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willlesphoto

Interview with Bill Leslie

Interviews

13 January 2017

Posted by Sally Hart

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

My interest in photography stems from a lifelong love of film, which I went on to study. I would describe myself as a hobbyist and an opportunist photographer who likes to travel light and shoot from the hip; I’m interested in the choices we make as photographers and the emotions we try to capture.

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

AThe situation is not necessarily weird but it is certainly memorable. For many years I had longed to visit Iceland, and to take advantage of some of the amazing photographic opportunities it offers. As a birthday treat we booked a short break, and set off to see the sights. Top of my list was the black sandy beach at Vik. This was officially the first day of the Icelandic winter and true to form it snowed. By the time we arrived at this famous landmark the black sands were … completely white!

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

AOver the years I’ve gone through quite a few systems and set-ups, but I’ve always been drawn back to smaller more portable systems. I am presently using a Fuji X Pro 2 with an old Helios 44-2 58mm glued to the body. It’s difficult to explain why I love this lens. It’s kind of grungy - not being the sharpest of lenses. It also gives a slightly swirly depth of field. Its little imperfections are strangely its strengths. The other lenses that I regularly use are my Fuji 23mm f1.4 (a great all rounder) and 60mm f2 macro. I think it also needs to be noted that I use my mobile phone a lot. I’m a big fan of mobile photography. The mobile phone is ubiquitous these days. It’s probably the camera that we all carry pretty much all the time.

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

AThe thing I think would say to anyone beginning their photography journey is just do it. Simple. Use the camera on your phone. See something you like or find interesting and take a picture of it. Experiment. Challenge yourself. Try not to get too hung up on perfection. Find out what kind of photographer you are.

'My favourite photograph on Picfair at the moment (because it constantly changes) is Song For Sunshine. For me, this is a good example of the quality of the Helios 44-2. It’s ju... Read more

'My favourite photograph on Picfair at the moment (because it constantly changes) is Song For Sunshine. For me, this is a good example of the quality of the Helios 44-2. It’s just a simple shot of an autumn leaf but I love the bokeh and slight grainy/grungy quality that it has.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'It’s an opportunist shot of my dog Barney during mid stretch taken at my home in Sheffield. I like its simple orange and blue colour palette and depth of field. It was one of t... Read more

'It’s an opportunist shot of my dog Barney during mid stretch taken at my home in Sheffield. I like its simple orange and blue colour palette and depth of field. It was one of those lucky shots that literally just presents itself.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'It’s part of a series of shots taken in my garden. I’d set myself a challenge last year to document the changing seasons a little closer to home. I’m a big fan of slightly unde... Read more

'It’s part of a series of shots taken in my garden. I’d set myself a challenge last year to document the changing seasons a little closer to home. I’m a big fan of slightly under exposing my pictures. I’m also a big fan of lens flare. This shot combines both with added colour vibrancy.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'I took this shot during a summer’s walk a couple of years ago. Again this falls in to the opportunist bracket. As I was walking up a country lane a curious horse decided to sti... Read more

'I took this shot during a summer’s walk a couple of years ago. Again this falls in to the opportunist bracket. As I was walking up a country lane a curious horse decided to stick its nose in. Quite literally. I still love the velvety texture on the horse’s nose.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'I’ve always been interested in lonely places. Places that feel out of time. Strange juxtapositions. I found this rusting boat stranded high and dry in a salt marsh in Norfolk. ... Read more

'I’ve always been interested in lonely places. Places that feel out of time. Strange juxtapositions. I found this rusting boat stranded high and dry in a salt marsh in Norfolk. I managed to snap it just as the sun was going down. Interestingly a few months later this area was devastated by some of the worst floods in a generation.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'A friend’s cat had just given birth to a beautiful litter of kittens. This little chap was the most adventurous of the bunch. I managed to snap him with a nice bit of natural b... Read more

'A friend’s cat had just given birth to a beautiful litter of kittens. This little chap was the most adventurous of the bunch. I managed to snap him with a nice bit of natural backlight whilst he was exploring his surroundings.' Read less

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Bill Leslie

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'Another simple sunset shot of grass gently blowing in the wind. This was taken, a little like Mr Ed, whilst on an evening walk on the outskirts of Sheffield. I was trying to ca... Read more

'Another simple sunset shot of grass gently blowing in the wind. This was taken, a little like Mr Ed, whilst on an evening walk on the outskirts of Sheffield. I was trying to capture the blue, blue sky and the golden sun emerging through the grass.' Read less

Camera outline

Bill Leslie

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