Hello world!

August 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello to everyone, and I hope that you like my photographs and website.

This being the first post to this blog, I thought that I'd spend some time explaining what my photography is about and what to expect from this blog.

I got my first "real" camera at the age of 15 or so.  A long time ago now!  It came with the standard lens (55mm), a 35mm wide angle, and a 135mm telephoto.   It used 35mm film and it wasn't long before I became dissatisfied with the results from the local automatic film labs.  I'd shoot a glorious sunset and the print came back an insipid pink.  If I was lucky.

And so on to monochrome, or black and white if you prefer.  I could develop this myself, but printing proved rather more difficult.  Every time I tried to print, someone would open the darkroom door or switch the light on.  I resorted to taking the light bulb out.

Films like Ilford Pan F, Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5 gave tremendous results.  But I also started to use positive (slide) film.  I learned immediately that there is little or no leeway when using this kind of film.  The finished slides are merely the film, cut into frames.  If you get the exposure wrong, there was nothing you could do.  And slide film was extremely exacting about exposures.

I suppose that what this taught me was the old fashioned truth about photography: a modicum of technical knowledge is required, in order to be able to fully use the camera and get the best from it.  You can get by without such knowledge, but you'll just make it harder to go that extra distance and get results where you wouldn't normally do so.

At the same time, all the technical knowledge in the world won't help if you don't learn to see things, and what's more, to see them in unusual ways. One thing I have learned is that the ordinary is often very beautiful, and that many people simply don't see it.

Whilst I also do landscapes, I also enjoy detail, such as a leaf over a river which reflects Autumn leaves.  Or the delicacy of spiders webs strung with early morning dew.

So often, when I'm out and about, I see walkers. Few carry cameras, despite the fact that cameras in general have never been more portable and convenient.  Many merely stampede past and quite often, they don't see what I'm looking at, and very often, they don't even see me or my dog. 

Such a waste of a walk!

This blog will be to show you new collections of photographs, and will also have lots of useful tricks and tips and ideas to encourage people to use their camera, understand a few technical facts which WILL help, and hopefully to help you develop your own way of seeing good photographs.

Because it starts with your eyes.  The camera is merely there to record what the eyes and mind can see. It's not rocket science and it's not all about equipment.  There's a (probably) apocryphal story about when famous American landscape photographer Ansel Adams met the writer Ernest Hemingway.  Hemingway remarked that Adams' photos were so great that he must have a very expensive and fancy camera.  Later, Adams remarked that Hemingway's books were so good, he must have a wonderful typewriter.

Or, as a friend of mine commented, when David Beckham scored a goal, no-one said "Wow, he must have really good boots".

You can buy expensive camera gear, but your eyes are far more important and cost nothing.  The trick is to learn to use them.  Come back here and I'll show you how.


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