Ok, time for something a little diverted from the field of design, but it is something which I enjoy doing very much, I can spend many an hour doing this and not get bored. What is it? Photography.
Ever since I was very small, I enjoyed playing with camera’s and taking pictures. Some of my earliest memories of using a camera was was using Dad’s Olympus OM10 film SLR camera (which incidentally he still has and is contemplating giving it to me sometime). Getting my first camera was a great moment too, albeit it was effectively a point and shoot camera when I was about 6, and it was used until I was almost 10. After that when I needed one it was just a disposable one until the time came for the first digital camera. This was a major turning point because I could take pictures of everything and everyone and not have to wait until they were developed to see them. It was great. A couple of compact cameras later, growing in price and functionality, I decided in April this year to bite the bullet and get my first DSLR. After many weeks of thought, I went out there to the shops, still without the faintest idea of what one I was wanting to buy. The shop we went to was the same one in which my dad had bought his first proper camera about 30 years before, so I was very excited and he was quite nostalgic.
Having tried many different cameras, Canon’s, Nikon’s, Pentax’s etc, I settled on Sony, mainly because it fitted in my hands well and it had a good weight to it. Camera purists would say I was an idiot for going for a Sony because they are ‘new’ to the field, but in fact they did buy out Konica Minolta’s camera operations a few years before so the quality and functionality of them was right up there from the start. Also, due to picking Sony, I have been informed that they will be the company of choice for my camera and camera needs for essentially the rest of my life. Not a problem for me as I quite like Sony, having had many of their products over the years from a number of walkmans (cassette and CD), a Playstation (1, 2 and 3), a television or two, and a fantastic pair of earphones (though not as good as my newly purchased B&O’s)
Along with the camera and the standard 18-55mm lens, I got a 55-270mm lens and a carrying bag. Awesome!
Since this most recent purchase I do feel as though my photography has come on leaps and bounds because I am more free with the settings of the camera, am able to do what I want to do with it more. With the compact camera’s before it, I was pushing to the limit and in many cases beyond. Just now, I am only using probably about 30-40%, and I can’t wait to see what my photo’s are like when I am using the camera at 110%. In the 7 or 8 months since I bought the camera, I have taken about 10,000 photographs, some good, some pretty shoddy. But my love affair with the camera and the act of photography is growing and growing, and my ideas are becoming more and more ambitious.
Some of my favourite kinds of photographs are panorama’s and light trails. Panorama’s because they require either the use of a tripod, or the ability to swivel very steadily whilst holding the camera making sure it is not moved vertically or angularly from the previous position. The overall result is usually phenomenal even without post processing. Light trails are something which are great fun to do, and something I have only been able to achieve since purchasing the DSLR, the only problem is that it would be so much easier if I had an external shutter control so I could take pictures on the bulb setting, but this is on my purchase list along with a polarising filter. My favourite light trails photograph has to be from July when I was on holiday in Uist, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the camera was set up on the tripod and I was standing in my room with the velux window wide open, cold air pouring in the window waiting for cars to pass, and because it was 11 o’clock at night, on an island 70 miles long and only with a population of circa 4000, they didn’t pass too often. I had to make do with talking to a friend on msn on my iPhone to pass the time, which did make the arduous task of this much more enjoyable.
If you would like to see some of my work please visit my flickr photostream or my DeviantART where I upload some of my better pieces of work, also all the photographs used to illustrate posts here have been taken by myself, except for the one of the Eigenharp.
Some examples and a small description of each.
1. My most recent shot, taken today (31st October 2009), playing around with long shutter speeds.
2. Coming back from the Mcrae Forest Stages, thought it looked good in the mirror so I took a picture.
3. On holiday, playing with long shutter speeds with cars going across the causeway between Grimsay and North Uist.
4. Panorama of Dundee taken from the Law. Taken in December 2008 with my Fujifilm F480.
5. Probably my favourite photo I have taken. My sister’s hamster in the grass at home in the garden.