I’m an amateur photographer from Edinburgh in Scotland, and have been into photography seriously for nearly 4 years now. When I got into photography I was initially taking photos of anything and everything and was just happy to be out and about with the camera as much as possible. Over time I became moreand more interested in landscape and seascape photography, but over time began to feel my images were lacking something andI never really felt satisfied coming back from a day out having simply taken what I felt were nothing more than record shots of a location.
Around that time I found long exposure images on Flickr and was completely blown away by the results that could be achieved using ND filters. I went straight out and purchased a 10-stop ND filter, and became totally inspired and excited about photography again, and the rest as they say is history!
A huge turning point for my photography was attending a workshop in Belgium run by Michael Levin back in 2010. I learnt a huge amount from Michael and all the other workshop participants, who included the likes of Joel Tjintjelaar, Michael Diblicek, Noel Clegg, Giles McGarry amongst others – basically many of the photographers I had been following on line and who had inspired me to try long exposure photography in the first place. I came home from my time in Belgium with a completely altered approach to photography, where the emphasis moved to creating images rather than simply taking images.
Over time my style has become more and more minimal, so I’m always looking at what I can remove from an image rather than what I can add. Using long exposures helps me to move away from the everyday reality of photographing the landscape, as this is not something I’m not particularly interested in capturing.
Photographing the passing of time using longer exposuresreally changes the look and feel of an image, and I just love the results you can achieve.
I also find shooting long exposures very relaxing, as it really slows everything down for me and forces me to think more about the shot I am taking. I don’t like the feeling of being under pressure or having a time limit for taking a photograph, and find I can spend hours at a location completely unaware of how much time has passed. In this day and age where we live our lives with so many time constraints, it’s really nice to be able to let all that go when out with the camera and just relax.
My kit currently consists of a Nikon D800E full frame camera and a selection of Zeiss prime lenses – 21mm, 35mm, 50mm and 100mm. The Lee Filter system is almost permanently attached to my lens, with their 10 stop ND filter ‘The Big Stopper’ being the most used filter for my long exposure work alongside some ND graduated filters when required.
I usually do quite a lot of post processing with my images these days, using Adobe Lightroom to prepare my RAW files before converting them to black and white using Nik’s SilverEfex Pro 2. Theseconverted files are then processed in Photoshop CS5.
Looking to the future I would like to travel as much as possible and just continue to enjoy being out with the camera. I had a fantastic visit to Japan last year and am keen to head back again to explore more of the country. A trip to Venice in May is already booked and I would like to visit Iceland at some point as well, so hopefully 2014 will shape up to be a good year for my photography! [Official Website]