My interest in photography has been sporadic. I have had various burst of interest from a very early age, going as far back as remembering my Nonno (grandfather) looking through his very modern for its time Kodak. A man with which I share my love for gadgets, technology and a want to understand. He became fascinated with moving pictures and would always be hiding behind his cine camera directing all around him. This enthusiasm was carried on by his son and my father Peter Nardini who also enjoyed the role of director. My fathers passion though is art and is one of Scotlands leading artists.
My first memorable encounter with a 35mm film camera was one xmas when my sister 5 years my senior got a Praktica SLR which I just loved to hold. For a few years she flirted with it until she also realised her love lay in painting and the world of art. You can view her work here.
For me it was always the opposite, I liked art although I was always more technical, drawing out plans for my youthful ideas and seeing things more graphically than my sister and father. It was while studying art/design at secondary school that I got my chance to point in the direction of photography. For my O'Grade I was fortunate to have a teacher that could show me the basics both of the camera and in the dark room. I used these new skills to pass that year but for my Higher studies I was left to study on my own as Mr. McBride (my enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher) left for pastures new. I continued to work with the camera and loved to disappear into the school darkroom to explore the possibilities through mostly trial and error. My father then gave me my Nonno's old enlarger and managed to find some room in the garden shed to set up my own very basic darkroom. I love to look back at some of those old negatives I produced. This learn by myself method is one that has continued through every element of my progression in photography.
With my highers complete and now cut loose from the security of school it was time to do some serious studying or start working. I half heartedly applied for college/university courses ranging from textile engineering to photography to civil engineering as I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I had always been told that "What's for you, won't go by you!" This had a destructive effect on my direction, I got it into my head that I didn't need to try or push for anything because it would just happen if it was meant to. So when I got accepted for a Civil Engineering course I went along with it and hence the camera got put down and became less of an interest to me. Study was never for me, especially something I had little interest in so duly began to look for work while going through the motions of college. I applied for everything and anything including anything to do with photography. In fact I remember with embarrassment when I got an interview for a printing/photographers post at a small firm in Glasgow. I was asked to bring along my portfolio and to this day I cringe when I think what I took along. My naivety was blatant, when I took along my folder from school with bits and pieces thrown in. I had never been shown a photographers portfolio and I will always remember the interviewer saying "Is this your Portfolio????" and gave out a quiet but audible chuckle. It was a lesson in naivety and one that has stuck, I now research probably overly anything I want to try and do. I will give the man his due he continued with the interview and showed me around the work place which did give me experience for my future interviews.
After a year or so of applying and applying and applying for jobs I eventually got work in the local railway depot. That was now 21 years ago and yip I'm still there. Far from my first choice of career but a good one at that. In fact it was with this stability that allowed me to reengage with my real passion, photography. In my late twenties I decided technology was passing me by and I need to catch up. I got a PC and a cheap point and shoot digital camera. I got to know my way around the software and began to feel a love for images again. Moving up to a semi automatic digital while still doing some film work (although the darkroom was still off limits) I found myself taking the camera more places again, wanting to capture the world around me.
I was then time to invest, and my first overly researched buy was a Nikon D80 DSLR. The buzz and excitement of being able to see my images instantly where I could amend for any mistake was hugely gratifying. The mystery and wonder of the darkroom will never be replaced but this new technology was something I wanted to embrace with open arms.
So really this is where everything took off. For ten years now I have continued to learn, through reading, surfing the net and even the odd saturday college (I know, didn't think I'd be back there again) course to meet other photographers and learn from them and other basic techniques. It was at one of these courses I got to use studio lights for the first time, where I loved being in control of the light in the shot. I have invested in more equipment and tools over the years and continually learn knew ways of using them to enhance my work.
Now having a beautiful wife and young family my time is split but the camera still goes almost everywhere with me and my two gorgeous little girls love to be my centre of attention, both sides of the camera.
And so, this is where I am. Still learning but loving trying all sorts of techniques, subjects, styles as I progress through life looking out at the wonders that surround me everyday. This is what I want to do and this is what I will do as long as I am physically able to do so. No longer do I live under the assumption that "What's for you, won't go by you!"