth, covering a little of The Blitz and a lot about the  Pilgrim Fathers, their voyage in the good ship Mayflower and their first years in Plimouth Plantation.

Suppliers I use

There's no better recommendaton for a supplier than one from a customer...
  • Great Art
    A huge range of quality art material from this UK supplier.
  • Cotswold Mounts
    Photo and picture mount manufacurer—I get all my mounts/matts, backing board and bags here.
  • On-line Paper
    The name says it all. This is where I buy the fine art photorag paper I use for all my hand-printing. (The secret is in the paper!!)


Here are some of the nice things people have been saying about my work:


Urban decay, hidden spaces and industrial ugliness

His fascination with the black and white genre, interest in perspective and strong lines in his photos, truly shows Plymouth in a striking and arresting light.

Marilyn Whiteley...

Quayside Moorings:
A wonderful portfolio! I especially like the "pattern" and the "texture" shots.

In this one there's not only the texture but the strong composition. It's taken by a master of monochrome, but I think the bit of colour adds to it.


Fruiting Wild Oat:
Beautifully simple and complex. The background is exquisite.



all images copyright 1989 - 2012 Highton-Ridley.co.uk