MY PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
I realised an interest in photography back in 2001 during a trip to New York along with my first digital camera. Looking back, I never really fully understood photography’s impact and importance on the world. I just snapped away endlessly taking photos, as a leisurely activity and not really knowing why.
I’m thankful to have visited some amazing places around the world including parts of Mexico, Morocco, Paris, San Francisco, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia and China. My art and design background helped me to find that sweet spot and capture landscapes, architecture, nature and much more. I was interested in lines, patterns, colours and texture and have a vast array of photos that I revisit regularly, which helps to reassess attention and direction.
My Diploma in Photography which I am studying towards has opened up many doors and ideas for my work, and has certainly heightened my technical awareness too, there is much to learn. My long term plan is to invest towards my kit and studio in the hope of creating a more diverse portfolio. There are endless possibilities!
My recent subject matter still includes landscapes, and the most striking place I have visited on home soil in my view, is the jaw dropping region of Snowdonia. It offers something new every time I visit with my family. I aim to capture its sheer scale and raw beauty, along with its dramatic environment. I’m looking out for raw and weathered surfaces, natural formations, even decayed rusty metal. These collections, juxtaposed against clean and polished surfaces, the polar extremes of natural and man-made structures, is an intriguing comparison of taste, originality, respect and tradition. In some way this fascination of mine has fused into portraiture with a more concentrated methodology for a novice in this area. I’m still learning the ropes, but with patience, practice and perseverance, I’ll be able to find a formula that agrees with my plans. I’m keen to maximise the use of our true friend ‘natural light’ which for me, offers the best solution for effective exposure (with a little help from a reflector).
I’m pleased to share my upcoming plans on how my portfolio will develop and diversify with upcoming designs and prints. Follow my blog to get more updates.
As I’m developing skills for the Diploma, I have to use what available equipment I have.
For indoor shoots, I would use black and white muslin cloths, and some indoor lighting options that don’t break the bank. So a couple of umbrella lights and softbox for flash lighting if required (although I rarely use this now).
I have found that natural light provides such an abundance of light and I can control this to some degree.
I use reflectors (black and white) to bounce light or create shadow. Black card (A4 - A1) is perfect for smaller compositions like flowers or products.
I only have 2 lenses at the moment (20-200mm and 50mm) and this is perfect for practice, the 50mm is ideal for my portraiture and a natural distance to work with.
Using remote (the ML-L3 Wireless Remote) prevents camera shake and I end up with crisp photos.
I’m interested in details but limited with my current lens. Macro will be the next step, particularly with nature photography, this is a must.
I always capture in raw format, and post-process using Adobe Lightroom (although I’m looking into using Capture One by the end of the year). I’ll continue to use Photoshop for retouching, this is a skill within itself and a good one to hold as you evaluate and edit your own images. I’ve also been taught to get the image right in camera, as this limits post-processing time. Details in hair, clothing, positioning, even minute hairs can be picked up in the shot! In the past I’ve had to clean up creases in clothing, and even remove cat hairs. :D
Another reason to use Capture One is to make use of tethering - directly connect my camera to my laptop for instant feedback. I think I will hugely benefit from this as I’ll be able to analyse my shots in detail and limit ‘continuous shooting’ - that’s not so healthy for my disk space!
THE FUTURE WITH FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
I have only scraped the surface with food photography, and I have to admit it’s not easy! Through studying and research using online tutorials, forums, discussions etc. I realised I would need a team of people to do what others do to an extremely high level (editorial/commercial). However, I found useful tips and advice from incredible photographers who do this for a living. I’ve also started to collect certain kitchen items that would look great in my photos - quircky forks and plates (charity shops, antique warehouses, junk shops are just a treasure trove for me - I adore these places)! Once I’ve established the foundation, I’ll be looking into this much further as I love shape, texture and colour and of course originality in food and this is an ideal subject to one day master.