I came across the quote by Henry David Thoreau “It’s not what you look at but what you see” and think it is one of the best ways to describe any photographer who has the eye and even a few that don’t.
However, being born and bred in the outskirts of the city of Edinburgh, it played on my head in many ways. One of my earliest memories of eye-catching imagery was the bombarding of subliminal cigarette advertising on billboards whilst going to and from the city when I was traveling a school kid and eventually an employee. Sad as it seems but those ads tortured my young head into getting their messages of killing you. It took me a few years to fully understand that these make you stop and contemplate their clever motifs. The whisky and the beers of Scotland also used mega photography budgets to get inside your head.
My first investment in my own hobby of photography was in the shape of a Nikon FE2 in 1986. I used a lot of slides and black and white back then and I used darkrooms until fairly recently. Printing your own shots in BW has something to say for itself that those who do it will know of. We’ve come a very long way in the last ten years in digital and I’m thankful that the darkroom’s volatile chemistry is a thing of the past as well.
My first real paid job in photography (1996) was using tape slide where I (and others) synchronized up to 9 projectors at a time with Dolby surround to recreate cinematic quality. Edinburgh Filmhouse was one of our venues I had the pleasure to exhibit those projects and it lit the audiovisual storyteller in me.
Today, I also have the dream come true of cinematic quality video in my HDSLR’s. It’s so nice to be using the same camera for everything.
Prime lenses and sexy post production software, as well as this millennium’s processing power, has literally turned me on. I am not ashamed to admit that today’s equipment gets me hot to use it for both photography and videography. I travel a bit and document and lot of those journeys for myself and occasionally for blogs and SEO content.
It’s a bit cliché, I know, but I’ve found that when you are truly into something you love you attract the right people and toys towards you. I know a lot of great photographers and cinematographers who kindly passed on wee bits of their knowledge over the years. I never went to school for it. It was only by getting out there and doing it with decent kit in all weathers, times and finding motifs. The rest was already there and I think my photography proves that.
On my own stock, I can’t really say that there’s ANYTHING I haven’t photographed well…yet.