Images published in Amateur Photographer Magazine

Earlier this year I submitted a selection of images to Amateur Photographer magazine for their 'Reader Portfolio' feature - and was delighted to find out that I had been selected to be published in this week's edition. I've kept it under wraps until now, so I can include a screen shot of the online version of the finished piece in this blog post. This is a selection of come of my favourite panoramic images - and if you'd like to know more about them, there is a full write-up on each, with settings, at the bottom of this article. AP Magazine didn't have room for my lengthy explanations though!

Since publication, I've also had an enquiry from Princess Cruises about using the 'Fire at Sea' sunset shot for their marketing as well, so watch this space. I could definitely see that on a billboard poster . . .

And just to prove it really was 'in print' as well, here's a shot of the hard copy!

This is the full Q&A session, plus additional detail on each image:

How and why did you get into photography?

My dad was an avid amateur photographer and taught myself and my sister when I was about seven – initially on an old Russian Zenit that weighed a ton! He also taught us how to develop our own black and white in his loft darkroom, but I’m not sure I’d remember how to do it now :o) I made the switch to digital in 2000 and started marketing myself as a photographer in 2014, alongside my day job as a copywriter. At the moment I do some commercial work and I teach 1-2-1, but the large majority of my income still comes from copywriting.

What are your favourite photographic subjects and why?

Initially I concentrated on landscapes, for many years - but more recently I have become fascinated with street photography. At the moment I like them both equally. With landscapes (which, for me, also includes ‘urban landscapes’ such as skylines and so on) it’s all about the ‘thrill of the chase’ and then, when you get those perfect conditions, having the technical skill and the artistic vision to make the most of them. With street photography, it’s all about recording a moment in time that is totally unique and will never happen again. But the need for technical skill to capture that moment quickly, alongside the ability to see what makes a great street shot, is equally necessary.

What do you love about photography?

All of the above! And also the way it absorbs me totally – so whatever else is going on in my life, when I’m out with the camera, all of that fades away and gives me time to clear my head and focus on taking great images. I also love seeing a finished image, which is as ‘perfect’ as I can make it – either on screen or also in print. I’d like to do more printing of my images, and that’s a goal for the near future.

Where do you hope to take your photography in terms of new photographic projects/exploring new locations or subjects/trying new techniques?

I’m always looking for the next project idea, and currently have a couple running - one for landscapes and one for street - and eventually my aim is to make a living from photography. So I’m always thinking about how I can turn my projects, and my skills, into something that pays the bills! Location-wise, I travel extensively so anywhere and everywhere is fine with me. As to techniques, I’m fascinated by every new one that comes along and have dabbled with ICM, multiple exposure and more - but I always come back to the simpler, more traditional approaches. As you will see from my portfolio, I also love taking/making stitched panoramas, and will always do this when I’m travelling, as I find it’s an excellent way to capture any new location.

Castle Stalker Rainbow

Camera – Panasonic Lumix G5

Lens – Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f3.5-5.6

Shutter speed – 1/250

Aperture – f6.3

ISO – 160

Where did you take this picture and why?

This was taken at Castle Stalker, on the West Coast of Scotland. I guess the ‘why’ is quite obvious!

What were you trying to achieve in terms of composition, lighting and mood?

This was an early morning shoot that was planned to take advantage of the best time of day for capturing direct sunlight on the front of the castle, and - if I was lucky - an interesting and moody sky behind.

What challenges did you face during the image-making process?

The rainbow was way too large for a single shot - even if I'd had time to switch to my wide angle lens, so the only answer was a very quick, hand-held, five shot panorama - before the colour started to fade almost as soon as it had appeared. Then the only remaining question was whether the shots I had taken would fit together into a perfect curve, which happily they did.

What post processing (if any) did you do?

Stitched pano in Lightroom. Minor adjustments for highlights and shadows etc.

Light Pyramid Reflection

Camera – Panasonic Lumix G5

Lens – Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f3.5-5.6

Shutter speed – 1/200

Aperture – f7.1

ISO – 320

Other equipment used – Manfrotto Tripod