Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Member Profile: Les Pickstock



I’ve been a keen photographer for as long as I can remember. Before secondary school I saved pocket money for a month, and then my Mum made up the rest to have my black and white photos developed. My first plastic camera cost 1s 9d (about 8P to younger members!) and my uncle bought me a few rolls of film a year. The same uncle bought me a Brownie 127 for passing the 11+ exam.. and I promptly left it in a phone box on a school trip to London. Undaunted, I scrimped and saved and got all sorts of (now, in hindsight) rubbish cameras (including an ‘Instamatic’!), until, once working, at 17 I bought my first SLR – a Miranda F. I had a black and white darkroom at home, with a Leitz enlarger lens… the only time a ‘Leica’ has passed through my hands.

Nowadays I shoot with Sony digital cameras (don’t tell my wife about the “s” on the end of “camera”…), processing via Adobe Lightroom and mostly do my own printing on an A3+ Epson 1900. Family images, though, tend to be shown on TV these days. They can look very good in HD/BlueRay. Even better on an iPad.

I’ll photograph anything. But I love nature and ‘technology’ such as aircraft, and I record ships in the Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal. Although this kind of photography is mainly ‘record’ I do try to ‘stamp’ my individualism onto the images. Though sometimes that ‘individualism’ derives from my deep colour insensitivity (!) that can create good-hearted amusement in the club.. I’m not a ‘competitive’ person by nature, but I enjoy entering HPS competitions to both ‘join in’ the spirit and ethos of out society and also gain others’ insight into my photographic style (though I genuinely have no concerns if my images are not ‘winners’ or are criticised).

But my primary interest is landscape and nature… long days walking through the Yorkshire Dales are greatly improved if I return with that ‘special image’ captured in my camera. And in this photographic area, I have  2 main ‘ambitions’: to photograph a dragonfly on the wing and to learn to ‘stack’ macro images so the whole insect (or plant) can be sharp. But first, I have to digitise the ten thousand or so prints, slides and negatives I collected between 1960 and 2013 – when I retired. I say ‘first’… but there is plenty of time to start that.. maybe next year J….

Like many photographers, I have a web site – see http://lesp.zenfolio.com/ - but I’m unsure why…..