Having studied fine art in Yorkshire Syd began his photography practice in the early 1970s, following a move to Australia. In Sydney, he worked as a freelance photojournalist for newspapers such as Nation Review, The Age and Digger. In 1975 he had a solo exhibition of his photographs, WorkingClass Heroes at the Sydney Film-makers Cooperative. In 1976, Syd returned to London and he established the design and photography partnership ‘Hot Pink Heart/Red Wedge Graphics’ which evolved into the current agency ‘Graphicsi’. Syd become one of the key activists in the movement Rock against Racism. He was the photographer and one of the designers of the Rock Against Racism magazine Temporary Hoarding which was published between 1976 to 1981.
During the 1980s, as well as producing photographs for the music press, and graphics for the public and private sector, Syd co-edited, and was art director of, a series of photographic books that includes the award winning Day in the Life of London, and Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation.
His work has been widely published and is in numerous collections including The V&A, Photographers’ Gallery, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Erick Frank Fine Art, Rock Archive and Autograph.
Syd’s photographs from the 1970s were featured in the exhibition A Riot of Our Own at Chelsea Space in 2008 and in 2012 in Croatia as a part of the International Biennale organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art Istria.