My Photography My story and journey so far

Chapter 1 - Where it all began

As a boy or when I was growing up I was interested in photography, the mechanics of it, and basically how it worked. I took a keen interest in the development of photos and also the equipment available at the time, I made my own pinhole camera and developed the photos using equipment at school.
Some of the basic B&W photos from my early days!
I loved taking photos, exploring the creative side of what could be achieved with basic cameras. My first camera was found at a rubbish dump, the Kodak browning below which used 126 24 shot 200iso cassettes.
Where it all began!
But the one thing I always did was take things apart, I always had to understand the mechanics of what made it work, how it worked and achieved it's purpose.
When I started earning money one of my first purchases was a basic 35mm camera, I was seventeen and I started using colour film with a Zenith SLR kit camera from Russia, it was like something out of a James Bond movie which would make people look if I took the case and complete sniper kit out with me. But what an amazing way to learn the mechanics of photography, every single setting on the body and lens was made manually including the manual focus, getting any moving images in perfect focus was really a stroke of luck.
The Zenith Kit Camera.
The Russian Zenith Camera Kit
Whilst the Zenith was great fun it was very awkward and long winded to get photos so it wasn't long before I upgraded to a Minolta SLR and this really changed everything.
My first automatic SLR camera
The Minolta camera was a game changer, I could use it so much quicker and with now having auto functions as well as the other standard settings I didn't have to think as much about this, I could just click away, after many years I moved to my first Nikon F70 which lasted for a very long time taking some amazing pictures.
Nikon F70 SLR Camera.

Chapter 2 - The next part of my journey!

And then we move to the next part of the journey!
Editing photos and technology has started to leap forward at silly speeds after the release of the Amstrad 1512 PC.
When I purchased my first Amstrad 1512 computer with a four colour CGA monitor it wasnt long before applications were available allowing the editing or image manipulation of photos. The first I recall was from Corel.
Before the likes of Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paintshop Pro etc photos were made interesting by filters, I used Cokin and Hoya filters to create the flavours and attitude to images, today filters have taken on a whole new dimension, especially the Lee filter system.
My old Cokin filters which I still had until recently.
The good old days! - A clip of me camping :-(
I have taken thousands of photos over the past 40 years and what it is strange when I think back is, I never considered altering the images, I just accepted what the developers sent in my little wallet of 12 / 24 / 36 photos, I always waited in anticipation of its arrival via the postman and I remember even then thinking did I manage to get that magical image.
Most photos then were just disposed of or put away in boxes never seeing the light of day again with a few picked out and placed in an album where they would also sit in storage and not often seen. I progressed to slides with projectors and screen but the hassle of setting this kit up would meant these were viewed even less, again with hundreds now sitting in cases with an old slide projector in the loft with the intention of one day converting them to a digital file on the PC..
South of France 1992 - 04:30am returning to UK
The picture above is where it really started for me, the day I looked right whilst driving back to Leharve and I saw this amazing view, unfortunately there was this very old quaint bridge going over the river which is where I am stood desperately trying to make sure I captured the sight I was seeing, I could not wait to get the film developed, whilst not bad it wasn't any near as good as what I saw.
From this point on I took photography a lot more serious and started to explore all the options and what I needed to do to start creating pictures with effects.
Today we have too many choices from a diverse range of equipment as a result of the developing technology, The advances made in the past 20/30 years in technology has been amazing and a real privilege to be part of it.

Chapter 3 - Understanding Flavours!

Photos to me are like food, a good meal or dish is packed with flavours and every mouthful is a treat, badly presented dishes are bland, dull and boring. The psychological impact is amazing, the way a meal is presented will have an effect that you don't even realise. Would you serve a meal on a cold plate! "No Way" A well presented dish will always make you feel hungry whereas food just thrown or piled on a plate will have the opposite effect.
A picture to get the taste buds dancing!
How to kill your appetite.
It's also like winter, why does everyone feel miserable, depressed and loose their energy and enthusiasm, well all you have to do is look outside, imagine a scene you photographed in the Spring, Summer or Autumn and its so obvious, its dull, boring, cold and lacking in any flavour or presentation.
In situations lacking in flavour we can however revert to good old "Black & White" pictures which are lacking in all these elements but the difference is a good monochrome image can be AMAZING and is why I am so passionate about them, the mystique and intrigue, it pulls you in and is bursting with character and flavour but its hard to get a really good monochrome image looking right without image manipulation.
The Training Ground

Chapter 4 - The Training Ground

The photos you now see were taken at different locations and at different times and were not taken with any HDR process in camera, these were taken with my old Nikon D90 and using standard budget filters, Adobe Lightroom to process and enhance or create what I remembered seeing at the time.

This is one of the first images I took at Sudbrook pumping station using a ND Graduated filter, from here on I haven't looked back.

Original Image before any editing.

The Severn Bridges from Porskewett to Beechley have been an invaluable training ground offering a local site where I can enjoy the peace and quite whilst exploring the varied scenery depending on the weather, time of day and year.

Portskewett High Tide

Whilst people jest about the bridges and the time I spend there taking pictures, which has been a lot!!! the bridges have allowed me to develop a lot of skills from using filters all adding impact to dramatic seas, night exposures and not forgetting long exposures expanding my knowledge and experience in a massive way, in turn giving me the confidence to go out and taken on more challenging opportunities.

The next step in my development was introducing light into the scene with portable flash guns, after all photography is about light and I realised the sun added great effect with filters, colours and character but it is so powerful it takes over everything and I lost the colour and detail in other parts of the shot so I had to control it and bring balance to the scene, to do this I throttled the sun using ND grad filters and then I brought light to the dark areas using mobile flash units with remote triggers.

I can do a lot in Lightroom and Photoshop and even recover some bad scenes but using the flash units allow me to enhance the whole scene without compromising quality and detail providing a better balance.

Nothing more than a tweak in Lightroom!

A collection of my photos can be viewed here on Flickr, a quick and free way to not only display your images but a good storage backup for 1 terabyte

A 10 Stop ND filter and Lightroom to finish the darker areas.
An early bird always catches the worm!
The one thing I have learnt above all else, all photography requires effort, the only way to get the magical shot is go out and get it, search, explore and keep trying because you will get it, you have to be patient and it will come.
The first two are from camera and Lightroom Processed, the remaining are from in camera HDR processing.

So far it's been an amazing journey, 2015 was a great adventure and I managed to capture some ok photos whilst exploring the boundaries, I am so looking forward to 2016 and watch out for my next presentation, I am expecting bigger and better things.

Thanks for watching and reading

Looking forward to 2016

Created By
Roy Tucker


Roy Tucker 2015