To be honest I had little clue of how to operate the functions on my first DSLR camera when I bought it in the Spring of 2016. So my biggest challenge to overcome was lack of knowledge using the camera controls. I always had in my head what type of shot I wanted to take, but found all the technical aspects of the camera daunting. Never the less I was determined not to just use ‘auto’ mode when there was obviously so much more potential with this clever piece of kit.
I was recommended to ‘watch a guy called Mike Browne on Youtube’... I was instantly hooked and wanted to learn more. What I found great was Mike’s style of explaining things in an easy to understand way that wasn’t bogged down with technical terms. Sort of a friend who would help you along when you were up against a photographic brick wall.
After many (very) late nights watching Mike’s videos (and much to the bemusement of my partner) I started to gain more confidence. Eventually I plucked up the courage to enter a few shots into photo competitions held by local press and actually surprised myself by winning a few.
I also came runner up a few times which again led to seeing my images in print.
Here are some of my early images taken with initially a kit lens, then a 50mm prime.
I’ve been lucky enough to have some shots on the BBC website and more recently on the BBC local news TV program.
My inspiration comes from many contrasting places, since taking up photography it has opened my eyes to the world and I see things all together differently.
Sometimes the most ordinary of objects can look beautiful if looked at from an alternative point of view. I study a lot of other images on photo sharing sites to get stimulation from various styles and interpretations of the same subject, then wonder how I could do something new myself.
Personally, my best time for shooting photographs is usually after a few days of not getting out with my camera. I can then genuinely look forward to getting in the mood, being up early in the morning and driving to a location to capture a sunrise out in the fresh air. Sometimes it feels you’re the only person in the world.
To be honest I have never really had any bad advice in my short time taking photos, however the best advice I can pass on that I was given to begin with, was to just get out and take photos and not to beat myself up if I don't get great shots. Just keep going and most of all - enjoy it. I look forward to new videos uploaded by Mike on Youtube and always end up learning something unique from them.
I can’t recommend Mike’s videos enough as it’s a great way to learn photography and without them I feel certain I would have struggled to just learn the basics.
In the next few years my photography goal is to expand my knowledge even further, then build on that to create some interesting images that could then inspire others to progress in their own photography.