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DrawsWithLight

Interview with David Hopley

Interviews

03 February 2017

Posted by Sally Hart

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

I’m a part-time photographer from York with a background in architecture and graphic design. I am also a Civil Aviation Authority approved drone operator.

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

AI was commissioned to take some product photographs for an air purifier retailer. I did some shots of each of the different types of purifiers on a white background but the client also wanted them photographing in a domestic environment which happened to be her own house. Part way through the day she asked me if I knew what other products she sold. I didn’t, so she led me to her garage where it was packed full of sex toys, lingerie and bondage gear!

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

AI have over £10,000 worth of camera equipment which includes a Canon 5D mkiii but for most of this year I have been concentrating on drone photography using my DJI Phantom. This drone has a tiny 12 megapixel pixel camera but is capable of producing stunning results. I love finding geometric shapes in the landscape and taking the shots from a ‘top-down’ position gives a unique perspective. Drone photography has literally given me a world of new opportunities to create unique landscape images.

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

AAim to get out shooting at least once a week. When I first started with photography I only tended to go out with the camera when I was in a creative mood and was easily put off from heading out when the weather didn’t appear to be that great. This resulted in me getting very few photographs each month and therefore my development as a photographer was slow. It wasn't until I started to enter #WexMondays on Twitter that I got the motivation to get out shooting as often as I could. Seeing the work by other photographers gave me inspiration to try different styles of photography and led to the development of my own style.

'My favourite pic would have to be my ‘Ghost Lake’ image taken at Skipwith Common in North Yorkshire. Like many of my aerial drone shots it is difficult to scout out new compos... Read more

'My favourite pic would have to be my ‘Ghost Lake’ image taken at Skipwith Common in North Yorkshire. Like many of my aerial drone shots it is difficult to scout out new compositions until you are up in the air. The high viewpoint gave me the opportunity to view the expanse of the common and look for interesting shapes on the ground. From around 100m up in the air this lake looked to me like a ghost. This image was also commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 which made this one of my life’s greatest achievements!' Read less

Camera outline

David Hopley

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'Taken on a trip to Spurn Head, this is the newly restored lighthouse at the end of the spit. I wanted to use the drone to get some shots of the waves crashing onto the rocks b... Read more

'Taken on a trip to Spurn Head, this is the newly restored lighthouse at the end of the spit. I wanted to use the drone to get some shots of the waves crashing onto the rocks but unfortunately it was a bit too windy. The day was really bright and sunny but as I was about head head back for the 3 mile walk, some storm clouds approached just as I was setting up this shot.' Read less

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David Hopley

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'This is the Holy Island off the coast of Arran. I was deciding on the most appropriate lens for the composition to get the rocks in the foreground nicely balanced with the isl... Read more

'This is the Holy Island off the coast of Arran. I was deciding on the most appropriate lens for the composition to get the rocks in the foreground nicely balanced with the island in the distance. I looked up and saw this cloud had perfectly formed central over the island. The cloud was moving quickly, I quickly mounted my 16-35mm lens and shot it with a neutral density filter to get an exposure of 13 seconds.' Read less

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David Hopley

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'This photograph is of the City Walls in York. I had my eye on this composition for quite some time but I never really got the 'right' person walking down the steps. I felt lik... Read more

'This photograph is of the City Walls in York. I had my eye on this composition for quite some time but I never really got the 'right' person walking down the steps. I felt like I was cheating slightly as I ended up getting my wife to pose for the shot.' Read less

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David Hopley

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'This composition of the Humber Bridge has been shot many times by other photographers but I wanted to have a go of it myself. The was taken with a 24mm tilt shift lens, I blur... Read more

'This composition of the Humber Bridge has been shot many times by other photographers but I wanted to have a go of it myself. The was taken with a 24mm tilt shift lens, I blurred the clouds using a Lee Big Stopper which gave an exposure of 240 seconds. Shot just before sunset, the low sun highlighted part of the concrete structure underneath creating a striking line.' Read less

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David Hopley

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'Located just North of Howden, I spotted this little abandoned prefab house behind an overgrown hedgerow, over 20 or so years I must have past it hundreds of times without spot... Read more

'Located just North of Howden, I spotted this little abandoned prefab house behind an overgrown hedgerow, over 20 or so years I must have past it hundreds of times without spotting it! This image was taken with a 24mm tilt shift lens in landscape format, 3 landscape photographs were stitched together in Lightroom to make a portrait shot. The gloomy rainy conditions were a perfect complement to the bleak surroundings.' Read less

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David Hopley

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'Taken at the start of the Pocklington Canal at Canal Head, Top Lock is the first lock of 9 along the 10 mile stretch of the waterway. Having photographed the canal over severa... Read more

'Taken at the start of the Pocklington Canal at Canal Head, Top Lock is the first lock of 9 along the 10 mile stretch of the waterway. Having photographed the canal over several years. I had run out of unique viewpoints to shoot. The drone gave me fresh new photographic opportunities and the geometric shapes of the canal gates are well suited to the 'top down' images I love.' Read less

Camera outline

David Hopley

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'This was my first time flying the drone above the mist, I was wondering what it would look like, this in fact! As I was shooting into the sun I needed to bracket 3 shots, I al... Read more

'This was my first time flying the drone above the mist, I was wondering what it would look like, this in fact! As I was shooting into the sun I needed to bracket 3 shots, I also needed to pan the drone to capture the whole scene. This resulted in taking a total of 15 photographs, I then blended and stitched them together in Adobe Lightroom.' Read less

Camera outline

David Hopley

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£37.20

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