Hi Charles! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
I'm an amateur photographer who's full-time gig is working on Australian Television as a Promo Producer. I am always looking for ways to communicate visually and have been drawn to photography primarily by it's immediacy. Nearly all decisions and artistic deliberation has to be done before you take the shot. What excites me is that this window of opportunity for decision making is sometimes only mere seconds, "blink and you'll miss it" kind of stuff. I like that, it makes each shot you do manage to get seem precious. For the past year I have been travelling the world taking photographs. It has been fun.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
AActually, a cool/weird moment happened when I was taking the "Bull Runner's Prayer" photo below. I was above the small San Fermin statue in Pamplona which sits in a niche in the wall. It is the statue that the bull runners sing/pray to before the run for good luck and protection. In order to get the shot I had to lean over the barricade above. I started leaning over to get a more "bird's eye" view and then felt hands on my belt to steady me, allowing me to lean forward more. Once I got the shot I leant back and turned around to see who had helped out and these two darling, short, middle aged spanish women are looking up at me (I stood a good 2/1/2 feet taller than them!) giggling to each other in Spanish, of which I understood very little. I showed them the shot and they were chuffed to have helped. It was a cool moment.
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AI usually shoot on a Canon KissX4 (eos 550d) with Tamron lenses. I like Tamron. Their quality to price ratio is fantastic. Lately though I have been getting into micro 3/4 via the way of a Lumix G6. The weight/size differences (compared to DSLR) are a huge positive, especially when travelling. Also, the flip out screen on the Lumix G6 is a must. It allows you to get really creative angles, and is a blessing for sneaky street photography.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
AFocus on composition and learn all you can about light, both natural and staged.
Don't get too bogged down in who has the best brand, most megapixels, or biggest sensor. Learn what makes a good photo first.
Constantly devour good photography.
Oh and find interesting subjects! An average shot of something really friggin' cool will be more worthwhile than a technically perfect shot of something really boring.