An image blog by Tony Richards

Life after Uni …

I’d always been interested in photography but never actually got around to doing anything about it.
As a late starter I decided to study Contemporary Photographic Practice at UNN. What an eye opener that was, not only to photography but to academia itself.
After graduating 3 long years later I became a photographer, whether that meant I was any good or not remained to be seen, but I had letters after my name and I wasn’t afraid to use them.

10 years later…

Having worked as a photographer for the past 10 years I can honestly say I haven’t really taken any images for my own personal use.
How can that be I hear you ask? Don’t get me wrong, I keep up to date with current methods and technologies for my professional photography. Its just if I’m doing it all day at work, I tend not to do it in my own free time.

I dabbled a little with HDR and other digital techniques but it really wasn’t doing anything for me, so I started to shoot film again (but only briefly), which in turn led me to look further at other historic photographic processes.

I now shoot wet plate collodion ambrotypes/tintypes. What a refreshing discovery. It brings back that first “magic” one feels when processing and printing their first roll of film. Now I have this refound passion in what first got me started in photography. The smell of chemistry, the glow of a safe light, the anticipation, the success and the failure….so here we are, back in the darkroom. Full circle.

About time I set up some sort of photoblog. Had a go at html, flash, pixelpost etc but have now settled on this WordPress theme called Autofocus. The blog and the images are a work in progress. The blog will change as I figure out how the software/code works.

So hopefully this will be updated quite often but we’ll have to see what develops…………see what I did there?

2018 -2022

Has it really been 8 years since I started this blog and website? And 18 years since Uni?

Its been a busy few years. I still have a small studio in an old mill in Ancoats, Manchester. I’m still very much shooting wet plate when I can find time. Highlights over the past few years have been John Coffers Jamboree, The European Collodion Weekends, The UK Wet Plate weekends, Phoenix festival and a number of very interesting TV and Movie jobs.

This year I would like to concentrate on streamlining my workflows, selecting certain printing processes including photopolymer gravure, and getting my historic collection fully online with metadata.


After a 150% hike in studio rent I had to give notice on my Manchester studio in December 2022. I put everything into storage and started to review my options. Luckily a space became available at Spinners Mill in Leigh. I am currently in the process of converting the 1000 sq ft space into a studio and darkroom.
Updated workshop information will follow in the coming weeks…

Please feel free to contact me about anything of interest.

My main website www.fourtoes.co.uk

My Blog www.fourtoes.co.uk/iblog

My historic collection will be at collection.fourtoes.co.uk