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.