This is me. One of these days I’ll get somebody to take a decent photo but for now this passport mugshot will have to do. I’m a developer in my 30s working in public sector IT. Like almost every other developer I know, I’m into photography (the correlation makes sense; both are creative and individualistic disciplines that require technical skill, precision and patience).
I haven’t always been interested in photography. My mother worked her college years as an assistant in a photographic studio and took an exhausting number of photos of us kids as we were growing up, but the whole business of film photography didn’t rub off on me in the slightest. I bought a digital point-and-shoot in 2001 when the medium was still very much in it’s infancy, but it wasn’t until 2006 that I took an interest in creative photography and bought my first SLR – an Olympus E-510. I chose it because it had LiveView – a rarity in those days – and I thought that was the only sensible way of taking photos since it was the only way I ever had. I had it in my head that I couldn’t wink properly and therefore couldn’t use a viewfinder (of course within a week I discovered that I actually can wink, and LiveView was relegated to those occasions where you need to hold your camera on the floor or above your head).
Today I use an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and a complement of micro 4/3 lenses. I got tired of lugging around a giant SLR and a 10lb bag of glass – now I can fit all lenses I need plus the camera and a flash in a small shoulder bag. My enthusiasm for photography waxes and wanes, and a heavy bag does nothing to help motivate you go to out and take photos.
I started this blog in December 2013 partly to reignite my enthusiasm for photography, which didn’t work. I did a lot of private portraiture in 2014 including three weddings, but not so much general interest photography or the blogging. Hopefully I’ll get back into the habit of doing both. My first niece was born in January and I’ve been taking pictures of her non-stop.
Last year I forced myself to get at least semi-competent using a flash after years of thinking it wasn’t a skill worth learning. I was wrong. Taking control of the light is one of the most important skills a photographer can learn and I put it off for way too long. I have a way to go with it yet, but already I am routinely using multiple off-camera flashes in my compositions.
I used to think I preferred photographing things to people but actually I like photographing people just fine, provided they want to be photographed. Most of my friends and family don’t particularly like being photographed an I’m not comfortable photographing randoms on the street, so I don’t get all that many opportunities to photograph people, but the more portraiture I do, the more I enjoy it.
Other than portraiture, I particularly enjoy nature photography: macro shots of flowers and insects and the like. I love landscape and cityscape stuff too, and I need to create opportunities to do more of it. I’m an infrequently attending member of the London Flickr Meetups group. They’re a great bunch so if you’re in the London area and want to do some photography at interesting places but don’t know anyone to go with you, consider joining them for a trip or two. It’s an ongoing to be a resolution of mine to do more of those trips.