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John Henshall is awarded Honorary Degree - UK’s outspoken ‘digital heretic’ (or prophet) is awarded Master of Arts Honorary Degree.
Oxfordshire-based Henshall, a former British Institute of Professional Photography President, who has Fellowships with five key photo-bodies, was the first photographer consultant in the UK to predict that the use of the ‘pixel’ would ultimately lead to the decline of the photo-chemical industry.
Often courting controversy, and even hostility, in the media and at exhibitions and conferences worldwide for his evangelical approach to the evolution of digital imaging, Henshall was dubbed either ‘heretic’ or ‘prophet’ by a rapidly changing photographic industry through the Nineties.
He founded Electronic Photo-Imaging (the EPI-Centre) as an independent consultancy in the art and science of digital imaging in 1993 and was frequently hired, through digital imaging’s fledgling years, by key global imaging companies – often working alongside keynote speakers and major influencers like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple’s Steve Jobs.
Said Henshall, who trained as a BBC cameramen and worked extensively as Director of Photography on programmes such as ‘Spitting Image’: “This is a wonderful and completely unexpected honour for me. It’s true that some of my press articles and seminar topics met with scepticism and opposition in some quarters of the photographic industry but I was simply arguing the case that digital was not a threat but an opportunity for all of us in the industry.”
Tony Eatough, former European Head of Kodak Professional who engaged Henshall as a consultant and advisor throughout the emergent digital imaging years, said: “John has been a key influencer with research and development centres for several of the companies that pioneered the digital photography revolution.
And still today he continues to provide specialist knowledge and great vision to photographers, laboratories and organisations worldwide with his unique style and compelling delivery.
He is never afraid to speak his mind and has earned global respect and recognition for his counsel and experience.”
Brian Whitehead, senior lecturer at the University for Creative Arts, added: “As a digital imaging evangelist John fuelled important dialogue during the monumental shift from analogue to digital photography. His passion and outspoken views on the subject have both informed and encouraged opinions for over two decades. He is an international authority on his subject.”
Henshall has recently returned from Korea and China after fulfilling research commissions with companies specialising in the development of digital camera firmware.