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adambatterbee

Interview with Adam Batterbee

Interviews

31 October 2014

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Adam! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I’m a freelance travel photographer and rhythmatist. When I’m not off taking pictures, I can be found playing the drums, both of which I started doing at around 11 years old. I left school and went on to study photography at art college. However, I didn’t finish the course. After two years I dropped out thinking becoming a professional musician would be more fun. I was right.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AI’ve seen, and been involved in, far too many weird situations working and touring with bands over my years. One of the joys of the photographic side of my life is that it rarely gets weird behind a lens – not for me anyway. And I quite like it that way.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favorite set up?

AWith a few exceptions, it’s always been Nikon for me. The first ‘proper’ camera I had was my dad’s old manual Nikon that he gave me to learn on. I’ve stayed using their equipment ever since. FMs, FEs, F2s and my beautiful old beaten-up F3hp. My old 35mm film cameras used to have a life to them. I’ve never felt the same love for my DSLR cameras as I did for my old analogue friends. Currently I’m using D700s with battery grips. My one-stop, go-to lens for travel photography is the Nikkor 28-300mm. It’s far from fast glass, but it’s good quality. With that lens and a battery grip, it doesn’t run out of juice, and I can cover just about anything that crops up with the one lens rather than carrying around a full bag of gear (mine, a Lowepro Flipside 500 aw ) all day. Also I’m quite partial to shooting square-format images with an iPhone – possibly the best and most practical point-and-shoot camera in the world. I’m a huge fan of iphonography. I like the immediacy of shooting with the phone – it allows me to play around and overprocess images in a way I never would with 35mm stuff. I like my iphonography pimped. Most of my Picfair images were taken on iPhone.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AJust take pictures. Take lots of pictures. On whatever camera floats your boat. You have control over the picture, not the camera. I was a very late arrival to the digital party. However, one of the great joys of digital photography is, once you’ve got bought the camera, it costs nothing to take loads of images. I still love to shoot with film, but the cheapest digital camera is a great way to learn about light and composition and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg in film. And spend more time with your camera than your laptop. I always wanted to be a photographer, not a graphic artist. Lightroom is useful and Photoshop fun, but in my opinion, it’s relied on and used far too often. The joy and skill of photography for me are at the coalface, not in the office.

'My favourite pic I've uploaded is possibly the ‘handprint on frosty car’ image. It was one of the first iPhone shots I’d taken, using Instagram plus a filter. I was walking thr... Read more

'My favourite pic I've uploaded is possibly the ‘handprint on frosty car’ image. It was one of the first iPhone shots I’d taken, using Instagram plus a filter. I was walking through the car park of my local railway station. I took it because it reminded me of the cover of Peter Gabriel’s first solo album. If I took it again I’d leave it filterless and frameless.' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'A lucky shot. I was sitting in a little bar in Ravenna, Italy. My golden rule – never put your camera away in the bag till you get back to the hotel. And never, ever use a lens... Read more

'A lucky shot. I was sitting in a little bar in Ravenna, Italy. My golden rule – never put your camera away in the bag till you get back to the hotel. And never, ever use a lens cap!' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'I was playing with my band in Canada, and we spent the day sightseeing around Toronto. I’d seen a picture of the Gooderham building on an airport poster, so wanted to check it ... Read more

'I was playing with my band in Canada, and we spent the day sightseeing around Toronto. I’d seen a picture of the Gooderham building on an airport poster, so wanted to check it out. All I had on me was my iPhone. Although the building is a striking redbrick colour, and set against the forest of green and steel of the new buildings around it, I used a black and white Snapseed filter to get a low-res and grainy quality.' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'I was walking along a row of houses by the Pont de la Pierre in Bellac, France. I quite liked the colour of the shutters, so was taking a quick iPhone shot of the house. Just a... Read more

'I was walking along a row of houses by the Pont de la Pierre in Bellac, France. I quite liked the colour of the shutters, so was taking a quick iPhone shot of the house. Just as I did, the owner, an old lady, popped her head out of the window and said something to me I couldn’t understand. I though she was complaining that I was taking a picture of her house and shooing me away, but she was asking me to stay where I was while she called her dog. As soon as it popped up she smiled, waved and walked away. The dog promptly jumped up to the window, never once looking at me. Le poseur…' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'Taken on the beach at the UK seaside town of Minehead in Somerset while walking off a post-gig hangover. The kid in the Dalek costume was loudly throwing a strop for some reaso... Read more

'Taken on the beach at the UK seaside town of Minehead in Somerset while walking off a post-gig hangover. The kid in the Dalek costume was loudly throwing a strop for some reason, and his parents were having none of it. Mind you, I haven’t met nice Dalek yet.' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'I’d just arrived back to the UK on Eurostar, and was taking in some fresh air before heading into the depths of the London Underground and home. I liked the symmetry of the sta... Read more

'I’d just arrived back to the UK on Eurostar, and was taking in some fresh air before heading into the depths of the London Underground and home. I liked the symmetry of the staircase and was taking a quick shot when the guy walked into the frame. So I took this.' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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'Taken in my hometown while I was walking along the high street past a queue of cars waiting at the traffic lights. The dog was excitedly barking at people walking past. The min... Read more

'Taken in my hometown while I was walking along the high street past a queue of cars waiting at the traffic lights. The dog was excitedly barking at people walking past. The minute I pointed my phone, it stopped barking, held dead still, and just looked at me as the car drove away.' Read less

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Adam Batterbee

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