Derek Forss commenced photography in 1959 with the purchase of an Agfa Silette camera, but it was not until 1976 that he obtained his first SLR film camera. He turned professional in 1979, now with a Hasselblad 500CM, to start his own Picture Library of Landscape & Architectural scenes of the British Isles. Today he has more than 100,000 images, half of which are digital taken using Olympus cameras, which are reproduced by major publishing houses in quality books and magazines. When it comes to picture-taking Derek is a traditionalist. Whilst he keeps abreast of modern developments, he does not regard digital imaging as a substitute for poor photography. On a shoot he usually keeps his camera equipment down to a minimum, particularly if it involves a shank’s pony over mountain and moorland!
With the generous support of Olympus Keymed he organises Digital Photography Holidays in collaboration with HF Holidays that have been featured on ITV; he also teaches photography at Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds. Derek has written articles for ‘Outdoor Photography’ magazine, ‘Amateur Photographer’ and ‘In Britain’. Autumn 2001 saw the publication by Countryside Books of ‘The Landscapes of Surrey’ (which has been reprinted twice), 2002 ‘Nottinghamshire: A Portrait in Colour’ and 2004 ‘Northamptonshire: The County in Colour’. He has also produced over a dozen books on a variety of landscape subjects using Blurb on-line publishing.
His lectures and audio visual shows have been presented nationwide, his latest a stunning new show ‘The Great British Landscape’, which charts in landscapes and architecture our history during the last 2,000 years. He is expert with PowerPoint, raising the software above the jibe of ‘Death by PowerPoint’ with his innovative productions by offering ‘Life after Death by PowerPoint’!
Music is his other passion and prior to becoming a photographer he worked for a major recording company in London for 15 years. His skills include the ability to read music, sing in a choir and to play the piano terribly! Therefore off duty he likes nothing more than a night at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and to get away from it all completely, much as he loves his own native Surrey, he concedes that there is no better place than the Lake District.