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Camera House : Better Pictures 10
PeoPle snaps Photo Friday winner James Collier unveils his photographic journey. It’s been many years since a young James Collier got a Box Brownie camera with a roll of 620 film from his parents for his eighth birthday, but the shooter still recalls how amazed he would feel at being able to “capture a moment in time”, saying he always “looked forward to getting my photos back”. Eventually James traded in his trusty Box Brownie for a 35mm compact, with which he would regularly shoot slide film as it gave great results. “Slide nights were always exciting when Dad got the projector out. To see your pictures blown up on the screen was always fun to see. This little camera gave me a much better result than the old Box Brownie and from that point on I really started to develop a greater interest in picture taking.” After saving his pennies, James bought his first SLR, an Olympus OM-10, and his passion for photography really went into overdrive. A job in a photo lab followed, where James honed his processing skills. Nowadays he’s rarely seen without his camera in hand – saying he couldn’t imagine his life without photography. “To be without my cameras would be an unbearable thing – I get immense satisfaction from being out in the elements with my camera and coming home with some great shots!“ One such great shot earned him a win in the Photo Friday Landscape competition. According to James, he’d initially intended shooting at a different location, “however there were other people in the area that would have caused some interference to the shot, so I decided to drive on and see what else I could find. I drove past the trees, and the glow in the distance behind them stood out. I stopped the car, set the camera up on the tripod and shot for about 60 minutes.” Serendipity? Perhaps. James believes luck and being in the right place at the right time can often come into play in a great shot. “ With the tree star trail I was lucky enough to get a plane flying into the shot and then turn onto its final approach into Avalon airport. That stroke of luck added an extra element of interest to the image that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.” James adds: “I’m often asked, ‘How did you get that shot?’ My answer is simple. You have to put yourself into a position to get that shot. I spend a lot of time driving around looking for locations to shoot. It’s amazing what you can find on country back-roads!” Still, he admits shooting landscapes can be tricky. “Landscape photography can be quite frustrating at times. There’s nothing worse than getting to a location and the conditions you were hoping for don’t eventuate. I will visit a location many times until I’m happy with the result.” As for James’ notion of an image that packs a punch – he admits that he looks for an image “that makes me say, wow”. “A great landscape, portrait or photojournalism image is a picture that tells a story in a powerful way or shows the power and beauty of nature.” Since joining the Camera House Facebook page, James confesses he’s found plenty of inspiration. “It’s always fun working to a theme, it really makes you think hard about how you tackle a photo. I really enjoy seeing how other photographers interpret the themes and how they approach their image for the final result.” ■ 1. Explore! Some of the best locations I’ve found by scouting for new places. 2. Shoot the location in light that compliments the scene – be prepared to get up early or stay up late. 3. Get down and dirty! Don’t be afraid to shoot from an angle that means you have to lie in the dirt to frame the shot or stand in a creek and get wet feet. 4. Experiment with focal length. Sometimes it’s worth pulling that 500mm lens out of the bag and put the 10mm away! Look deep into your landscape, you might be surprised what you find. 5. Work your landscape, look at it from other angles. If you sit in the one spot you may miss a great shot. On a recent sunset shoot, I ran back and forth, up and down, over and under during the sunset. The result was a series of shots of the foreground subject that I was really pleased with that I would not have otherwise got if I were stationary, waiting for the sun to set. I was also very puffed! James 5 tIps for shootIng great landscapes PROFILE Photo Friday 23 023_Bpics10_peoplesnaps.v2_subbed.indd 23 3/09/12 11:00 AM
Better Pictures 9
Better Pictures 11