Photography, for me, is all about personal expression and sharing how I see the natural world with others. While I try to create “technically correct” photographs; how they feel / the emotions they conjure is more important. I want you to look at my photos and imagine you are standing there.
It all started back in 2008 when I moved to the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England. I was regularly going out for long hikes or wild camping and wanted to share these microadventures and often new experiences with absent friends and family.
While I have always had some kind of camera since late-childhood, they were mere toys compared to what came next. I purchased a used Olympus DSLR after winning an auction on eBay and a couple of cheap lenses (very limited budget). Upon receipt, I unpacked the equipment, inspected it for any faults and quickly headed out, avidly clicking everything I saw on my walk. Some of the photos were OK, but that was more by luck than judgement! Clearly I had a learning curve ahead of me.
Over the next few months I invested in a few books, made lots of trips to the local library, and read as much as I could about the basic mechanics of photography and the rules of composition. I also began looking very closely at the work of professional photographers, their compositions, camera EXIF and the times of day they did their work. I then joined the Flickr photo community and started interacting with people who either liked my photos or shared similar interests. The latter resulted in a number of meet-ups where I and others shared their knowledge of the local area, a great way to find new places and make friends.
Within about 6 months I was getting publishers calling me up and asking to contribute my photographs in return for “attribution” in their publications (my name in print), no money of course but a chance to promote this stunning region and to get my photographs in front of a whole new audience! Fast forward many years and my photographs have since appeared in local newspapers, regional and national magazines, several books (not my own), in research papers and marketing collateral, and all over social media – it’s amazing how far and wide they have travelled!
I am no longer using the Olympus, it was a smashing camera but it didn’t withstand all the harsh punishment and the unforgiving Dartmoor weather. So after a brief fling with a Nikon D300 I made the switch to Canon and have been using their products since. Why Canon? Well the model I chose, the Canon EOS 7D, was built like a tank and fitted my large hands perfectly. There was also a thriving used lens and accessory market so I didn’t have to invest heavily in expensive extras (it’s not the cheapest of hobbies, but if you don’t mind looking past all the “bells and whistles” of the latest gear you can save a small fortune).
The majority of my photographs, at least the last 6 years, were shot in RAW format (no onboard camera adjustments but lots of very usable, hidden photo information). I post-process (edit) these RAW files in Adobe Lightroom and apply minimal tweaks in an attempt to preserve what I saw. The exception being my black and white photography which I keep tweaking until I am happy with the results.
Going forwards I find myself increasingly drawn towards equine photography (horses etc.) and possibly portraiture (people in natural environments), but more importantly I want to continue to build upon my nature photography.
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