I think I've had an interest on photography since I was in my mid to late teens - a very long time before digital cameras were the norm.
My earliest 'snapper' memories include using those thin 110 cameras with the push on one-use flash bulbs and the easy load film cartridges. I remember having taken the pictures, with much thumb scrolling between each shot, I'd have to endure the heady excitement of heading to to the nearest branch of Smith's to send them off in an envelope for developing.
All in the hope that some of the 24 shots I'd taken might 'come out ok'! Or even if I'd actually get my own pictures back.
Simpler times perhaps.
Thankfully the 'shutter bug' stayed with me as I dabbled with the 35mm format film cameras and some of the earlier digital cameras which - whilst very exciting for a geek like me - were pretty rubbish.
Fast forward a few more years and my love of photography doesn't seem to have
dwindled at all. Possibly quite the opposite.
And, more recently, my photography has taken on even more meaning - helping me manage my mental wellbeing in what is rapidly becoming a very challenging and complicated world. Being able to be out in the fresh air, taking in the surroundings and looking for new opportunities is the perfect start and/or end to those busy days and weeks.
So, what gets my 'shutter shutting' I hear you ask?
Well, I like to try all sorts of things but - as you'll find as you mooch through my galleries - I most often take images of wildlife and landscapes as they're in plentiful supply right on my doorstep.
But I've started to dabble in macro (close-up) imagery and - most recently - I've become fascinated by portraits and how simple changes such as a different lens or a slight move of a flash unit can completely change an image. The whole thing fascinates me!
Whilst my hobby doesn't support me financially - I work full time elsewhere - I'm very lucky that my real world job provides plenty of opportunity for me to take photographs and videos in all manner of places across the UK. I've seen my work published on the covers of a FTSE100 annual report (two actually!) and across the channels of many organisations.
A few years ago, I decided to set up as a sole trader and was successfully selling my images at Highland games, country shows and for a period, at one of central Scotland's main tourist attractions. I know that my work has (and hopefully still is) hanging in homes across the world and that's a nice thing to know.
One of the most enjoyable elements of the Highland games was meeting people and chatting to them about Scotland and photography.
Unfortunately, everyday life and work kind of got in the way so I stopped selling which I really do miss.
Maybe I'll get back to it some day...
kit 'n' caboodle
I'm a digital shooter and generally use the Canon DSLRs that I've enjoyed owning over the years.
I finally went full frame back in 2019 although I still use a crop sensor camera from time to time - often when I want the extra reach on a zoom lens for some wildlife work.
And I always have my iPhone (other excellent smartphones are also available!) on hand for those times when an opportunity presents itself. And I have a Sony compact camera which is great for the days I just can't be bothered hauling my Canon about with me.
One of my biggest regrets is that I haven't always taken my images in RAW. But now that I do, I'm able to take full advantage of the many amazing editing packages and apps that I have access too. I should add that I am not an expert in such things so my images have only received what might be considered a relatively light touch in terms of tweaks.
I enjoy reading photography magazines, watching YouTube and looking over Instagram and similar in order to learn and be inspired to try even more things with my cameras.
Photography allows my geeky and creative sides to play side by side in relative harmony.
Hopefully you'll find evidence of that on Images of Scotland.