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Gavin James

Gavin James | Founder

Gavin’s fascination with photography goes back to the late 1970s, when he first persuaded his father to let him take a picture with the family Olympus Trip camera whilst on holiday in Devon. That photo of his Dad with his dog sparked a lifelong passion for capturing the world through the lens. Even at school, Gavin managed to pursue his interest in photography across the curriculum, using photography in his Biology A-level project to capture cell division seen through a microscope on black and white film. He spent much of his school career in the small darkroom, experimenting with film.

It was no surprise when Gavin decided to study for a degree in Photography, Film and Video at the University of Westminster. During his degree he discovered the world of digital photography, first learning to use Photoshop when it was released as version one in February 1990. Everything was shot on film, processed and then scanned into the Apple Mac computer for manipulation. He graduated with a 2/1 honours degree in 1993.

The majority of Gavin’s career has been as a photographer specialising in horse racing, working as official photographer for some of the most important racecourses in the country including Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Newbury and Sandown Park. He ran his own successful photographic company in that industry from 2002 until 2016. His work was published in brochures, magazines, newspapers and online across the globe. He sold many thousands of prints and digital images to clients ranging across the entire spectrum, from Her Majesty The Queen to a jockey’s family member or a happy winning punter.

During the final years of his work in horse racing, Gavin’s lifelong interest in astronomy started to push to the forefront. A prize cheque from a photography competition allowed him to purchase equipment suitable to start experimenting with astrophotography. This passion has developed and Gavin has published two books of his astronomy work along with being shortlisted for the renowned International Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in 2018.

Gavin has also experimented recently with aerial photography as a licensed commercial drone operator, completing various commissions in both still photography and video. His interest in the moving image has been borne out in a number of video productions that also use time lapse photography to great effect.

These days, Gavin can often be found at Marlborough College, where he is the part time Astronomy Assistant, either helping pupils at the College Observatory or in the classroom. He tutors courses in astronomy at the Marlborough College Summer School. Gavin is a key member of Marlborough.Photography, a group set up by himself and his colleagues from an idea that Bob Holman had to promote the enjoyment of photography by all. He is seldom without a camera of some sort in his hand or at a computer processing his latest shots in Lightroom and Photoshop.

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