Rather than write about myself in the third person and tell you I’m a leading landscape photographer (I’m not) that’s won several awards (I haven’t), I think I’ll just tell you who I am. I’m a mechanical engineer in my late twenties (edit for 2019, it’s early thirties now. Sad face.) who lives in Somerset in the south west of England. Landscape photography has been my hobby for around twelve years now, although I’ve only taken it seriously for the last few of those years. If you’ve already looked through my galleries, you will notice that not all of my photos are actually landscapes; there are cityscapes, animal photos, and other random things like spiral staircases and mushrooms. Whilst landscapes are by far my favourite type of subject, and the one I put the most time and energy into, I enjoy most forms of photography and am eager to try out new things.
Film and Digital
Growing up in the digital era meant that I never experienced film during it’s heyday, and my first proper camera was a digital SLR. I was introduced to film on a photography forum, and was intrigued from the start. If my life was expressed using a Venn Diagram, film cameras would be in the centre, overlapping between the “engineer” and “photographer” parts of me. I’m not going to pick sides in the eternal “Film vs Digital” debate, because both have their place and my choice depends on the subject I’m going to shoot that day. Most of my serious landscape photos are taken on digital because it allows me to review images as they are taken and adjust any issues accordingly, and I’m able to get high quality photographs quickly. Film allows me to slow down and take my time, because each click of the shutter costs money. By using film, it trains my brain to make sure that every single aspect of a photo, exposure, composition, highlight clipping, focus etc, are all spot on and perfect before I press the shutter, because you have to pay to develop the bad photos as well as the good. In all honesty, I actually just like using fully mechanical clunky cameras too; it’s much more involved than digital some times, and there is simply no better way of composing a photo than by looking down on the ground glass.
Some of my biggest inspirations and favourite photographers are Thomas Heaton and Ben Horne. These two photographers could not be more different. Two different photographers from different parts of the world, using different equipment and different techniques. Thomas is a digital landscape photographer who spends a lot of time in northern England and Scotland, and uses the fantastic golden light in early morning and late evening to capture some of the UK’s best views. Ben is a large format film photographer from the US, who uses an 8x10 field camera to capture incredible fine art images from the US national parks. If you have not heard of either of these then I recommend you check them out!
Fuji X-T2 with 18-55, 23 f/2 and 10-24 lenses.
Canon EOS 5DmkII with EF 24-70L, Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 and Sigma 105 macro.
Voigtlander Bessa R3A with 40 f/1.4 Nokton
Medium format film:
Hasselblad 500cm with 80 f/2.8, 150 f/4 and ext tubes.
Mamiya RB67 with 55 f/4.5 and 127 f/3.8
Bronica ETRS with 75 f/2.8, 150 f/3.5
Large format film:
Nagaoka 4x5 field camera with 90 f/8 Super Angulon and 150 f/5.6 Rodenstock Sironar
Black and white: Ilford FP4+ and Kodak Tri-X 400
Colour negative: Kodak Portra 160 & 400
Slide: Fuji Provia 100F