Random image from my nature photos collection (cropped).
 
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Photography



Photography and me:

I've had an interest in photography since my early-twenties. At first I was very much an "anything" photographer, taking shots of everything from people to landscapes to architecture. But I quickly found the perfect overlap between my interests in nature and photography, and started to specialise in nature photography - both as a means to further immerse myself in the natural world, and as a means to re-experience its wonder via my own photographs.

Like many modest amateur nature photographers (and unlike e.g. Heather Angel - a world-famous nature photographer whose work I enormously admire) I tend to focus more upon relatively static and "easy" subjects, such as plants, flowers, trees, fungi etc. I also enjoy photographing landscapes, especially "short landscapes" (which compose a tight, near scene, as opposed to a wide sweeping vista). I'm also very keen on macro shots and closeups.

I try not to be a simple "happy snapper", and try to consider the subject in context. I also try to think in terms of science rather than art, and prefer to photograph subjects which show some unique natural character, rather than simply being glorious "calendar shots", or surreal abstracts. I guess my work will never be commercial, but then again, I photograph mainly for my own pleasure anyway.

Photography Equipment:

Previously in the 35mm film era, I was a staunch supporter of Nikon bodies, lenses and equipment. I spent many happy years with Nikon SLRs, originally shunning auto-focus for a manual F-301 body, then gradually moving into AF with the F-601, before finally settling with the excellent F80 SLR.

However, when the time came for me to transition into digital (i.e. when it became affordable to the average amateur) I bought a Nikon D70. To my dismay though, I found that I really didn't like the D70 body (even though most of the world sang its praises) and after several months of increasing frustration, decided I was simply too unhappy with Nikon's affordable digital bodies (although the pro bodies remained very desireable).

After looking long and hard at the competition, I decided to take the plunge, sell-up my humble collection of Nikon gear, and give Canon a go, opting for the excellent EOS 20D body.

And I really liked the 20D, and Canon's digital line-up in general. I soon acquired a modest collection of Canon lenses and accessories, and was for a while very happy with the Canon marque. There were a few idiosyncrasies that I missed about Nikon gear, and a few quirks that I disliked about Canon, but on the whole I was very happy with Canon. Shortly after though, Nikon announced the D200 body - which I readily admitted looked like a truly excellent body that has nullified many of the negative quirks of the D70. Instantly desirable, but at the time I simply could not afford to "switch back" to Nikon.

For a few years after that, I stopped being an active photographer, and my SLR sadly sat in the corner gathering dust. It was around then that Nikon released the D300. This coincided with my own re-interest in photography, and as a result of the D300 appearing, many retailers starting selling the older D200 body at knockdown prices. Realising how much I missed Nikon by then, I decided now was the the time to revert to Nikon and bought a D200; and have since been slowly growing my kit.

It is as a result of this this brief "switch of allegiance" that some of the photos in my album are described (in EXIF) as having been taken with a Canon EOS 20D. But the newer material should now be listed as derived from the D200 (or latterly D300s).

Then in late 2009, Nikon released the D300s, as a minor upgrade to the existing D300. Instantly falling in love with it, I decided to take the plunge, and ordered a new D300s body, part-exchanging my old D200 body in the process (it will be sadly and sorely missed). The new D300s is excellent, and I've now uploaded many new D300s photos.

Computer gear:

Regarding computer hardware and software, I use an Apple MacBook Pro, running OSX 10.7 Lion, alongside Nikon View NX2 software. I've tried many RAW convertors, but ultimately prefer the "Nikon standard" approach to RAW conversion (even though the workflow is somewhat cumbersome). I also make occasional use of Pixelmator Chameleon software, But since I'm a strong believer in "natural" photographs (i.e. unmodified from the original) I only tend to use Pixelmator for tasks such as resizing, cropping, dust-spot removal and occasional touch-up.

However, because I utterly loathe spending any time in front of the computer processing images, I usually just sort through my photos in Nikon View, converting to JPEG from NEF, but leaving most of the settings as 'in camera' unless an image needs tweaking slightly (thought the D300s gets it right 9 times out of 10).

Photography locations:

Unfortunately, since I'm not wealthy, the majority of my photography tends to take place in somewhat less glamorous locations. This predominantly means in and around the area in which I live. But personally, I don't see this is a major handicap. I'm a great lover of the flora and fauna found within the British Isles, and although I may not get to photograph elephants or penguins, that does not mean there is not a huge and diverse selection of material available to the nature photographer with a keen and sharp eye.

About my nature photos:

The images in the photos section are all my own work, and largely representative of my ongoing, developing skill. There are some of my better photos there, and some - quite frankly - rubbish ones also, which I hope to supplant with better stock as soon as I can. Unfortunately, since for me photography is only an occasional hobby the photos section is a little bare at the moment.

However, this website is very much an ongoing project, and as such I expect and hope to be continually updating my photo album with new, better and more interesting photos, just as soon as I get a chance to.

please note: The latest uploads can always be found in the "What's New" section. Photos are very loosely organised by theme, but there may be some repetition when a particular photo straddles more than one theme.

 

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