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AndyWalker

Interview with Andy Walker

Interviews

30 September 2016

Posted by Anna Fraser

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

I live in Manchester, England, and I am a retired police officer who decided to take an A Level in photography aged 46! As a complete amateur photographer, I enjoy travelling and trying to capture some memorable images of the places and people I encounter.

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

AIt was in India. My wife and I had gone to watch the Ganga Arati ceremony in Haridwar. Before it started I was wandering around the periphery, taking a few shots, when I became aware of three, very poor looking, small girls hovering shyly whilst watching me. It was clear they wanted me to take a photo of them. Although they didn't speak English they understood that I would take a photo of them and crouched down with expressions of excitement and happiness. As I was looking through the view finder and getting ready to press the shutter, the whole scene changed. Some sort of security guard came behind the girls and violently jabbed one of them in the back of her neck with his long wooden baton. She screamed in pain and whilst I remonstrated with the guard the girls ran off. I went after the girls and found them a short distance away and offered to take their photo again. Their smiles returned and the photo was taken. When I showed them their picture, on the back of the camera, their excitement was unmistakable and I suspected they had never had their photo taken before. The weird thing was, when the girls had gone and I scrolled back to the photo and then the frame before, I saw that I had actually pressed the shutter and I was looking at an image (a bit shaky) showing the instant the baton struck the girl and her face contorted in pain. I have never ever taken two consecutive shots that tell such contrasting stories. The second one taking all agony away from the first.

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

AI shoot on a Canon 7D and use Canon 15-85, 75 - 300 and a 100 macro (which I must get into using much more) lenses. 99% of the time I prefer to use only whatever natural light is available.

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

AConstantly look at the work of other photographers, both famous and the not yet famous, and then aspire to inspire.

My favourite pictures are the ones with people in. I have been torn between two of them, 'Wheel Men' and the one I have ultimately gone for, 'The Thin Red Line'. Why this one? R... Read more

My favourite pictures are the ones with people in. I have been torn between two of them, 'Wheel Men' and the one I have ultimately gone for, 'The Thin Red Line'. Why this one? Really because of the humorous element, all cops need a sense of humour. I was with my wife, having a drink in a coffee shop in Manchester on the day there was an anti war demonstration in 2006. Along came this group of police officers who lined up in front of the window, underneath a banner. Being curious as to what the banner was, I went outside with my camera and I nearly burst out laughing. Instead I took the photo which won me a prize in a national competition and an article in the Manchester Evening News. When I joined the cops one of the first things I was taught was, 'Always watch where you stand'! Read less

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Andy Walker

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Taken a few years ago in the old part of Havana where there are political slogans painted on many of the walls. The city has a great vibrancy about it and I felt this slogan rep... Read more

Taken a few years ago in the old part of Havana where there are political slogans painted on many of the walls. The city has a great vibrancy about it and I felt this slogan represented that. I was lucky with the local woman walking past, whose appearance I felt emphasised that vibrancy. Read less

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Andy Walker

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Taken in a small fishing village in Myanmar. The street is lined with these stalls selling dried fish. The colours, shapes and textures were incredible (as was the odour). I lik... Read more

Taken in a small fishing village in Myanmar. The street is lined with these stalls selling dried fish. The colours, shapes and textures were incredible (as was the odour). I liked this stall because the stall holder was in the midst of his stock and had clearly become oblivious to the smell. I was left wondering how long it actually took them to sell all the fish. Read less

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Andy Walker

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Another one from the trip to Cuba. This is Wilky, a very distinguished character I met in Havana. He was one of those people you just have to photograph, and he was happy to obl... Read more

Another one from the trip to Cuba. This is Wilky, a very distinguished character I met in Havana. He was one of those people you just have to photograph, and he was happy to oblige. I went for a slightly lower angle to emphasise his commanding appearance and those magnificent whiskers. Read less

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Andy Walker

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This is outside a butcher's shop in Marrakesh. I saw the cats clearly plucking up the courage to carry out the raid, they kept looking at each other and then up at the tripe. I ... Read more

This is outside a butcher's shop in Marrakesh. I saw the cats clearly plucking up the courage to carry out the raid, they kept looking at each other and then up at the tripe. I waited to see if I might catch them jumping up but sadly someone came to the stall and the cats ran off. Read less

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Andy Walker

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I saw this modern day citizen performing stunts on his BMX bike in Heroes' Square in Budapest. What I liked about this was that he was performing in front of an audience of stat... Read more

I saw this modern day citizen performing stunts on his BMX bike in Heroes' Square in Budapest. What I liked about this was that he was performing in front of an audience of statues of historical heroes, one of whom was looking down from the two wheels he had performed his heroics on. Read less

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Andy Walker

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My oldest picture on Picfair, scanned from a film negative. Taken on a beach in the Algarve, Portugal. Late in the day the rows of empty colourful sunbeds contrasting well with ... Read more

My oldest picture on Picfair, scanned from a film negative. Taken on a beach in the Algarve, Portugal. Late in the day the rows of empty colourful sunbeds contrasting well with the sand caught my eye. Then I noticed the attendant, clearly waiting for the last few stragglers on the beds to go home. The picture's composition dictated only having him in the shot. Read less

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Andy Walker

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