I am David…
and I live in the West of Scotland.
I am a photographer who specialises in Portrait, Landscape and Urbex
How did you get into photography?
I was working and then the pandemic came and I was on furlough for the best part of a year with plenty of time to develop a new hobby.
I started going exploring after I saw some posts on Instagram that really intrigued me. There were all sorts of abandonded buildings and places that looked forgotten by time and which I had never seen before. I wanted to discover some for myself. After a bit of light research I went to an old castle in Ayrshire and the picture opportunities were phenomenal! I could still see floors and spiral stair cases that were there and it looked oddly beautiful. I took my phone out and took as many snaps as I could. After this I was hooked. I went as often as I could and took many photos on my phone. Eventually I felt I reached my limit on the phone as the quality could have been a lot better, and I was only using free mobile phone editing apps to bring the photos to life after my trips.
I invested in a NikonD5600, which is a mid range starter camera and then started experimenting with different lighting techniques. The difference was incredible. I downloaded Lightroom and Photoshop and began to watch YouTube tutorials and learn as much as I could.
Of course one thing led to another, and I now have a Nikon z7 which is a full frame mirrorless camera that can capture low light better. I believe these mirrorless cameras are the future and I find it useful because I can see whats happening on my camera as I shoot and make the changes that I want.
What motivates you ?
The ability to create. When I take a picture I can capture a moment in ways that inspire me. But when I edit that picture I can change the reality with editing to shape the environment around it. The picture itself is raw data and holds within it the potential to open new worlds and new possibilities.
You can edit the same picture turning a cloudy day to a sunny day or vice versa. Taking the same image again and again and changing it to reflect different moods, different styles, different aspects of beauty. There is no limit to creativity, only the limits that we impose upon ourselves. If you look at my Instagram you can often work out what mood I am in by the tones of the pictures I post!
My biggest challenge is …
being self-critical! I never think my work is good enough. But this can also be a positive and I try to use it as such because it always pushes me to try something new. To work harder and grow and develop. I never want to stop learning and feel that every day I can get better.
Do you have any top tips for beginners who want to start taking photos?
Don’t worry about what you are starting to take the photos with, whether it’s a mobile phone or a camera. The key is that you begin to take photos and then try and understand what you have done, and how you can make small improvements.
Initially, the composition is something you want to concentrate on because you want to learn to look at something from a completely different point of view. For example – Look at a bridge from a different angle. Take it from right underneath if people are always looking at it straight on, and taking its photo from the side. Editing Is nice but the composition is where you will really stand out from the crowd and will be the thing that gets you noticed.
I’m spontaneous! I will literally hop in the car at 2 am in the morning just to catch a sunrise. But I like that side of things because it’s led to me capturing some incredible moments I would never have seen otherwise. I think you need to do things like this to take yourself out of any unseen limitations you have placed on yourself and to think outside the box if you really want to be creative.
Tell us an experience you had while filming?
One thing I learned was to be aware of the environment around you when you go out to photograph.
Don’t take unnecessary risks and always pre-plan so you are aware of the elements such as tides, currents or potential hazards.
The first time I decided to photograph a beach I got really caught up in the shots I was taking and the tide shut me off preventing my return to land. I was literally stranded on the rocks and had to climb a sheer cliff and over a barbed-wire fence. My jacket got shredded and I honestly thought I was going to die!