Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Member Profile: George Evans

I took up photography by accident in 2004 selling my golf clubs due to osteoarthritis and buying a Sony bridge camera to take with me on long walks for exercise. It was the digital age and the Sony F717 with its electronic viewfinder enabled me to instantly see the results of changes made to the camera settings in the viewfinder before I clicked the shutter. This allowed me to learn from my mistakes, understand the basic principles of photography and to learn quickly. I am a self taught photographer.

The Sony F717 also introduced me to the world of infrared photography, as I learned from internet forums that you could utilise its "Nightshot" mode with the stacking of an NDx4 and R72 infrared filter and take infrared photographs hand held at the camera flash speed of 1/60th second.

Looe Harbour - Sony F717 Infrared 
I eventually found the zoom range and the features of the Sony F717 limiting and upgraded to the Minolta 5D DSLR being attracted to the camera's in body image stabilisation and I bought a range of lenses including the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens which enabled me to pursue my other interest in flower photography.

Borage and Bee
Photography can be a lonely hobby especially when no-one in your family shares your interest, so I joined Hoylake Photographic Society in around 2008 because I wanted to know how far my photography had progressed compared to other photographers and I found the feedback from judges in the monthly competitions and the advice of the guest speakers very useful.

On thing that I've learnt from the guest speakers is not to try and copy any one photographer but to find your own style. To be different I've tried to do that by developing my love of infrared and by using a fisheye lens in my photography. I enjoy the post processing side of photography and believe that you have to make a photograph not simply take one. I'm a great fan of the Topaz and Nik Photoshop plugin filters and they play a big part in determining my individual style of image.

My photographic gear developed from the Minolta A mount to the Sony A mount cameras. My main camera after the Sony A700 was the Sony A77 with an electronic viewfinder taking me back to my roots and in 2010 I had a Sony A200 DSLR permanently converted to the 720nm wavelength of infrared to get me back into infrared photography.

Flaybrick Cemetery at Dusk - Sony A200 Infrared
The 720nm wavelength of infrared is just on the edge of the colour spectrum and captures faint amounts of colour in the red and blue channels which can be channel swapped to produce blue skies or discarded to produce mono images.

Secret Door of Ness - Coloured Sony A200 Infrared
I'm always striving to try something different and high dynamic range (HDR) photography is another technique that I like to use when appropriate and I've had some success by winning the Williamson Open 2014 with a landscape " Daybreak on Llyn Dinas"

Daybreak on Llyn Dinas - Williamson Open 2014 Winner
I don't know whether club photography is to blame for my not specialising in one type of photography be it Wedding, Landscapes or Portraits or whether club photography was the natural home of some-one who likes to shoot what he sees. I'm not a prolific photographer only using my equipment when the mood and the inspiration surfaces.

Yesteryear's Parlour - Sony A77 and Fisheye lens
Technology is always evolving and I've made a recent switch from Sony A mount to E mount buying the Sony A7mk2 full frame mirrorless camera and I've had a Sony A6000 permanently converted to the 590nm "Goldie" wavelength of infrared. This wavelength of infrared is further towards the colour spectrum capturing stronger colour in the red and blue channels mixed with infrared light which allows for more creative post processing.

Umbrella of the Deceased - Sony A6000 Infrared.
Welsh Landscape - Sony A6000 Infrared
For three years I've been a volunteer photographer for the "Wirral Festival of Firsts" arts festival which has given me the opportunity to shoot live performances and I'm the administrator of the Hoylake Photographic Society blog.

Chris Tarrant - Wirral Festival of Firsts
You never stop learning and the more you shoot the better you get. My aim is to develop and perfect the 590nm wavelength of infrared and to try and improve my general photography in camera and in post processing. To view my portfolio of photography in colour, mono and infrared visit my George W Evans Photography website.