Hi Steve! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
Living on the edge of the New Forest National Park, I returned to serious photography about 3 years ago after a 30 year absence, having missed capturing far too many beautiful sights as I crossed the forest each day on the way to and from work in the leisure industry. An amateur photographer, I particularly like capturing landscapes at dawn - lots of early rises though. However, as a lot of photographers will tell you, anything interesting in front of me can be a source of photographic inspiration.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
ATaking a photo of a stunning sunset, magnificent scenery in front of me yet about 5 meters behind me there were lorries and cars were thundering past on the busy A31 that cuts right across the forest. I can remember thinking: 'how weird is this', picture post card stuff in front whilst behind me people are hell bent on getting from A to B as quickly as possible missing all this beauty that surrounds them.
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AIn my youth I had a Pentax ME Super, great little camera. So when I returned to photography, whilst the Nikons and Cannons of this world have great set ups, I was drawn to the Micro Four Thirds systems, and eventually went for the Panasonic Lumix G5 as it reminded me of that old Super - although it has far more knobs and whistles on it to get to grips with! I do most of my photography with Panasonic's 14-45 lens but recently acquired their 7-14 and finding that a great go-to lens when big skies are involved in my shots.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
ANot sure if I am qualified to answer this one as I still regard myself as an aspiring photographer! Practice makes perfect they say, so do just that, take lots of shots and be brutally honest with yourself over which are good and which are not. Most importantly, ask yourself why and fix it next time. I do think you need to shoot in RAW and gain a basic understanding of post processing software to be able to subtly improve your images. But don't ever, ever forget every photo you take doesn't have to be a masterpiece; family and other 'snaps' are just as important for future memories as some stunning landscape shots.