I am a Scottish multimedia artist and writer, with a long career as a freelance journalist and photographer.
I have held staff and executive positions in the national print media. I write books on a variety of topics in both fiction and non-fiction. I am active as a writer, photographer, printmaker and publisher.
I graduated with Bachelor of Art with Honours from Edinburgh College of Art in 1983, majoring in sculpture and also pursuing life-drawing, printmaking and film-making.
After graduation I worked in film-making before returning to photography. Subsequently I worked for a number of national titles on staff and nearly all, as well as internationally, as a freelance. I was one of the launch crew for Scotland On Sunday, and became Picture Editor there.
During this time I also pursued Journalism Studies through Napier University in Edinburgh.
I graduated with a Master of Fine Art degree from Dundee University in 2011, where my practical area was photography and printmaking, especially photogravure.
My photographic work is in harmony with my artistic philosophy, which has always been that artists should deliver their work to a wider public. For decades, both as a photographer and Picture Editor, I presented the readers of the newspapers and magazines I worked for with the very best of photographic imagery. I counted my daily audience in millions and felt that this more than justified the constraints I had to work under.
As a result of this intense life as a photojournalist, I developed a theory of photography as an art of reflex and reflection.
Although I had written news and feature articles for many years, I began to write more intensely in the late 1990s and my first book, Poaching the River, was published in 2006. This was written in Doric Scots, and was a homage to my home and upbringing in Scotland.
The Hermary Project.
A major work which involved making photographic portraits of one woman, Marie-Madeleine Hermary, and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some 40 individuals. The work addressed my own relationship with my mother (who died in 2005) but in a wider sense the relationship of all families to their matriarch, and the nature of the close genetic and emotional bonds that exist within them, through the portrayal of their physical similarities.
Prior to this I undertook an in-depth study of my relationship to my wife through photographs, which I compiled into a stand-alone piece of
work, an exhibit and a book.
I am an artist, writer and media professional with a broad skill-set gained from a varied career. I am an internationally published photographer and writer. My core skills include both classical and digital photography, intaglio printmaking, writing and film-making.
I have a profound knowledge of photography both in terms of technique and in its application as an art. I am a master of silver-gelatin and also other techniques of photographic printmaking, including Salted Paper, Kallitype, Carbon, Gum and Cyanotype. I remain abreast with digital techniques.
In Printmaking I am well-versed in the intaglio techniques including etching, engraving, dry-point, photo-engraving and the variations on these. I have learned both traditional approaches using chemical mordants, and recent ‘non-toxic’ variations which depend on the application of polymers to the plates.
In recent years I have researched Photo-Gravure, which brings together photography and ink-based printmaking. This was the major practical element of my Master’s Degree. I studied under Dr Paul Thirkell, the foremost teacher of photogravure in the UK today, and Professor Elaine Shemilt.
I am familiar with both the classic technique using gelatine and copper plates, and the more modern variant which uses ‘solar plates”. These are commercially-available plates with a pre-sensitised polymer already applied, which use only water as a developer.
I am familiar with both water-based and ‘waterless’ lithography, a recent and very flexible variant.
I am very well versed in modern digital techniques, including PhotoShop and InDesign, which I use on a daily basis, and with large-format inkjet printers.
I have for many years directed workshops in photography and photographic printmaking. At my studio I have a large photographic laboratory, a printmaking studio with etching press, and a full digital suite. As a part of my Master’s Degree I took a module which certifies me as a teacher at University level.
I have always been concerned with the interaction of artist with audience through the practice of art.
I can teach the following either as workshops, as part of a more structured curriculum, or individually:
– Photography as an artist’s medium, to any level required, using digital, silver-gelatine and historic techniques. I address both the conceptual and technical aspects of these.
– Intaglio Printmaking, using both traditional processes and ‘non-toxic’ methods.
– Lithography using both traditional and ‘waterless’ techniques.
– Screen-Printing, wood-cutting etc.
– I can teach approaches and methods which allow artists to connect with the viewer, using photography, moving images, sound, and installations, both real and virtual.
– In terms of written studies, my principal areas are the history and development of Photography and Printmaking; the Renaissance and its cultural consequences; the ongoing influence of Goddess Culture. (This last was the subject of my Master’s Dissertation.)
2010-11 Dundee University Master of Fine Art
1985-86 Napier College, Edinburgh NCTJ stages 1 & 2
1980-83 Edinburgh College of Art BA Honours
1979-80 Exeter College of Art & Design Foundation Certificate
EMPLOYMENT AND CAREER
Freelance writer and photographer specialising in culture, travel, health, politics, the arts and media. Currently based in the Philippines and the UK but travel worldwide. Experienced copywriter and editor. Research projects in Human Sexuality and Transsexualism.
Founded and operated Rod Fleming Media, a media consultancy, photography and PR business with various high profile clients.
Living in France, where I was restoring my 16th Century village property. I supplied freelance photography and journalism to a number of UK titles, and completed a published novel, Poaching the River.
Founded and operated Scotscape Media, a successful photographic agency on the east coast of Scotland. It filled an important market niche and expanded to include written journalism, PR and design, and employed three staff.
Freelance Photographer. After leaving Scotland on Sunday I built up a successful photographic practice. I also continued to produce editorial and sports photography and to write.
I was invited to join Scotland on Sunday, a new launch quality broadsheet, as Photographer. Later I was promoted to Picture Editor, the youngest ever on a Scottish national newspaper. In this role I helped consolidate the status of the title as Scotland’s premier quality Sunday.
Freelance Photographer, working for a wide range of publications These included The Scotsman, The Herald, Daily Record and other daily and weekly titles as well as international titles such as Forbes’ Magazine, alongside PR and advertising clients.
Photographic Printer at The Scotsman, Edinburgh.
Video Production, Impact Offshore Ltd, Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire.
Sabbatical President, Edinburgh College of Art Student Representative Council.