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Camera House : Better Pictures 14
PeoPle snaps Shirley Milburn, winner of the Photo Friday ‘Emotions’ competition, takes us through her photographic journey. snap-happy shooter Shirley Milburn has a string of acclaimed images to her name, and says that winning the occasional award goes a long way towards paying for her passion. “I have never considered photography a career possibility. Although it is my passion,” says Milburn. “However, getting recognition in national competitions and awards, plus selling the occasional print, are fantastic rewards, and do help fund what can be an expensive hobby,” she says. Milburn has been taking photos since her youth: one of her earliest memories is of receiving a Kodak disc camera as a Christmas present. “I was about 12, and from then on I assumed the role of family photographer,” remembers Milburn. She still recalls the excitement of undertaking that process of development. “The disc film was 15 shots and I can still remember the excitement of the ‘Bonusprint’ envelope arriving in the post with the photographs inside. I was always the one with the camera at events and on holidays.” Growing up as her family’s resident photographer has allowed Milburn to sharpen her eye and she says she’s always looking for inspiration, whether it’s in magazines, the internet or nature. “I spend a lot of time online looking at images and trying to understand what appeals to me and what doesn’t,” says Milburn. “I mainly shoot landscapes, and so I will research locations, and utilise online tools for plotting sunrise and sunset and checking the weather conditions. When I arrive at a location I will try and take in the scene first, looking at what is happening all around. I confess, I can often get ‘blinkered’ on a shoot, so if I have a ‘lone tree on a hill’ in mind, sometimes I forget to look for anything else.” Today, Milburn has a family of her own so finds she has less time for spontaneous shoots than before. Not to say she still doesn’t sometimes stumble upon a happy accident where everything comes together for the perfect shot. “Having two small children means my shoots are often pre-planned, and so I have to take the luck of the draw with the weather. Happy accidents can’t happen unless you have the camera with you though, and some of my favourite photos have been quickly- grabbed shots while out with friends or family. The thrill of being at a great location when there is a fabulous sunrise or sunset is an amazing feeling though.” Her idea of a great photo is simple: “One that captures your attention and evokes an emotion. There is no magical formula, and what one person thinks is great, another may flick straight past. I love quite minimal images, where what has been left out of the image is just as important as what has been framed.” Being a part of the Photo Friday family has also impacted Milburn’s work. “Photo Friday is a fabulous competition that often pushes me outside of my comfort zone and gets me trying new things. I love looking at the different interpretations of a theme, and this helps to expand my creativity too. There are many talented photographers in the group, most of whom are willing to share their experience and knowledge.” See more of Shirley’s images at shirleymilburn.com ■ • Canon EoS 5D III • Canon EoS 7D • Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USm LEnS • Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS USm LEnS • Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USm LEnS • Canon EF100mm maCro F/2.8L IS USm LEnS • LEE CIrCULar PoLarISEr FILtEr • LEE BIg StoPPEr FILtEr • HItECH nD anD gnD FILtErS • SParE BattEry anD CF CarDS • rEmotE trIggEr • manFrotto 055Pro XB trIPoD InsIde shIrley’s bag? ProFILE SNAP HAPPY 23 023_Bpics14_peopleSnaps_v2.indd 23 29/08/13 1:20 PM
Better Pictures 13