Inside this issue
End frame: “Sand Patterns, Laig Bay” by Hugh Milsom
Idse Herrema chooses one of his favourite images
I am very much an amateur enthusiast photographer, starting early with a kodak instamatic, with stepwise improvements in kit moving through SLR and autofocus, which was a revelation, to digital SLR and recently to mirrorless SLR. My career in hospital medicine limited photography to family, holidays and then photography holidays.
Dissatisfaction with results from digital coincided with joining a club, giving me an outlet for images, with honest feedback and huge leap forward in the quality of my photography – and many good friends. It also taught me the power of the digital darkroom, which I only use in very limited measure. The strive to perfection and deletion of distracting elements from an image is an emperor with no clothes.
Favourite photography is that of scenes which we see for a split second only: the photograph allows us to spend unlimited time with that moment: wildlife, cloudscapes, seascapes etc etc.
My Endframe is “Sand patterns, Laig Bay” by Hugh Milsom. It is a beautiful image and its meaning to me comes from where it fits in my photography story.
As an amateur enthusiast photographer, my photography has evolved in bursts. The injections of pace were given by different things, some by equipment, some by devoting time to it, some by workshops. Wildlife photography was my favourite genre, and I enjoy capturing scenes that are very short lived, with a set-up and skills that need to be intuitive and achievable without taking my eye off the subject. Knowing the camera and a good understanding of the algorithms underlying settings/buttons is essential to capture a moment with emphasis on what you want to express.
I know now that I was amongst many who experienced a dissatisfaction with my photography after the transfer to digital. Fortuitously at that time, I was introduced to a camera club which proved a superb source for information and much better tailored help than my previous reliance on photography magazines.
Camera club photography competition is an interesting ‘beast’. There are several must-haves (like a subject?) and several must-not-haves (like burnt out areas). Learning the criteria and the skill sets to achieve them improved my photography immensely and I warmly recommend going through this process/apprenticeship.
However, my image making, whilst qualitatively hugely improved, became centred on how it might perform in competition. I had lost the art, or at least I was putting it second to the skills and the feelings.