I first joined the Tallaght Photographic Society back in 2010 after I got my first DSLR camera for a 40th birthday present, I got to meet so many cool, like minded people who taught me so much and really put me on the path to the type of photography I enjoy so much to this day.
Yes, it’s the first and only camera club I have been a full-time member of but I have been lucky enough to visit and meet with other photographers and do some show and tell evenings at a number of different clubs over the few years.
I’ve been into photography since my teens but only as a hobby really. I had a few point and shoot film cameras and I used to leave the rolls of films into the local pharmacy during the early 80’s to get developed but when the 24 hour developing first came in, I thought it was the best thing ever but I hated getting all the stickers on my prints telling me bad focus, bad exposure and all the wrong things I was doing but it was all fun.
My first DSLR was an entry level Canon 500D with an 18-55m kit lens. I later bought a 55-250m lens and I used those for years. I was later given a 2nd hand Conan D40 from a really good friend who upgraded his own gear and was good enough to pass his old one on to me. I still use it today. I did buy a 18-200mm and a 1.8, 50mm and a couple of speed lights which I think, really made a big difference in my photography.
Yes, I love to shoot portraits; I love to shoot more of a themed, fantasy or cosplay type of photography. I generally build my own sets, props and a lot of times make the costumes too. I love Photoshop and Compositing images, and try to recreate some of the scenes from movies, TV shows and posters that I’ve seen and thought, that looks cool … could I do that with little to no budget. Some work and some don’t but for me, the fun is in trying to do them.
I do love my little nifty-fifty, as they call it but I do tend to jump between both the 18-55mm and the 50mm lens. They seem to suit most of the images that I shoot for.
To be honest, I really don’t mind. I love B&W but I love working with colour too. Most of my photos are in colour but that is what I feel works for those types of images. But they both work perfectly well depending on what it is you’re trying to achieve in the shot that you’re working on.
Sometimes what you think works in one way, actually looks just as good in the other, so whatever works for you to get the shot that you want.
I always find this hard to answer. I love the impact or story of an image. That when you see it, it just hits you, it makes sense and you get what the image is trying to show. I could see an image of anything, not just portraits but maybe a building, a landscape, wildlife or something journalistic and when you look at it, you think wow, that’s cool.
Shoot what you enjoy and don’t worry too much about how others see your photos. It’s so important to get great tips and advice to help you improve your skill set and it’s lovely when people like and appreciate what you do but it’s not that big a deal if they don’t.
The people, who don’t like photo-shop a lot, really don’t like photo-shopped images but that’s okay. It’s become much more accepted and more mainstream nowadays and that’s a great thing but if you like to shoot insects, seascapes, bowls of fruit, buildings or whatever it is, just enjoy it and try to do the very best you can with what you have, sometimes you get to create something quite special, even if it’s only in your eyes and that’s a great thing too !
TBH, I’ve been very lucky with the people I’ve got to work with over the years and we’ve gotten to create some really fun images on little to no budget and bodged our way through shoots but I like to think we got some pretty cool pictures out of it all.
But if I could, I would love to have a big budget themed shoot where I get to build an amazing set or use a fantastic location, have some amazing costumes, proper hair and make up, SFX and props.
Like what you see on a movie set and get to work with a whole team of creative people to create something amazing or at least try to. That would be really cool.