I am a family man with a wife and 2 girls, living in Bournemouth on the south coast of England. When I am not standing knee deep in water or doing an impression of a mountain goat on the side of a cliff, I work as an IT Consultant and specialise in the Education sector.
I have always been around cameras and photography but only recently found my niche. I had a hand-me-down Pentax Spotmatic Film camera when I was a teenager (quite a few years ago now), then a 2MP Kodak DC5000 digital camera in 2000 and then followed by a couple of Fuji bridge cameras. I advanced to an entry level DSLR - a Canon 350D around 2007 and next a 650D in 2010 but I never really got past basic aperture/shutter priority modes and family snaps.
For the rest of the story see the little feed below but I am now an Olympus shooter using their OM-D EM1 MkII camera and an array of lenses. I shoot primarily seascapes and I love shots that have a lot of close foreground detail.
(Photo - Me in my element shooting stormy seas at Portland Bill - Photo Credit: Ben Kapur )
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Next, I purchased a GoPro, great little device but I was soon craving more control.
So, I did what any self-respecting techie would do…. I set some requirements and spent about 2 months googling, comparing specs/sample pics and compromises (there are always compromises) before settling on an Olympus OM-D E-M10 MKII.
I got 2 lenses, the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 & 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6. The entire kit with 2 lenses and a mini tripod weighed less than my old DSLR and had much greater flexibility.
I spent the rest of 2017 getting used to the basics of photography rather than just Instagram snaps but kept posting away. The planning of my rides, even the commutes, became an integral part of my routine so that I could stop at certain locations at key times (usually blue hour through golden hour) to try and get a good shot as well as being out on my bike. The enjoyment of being out early to capture a sunrise before work or the relaxing ride home with a stop off for sunset somewhere became part of the fun.
I also started experimenting with long exposures using a cheap variable ND filter and I loved the results that were achievable even with a very modest set-up.
Then in early December 2017 I went on my first non-bike photo trip and really enjoyed it, it was quite a pivotal moment when my 2 hobbies drew on a par with each other.
Later in December I went on a photo meet with 3 other photographers that I had been following for a while, we got on great and I didn’t feel like a complete novice around them either.
By this point it was safe to say I had “the photography bug”.
As 2018 started, the ride/photo planning became even more involved as I started to look at the weather conditions, the tides and the position of the sun in the sky at a particular time on a particular date.
Additionally, my first major upgrade to a 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens materialised in the first few months of 2018. Next came a landscape filter kit by Nisi. Despite adding weight to my kit it was still small and light enough to carry on the bike and I could reduce what I took if I was going on a really long ride.
I was then approached by a local film maker, Stewart Gilbert, that had been following me for a while on Instagram, he was doing a project to highlight people’s stories from around the area and he wanted to make a film about me.
We spent 3 mornings filming and I even did a voice over. Once I saw the final film I was blown away, it captured me, my cycling, my photography and my love of the local area perfectly.
From here the photography side snowballed a bit, I explored further, met more and more photographers and continued to learn. I upgraded my camera body to an OM-D E-M1 MK II, the increased pixel count, weather sealing, High Res Shot (my favourite new feature) and improved IBIS have all been put to very good use on every session.
I continue to get out and about as often as I can - this could be just to the beach, to explore the wider local area, meet photographer friends, trips further afield and enjoy my photography passion (obsession?).