My Journey through Photography 3

My Journey through Photography 3

In late 2010 my career took a new direction, I was no longer employed as a photographer, I was now freelance. It was a step into the unknown, not knowing where the next pay packet was going to come from. But I had faith in my ability as a photographer I just needed to make the contacts and get the work.

I made contact with the boss of Extratime.ie and offered my services as a photographer for football matches, and in the couple of years I have been doing the games I have really enjoyed it, Cup Finals, Internationals and weekly league games are just some of the matches I have photographed.

Looking back over my catalogue of photos, and I think I have just fewer than 12,000 photographs shared on Flickr and the events I have covered since my departure from the Defence Forces include Civil War Re-Enactments in both Ireland and England, Motor Races in the Phoenix Park, Motor Cycle Show in the RDS and the Women’s Mini Marathon for the last 3 years. All these events are things I may not have covered while serving, but my experiences while photographing the Defence Forces gave me not only the technical skills but also the organisational and people skills to carry out the jobs.

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As a photographer it is important to keep evolving and improving skills. I started off photographing on 35mm black and white film and processing and printing by hand in the darkroom and now I am using digital cameras and digital media with computers for processing. I do try not to over process on a computer just like I never liked over processing prints in the darkroom, a rule of thumb I have always kept is to try capturing the image correctly in the camera.

That rule of thumb is something I have brought into something else I have started to do recently, Teaching Photography to beginners. This is something I never really thought I would ever do, but after setting up a camera club in the local area as well as developing a course structure I found that I can pass on my knowledge quite well. I suppose going to college late in life and studying media gave me the confidence to develop and deliver classes to strangers and let my enthusiasm for the subject come across.

I have one more article on this subject to write; it will include my inspirations, my ideals and where I hope to develop my career in the coming years.

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My Journey through Photography 2

Starting my Career as a Photographer

Turning 18 and having a proper job allowed me to purchase my first 35mm SLR, a Praktica MTL 5B. A big heavy sturdy camera which still is in complete working order today, nearly 20 years since I first used it. I was now taking photographs every weekend and starting to build up a portfolio and a huge amount of negatives as well as a huge bill in the local chemist for printing. I needed options so I purchased a darkroom kit and started to develop and print a lot of my own black and white films in my bedroom. Turning a bedroom into a darkroom was a challenge but great fun at the time.

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Moving on from the Praktica I purchased a Pentax P30, a superior camera to the Praktica but not as well built or solid as I got only two years out of it before I sold it on and got a second hand Olympus OM10. It was at this time that I started work in the Defence Force, having just turned 20. It would take another 18 months before I managed to get myself a place in the Air Corps Photographic Section, and what followed was 23 years as a Defence Forces photographer, travelling all over Ireland as well as overseas photographing the Defence Forces in action. It was one of the best jobs going and I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Starting back in the late 1980’s in a darkroom and black and white film, with Nikon F3 cameras to finishing up using Canon 5D Digital cameras and Photoshop.

So here I am today, in my mid 40’s and the proud owner of 2 Canon cameras, a full portable studio set up as well as other photographic bits and pieces. My career to date has seen me work through huge leaps in technology and that’s why as a photographer you are always learning.

In my next article I will cover my career since I left the Defence Forces and how I feel my role as a photographer at events is ever changing and evolving.