What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
Photography is my hobby, which is how I like it, in real life I’m actually the owner of a property rental company in the UK which keeps me extremely busy, my only real responsibilities to my photographic hobby is my Admin role within the Photoshop & Lightroom Facebook group, which also keeps me busy, but I love it, it’s such a great group for learning.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
3 years ago I took an Open University course in Digital Photography, it was only a 3 month course but it got me hooked! I was 48 at the time so I guess I’ve left photography pretty late! Since then I have taken photos of most things, although I do love wildlife and aircraft, but I have a real passion to learn and to increase my knowledge of not only photography but also post processing. I’ve attended numerous photographic workshops in the UK and continue to do so as I’m a firm believer in training. Im also a Qualified Member of the Guild Of Photographers in the UK and won their Photographer Of The Year title in 2013 for the Open category and was also runner up for the overall Multi Genre category.
I continue to strive to improve, although everyday I feel like I am just starting out.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
I think if I were to pursue a career in this field the biggest obstacle would be if I could actually earn enough money to support my family as it’s such a competitive industry nowadays. That said, because of my property company its not something that I’m looking at doing. I also enjoy the lack of pressure that comes with doing photography as a hobby, it means I can enjoy it and shoot for me!.
With all the new versions of Photoshop and Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
For me I have really enjoyed the newer versions of Lightroom, I feel it has really come on and you can now do so much in it that wasn’t previously possible. I especially like the graduated and radial filters for really taking control of directing the best attention to your image. The simple fixes for correcting Chromatic Aberration and straightening images are also fantastic along with all the automation for simple tasks like importing and exporting in specific ways. I also LOVE to colour tone in Lightroom as its so quick and once I find a tone I like its just a case of saving it as a preset for future use.
For Photoshop I think it has to be the new Blur features along with the Radial and Graduated filters in Adobe Camera Raw, also the Content Aware has really come on, I just wish the Refine Edge was better as I still don’t think Adobe has nailed that.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
As I’m still learning I love to watch tutorials on YouTube and my favorite Photoshop Artists by far are Aaron Nace and Glyn Dewis, they are fantastic! And both have so many easy to follow tutorials.
I don’t really follow photographers as such but some of whom I really like are Adrian Sommeling, Meg Bitton, Brooke Shaden & Miss Aniela. All of these have something about their work that just stops you in your tracks and for me that’s what makes a good image.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photography the best?
I maybe old school as I tend to use Facebook, its easy to update and it reaches a wide audience, I just find it quite ‘user friendly’ but that may because I’ve used it for so long, but also because most people have it and are on it most days, whether its on their computers or phones. We all know that the quality isn’t fantastic but there are other sites for that.
I also use 500px.com to showcase my better work as the image quality there is far superior to Facebook,. The quality of photography on that site is absolutely mind-blowing and as a site its getting better and better.
I’ve tried using Google+ as so many people say I should be on it, but im still not convinced with how many people are actually using it and whether it’s beneficial for me at this point in time.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
Social media is a key part of getting your work out there and I think most people are now realizing that. I also think it will only get better for photographers with new sites always popping up to showcase their work.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
Now that Adobe has moved to a subscription service it can only be a good thing. I was against it at first as it was such a big move for them but now that Im on board I think its great, the updates come through thick and fast and there’s always new features around the corner and its so great knowing that you will always be running the latest versions.
How Lightroom & Photoshop work together is also fantastic as I think many people still view them as programs they use separately, one or the other, but they are so powerful when used together.
So I think the future for Photoshop & Lightroom users is great!