Hi Stewart! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
A Hi, my name is Stewart MacKellar. I’m a graphic designer / photographer based in the West Midlands. For me photography started about 7 years ago when a friend introduced me to surfing. As we were traveling to so many amazing coastlines, I had to capture it on camera! I bought my first SLR about 6 months later and have never looked back.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
A I have been in a few weird situations but I really want to tell you about one of my scariest. One day last July a stormy forecast was predicted! Woo! I had been wanting to capture lightening for a while previously, so at 12am I gathered all my photography gear, together with my jacket, boots (extra thick rubber soles) and camera waterproofing (modified black bin liner)... I know, but it works alright. I found my position looking out over the mere at Ellesmere and waited for the storm to work its way over to me. At about 2:30am I found myself in the middle of a pretty wild storm; with fork lightening illuminating the sky every minute or so. Just after I got my shot (which was featured in the photographs for BBC Weather of the Year 2014) I heard a crack, followed by groaning sound and a ridiculous thud. As I had limited-to-no vision, I took that as my cue to make a sharp exit (after a couple more cheeky shots of course). I went back in the morning to discover half an oak tree standing and the other half lying very close to where I was shooting.
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AAs I shoot a lot of action sports, seascapes and landscapes that deal with a huge variety of lighting (and weather) conditions, I’m currently using a Nikon D750 with a selection of lenses, which is a brilliant camera. It's a brilliant camera; great for intense fast-motion with it’s 6.5fps, it’s super sharp and I find it a good size to take hiking up mountains etc. To be honest the lens I find myself reaching for most is the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8, with that you can capture most!
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
AComing from someone who shoots a lot outdoors, my advice would be to not just wait for those bluebird days, where the suns shining and the birds tweeting. Head out when that huge storm swell hits or that dreary winters morning. You never know what you will find until your out there experiencing it. You can come across some of the most brilliant moments. Always be prepared for the weather your shooting in. If you have the right gear you will be able to focus on your photography. Light is your tool; use it to it’s full potential; know where the sun is and the most important part of photography is to be passionate about what you’re shooting.