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I spent the first decade of my working life in engineering. I completed a four-year apprenticeship at GEC Turbine Generators in Trafford Park and stayed with the company a further two years as an electrical and instrumentation draughtsman. I then moved to BNFL at Risley for a contract position as a control and instrumentation designer and was later promoted to assistant engineer before the contract finished in 1991.
In 1992 I founded a retail business called Finch Decorating Supplies (later shortened to Finchdecor), supplying both trade and DIY customers with paints, wallcoverings and sundries.
At first, I ran the business by myself, but as turnover grew, I employed various family members and was later joined by my wife, Gillian.
My responsibilities included business developments and training which involved implementing all IT, stock control, invoicing, credit control and accounting systems. I also enjoyed using vector graphics to design advertising leaflets, point-of-sale signage and writing the monthly trade news letter.
As fashions changed, we became a paint colour mixing specialist. As part of this, I developed a unique colour consultancy service and produced promotional and educational copy, both as printed hand-out pamphlets and in further detailed sections at the business website. My experienced understanding of the paint colour tinting systems enabled the production of bespoke colour matches to customers' samples (not just to the closest indexed colour like the big stores) with incremental adjustment to reduce metamerism and colour constancy light source issues.
In the summer of 2006, during the decorating industry's decline and preceding that of the housing market, Gill and I decided to close the business and liquidate our assets. The sale of the building was completed in January 2007.
At first, after closing the shop, I offered a plethora of IT and accounting support services in order to capitalise on the breadth of my experience. Later, I specialised in tutoring W3C standards-compliant website design - as well as photography, of course.
From 2012 onwards, I have specialised in sharing my evolved knowledge of digital photography by tutoring clients in their homes, offices and other pre-arranged locations, as well as writing tutorials and articles for this website.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching photography and helping clients to become more proficient photographers. I also enjoy learning about new products and researching fellow photographers' thoughts.
As part of all this, my wife and I take regular caravanning trips to various countryside locations in the north of England where I pursue my "observational" landscape photography from the footpaths, lakesides, towns and villages.
As of February 2019, I work weekdays as an electrical technician at UPS-Trader in Warrington. It's a great job with lots of variety, and I love it!
I now teach photography mostly at weekends.
If you know me from "back in the day", please leave a message in the comments section below.