A Few Of The Most Common Questions

Q - What Camera do you use?
A - I have always used Canon, I prefer the intuitive controls and lenses. Recently I started using Olympus Micro Four Thirds for a travel kit and was amazed with the quality. I very quickly had another body and a full range of lenses. Despite having a smaller sensor and lower MP you really can't see any difference. I still use Canon but the Olympus is always with me. There are some incredible features on the camera, but for me simply the best is the electronic viewfinder; now a shot appears right in front of my eye without even looking at the rear screen.

Q - What's your favourite lens and what focal length do you use the most?
A - Without doubt the Olympus 7-14 Pro. It's the full frae equivalent of 14mm wide, it's small for that type of lens and the optics in it are simply stunning. I use ultra wide angle the most, 14mm, then around 20-24mm, and very often the longer end of between 200-300mm. I rarely use anything in between. I use mostly zooms because they are convenient, but find I use them like primes and zoom with my feet.

Q - Do you use filters?
A - Yes often. I started off with Lee filters because they are so good, but then found Nisi filters. They are a Chinese company who use Japanese made optical glass for the filters and they are far superior to Lee. I use a polariser often with water and to boost greens, 5, 10, & 16 stop NDs for long exposures, soft grads, hard grads and a reverse grad. These days with digital processing two shots can be blended to reduce the need for grads, but they still give that extra punch to images by preventing areas that would otherwise be under or over exposed.

Q - What was you first camera? When did you start photography?
A - An Olympus OM 10 film camera. using Olympus again was like coming home. I first got interested around 1990 at Uni (I feel old) but started seriously in 2006.

Q - How did you learn?
A - Hard work, reading, magazines, and lots and lots of practice! I'm self taught and learned though dedication.

Q - I have just started learning, any tips?
A - Yes, book a workshop with me. Practice seeing the shot, if you're truly passionate it never ever stops. You are constantly looking, seeing a shot and framing it in your mind. It's annoying sometimes. Seriously, it never leaves you. Learn your camera, all it's features and controls, then go and try every one until you understand them. Exposure compensation is your friend.

Q - Do you 'photoshop' your images?
A - Yes and I'm proud of it. The endless debate and a pointless one. Some kind of editing is necessary with digital photography, so anyone why says the don't...? If you use jpeg you can use straight out of camera, but to get the best you have to use Raw, which has to be processed. Read below. I use Photoshop to get the very best out of my images. I don't add or remove, but I do enhance what's there.

Q - I should use Raw? Why?
A - Raw is a file format that gets the very best digital information about the image from the sensor. Think of it this way. Jpeg is a lower quality that has been processed by your camera, usually very well, but it's like a print from your local store made on a machine with presets for mass production and it doesn't care if the colour is a little off. A raw file is like the negative with all the original information still in it, that will be processed with care by you to bring out all the delicate tones and colours. it takes time and patience but if you want the best there are no shortcuts.

Q - What software do you use? What's your workflow?
A - I use Lightroom for processing and Photoshop for fine editing and finishing. LR is great for global adjustments but I prefer PS for fine tuning and local adjustments. First I process in LR, then export as a Tiff for high quality. I open this in PS for fine adjustments like colour balance and local levels balancing, plus the things I feel need doing. Then I save as a Tiff, I high Jpeg, and low Jpeg for using online. I also run LR and PS workshops. Quick tip, get your filing in order first.

Q - I want a canvas but I don't see the size I want?
A - Just contact me and I can arrange it for you. There are so many sizes I have to limit it for simplicity.

Q - I want to book a workshop. Where do you run them?
A - Mainly around the Peak District and Saddleworth areas. I also run coastal workshops. If you prefer to learn in your own area I will travel within reason by prior arrangement.

Q - Where can I see more of your images?
A - On my Facebook Page, Instagram and 500px. Not all my images make it to the website because I try to discipline myself. On my Facebook Page I publish a new image Every day. Hard work. Pop over and have a look. Please like my page and don't forget to say hi. I give descriptions on every image and try to tell a little story with them.
I receive so many questions about my technique, gear, processing, and even the locations I visit so I thought I would add a few of the most frequent asked questions here. Feel free to contact me or better still visit and like my Page on Facebook, and ask me anything.