Nowadays anyone with a smart phone thinks their a photographer, but what does it really take to be a real photographer, with a passion and sixth sense for that perfect shot?
Upcoming Photographer Tom Horton answers some questions:
What first sparked your interest in photography?
I have always been intrigued by photos and nice places, and while at college one of my friends had a DSLR, and after playing around with it myself I was hooked and saved up for my first camera.
Most of the photos I shot when I first started out were urbex, or urban exploration. Basically scouting out derelict buildings & places and taking both documentary & artistic photographs of them. My favourite place when I started out was an old RAF Base in Croft, just north of Warrington where I am from, so I guess the RAF Base was one of the first places I remember shooting at.
What is your preferred subject to shoot?
At the moment my favourite photography to shoot is street photography. Although I still do enjoy finding derelict places and exploring when I get chance to.
Street photography is the main thing I shoot at the moment mainly because of time. I find that I don’t have as much time as I used to for going out on photography trips, so picking up a camera and going out shooting street photography is just something than can be done whenever I fancy.
Next on the list would probably be landscapes, I love going for a drive or cycle out to somewhere with a camera and shooting some nice landscapes, the only problem with this would be the time! Finding time when the weather is nice is quite hard due to other commitments in life, so this is quite a luxury at the moment.
Another thing I love to shoot is events. I work for a charity when I am home, and do the photography at most of their major events. Taking candids at events is the best part about it, capturing the feel of the event and the atmosphere of the day in photos is great.
Do you have find different cameras give different effects? whats your favourite camera to use and why?
Well its mostly really full frame, cropped sensor and then film that are the three major different effects. Digital full frame & cropped sensors are both normally very clean, with full frame being cleaner than cropped sensors because of the size of the sensor, causing less noise on photos.
Film is a whole other world of photography, and is personally my favourite to shoot. Each type of film will have a different look to it, but I feel all of them have so much more character than digital. My favourite camera to shoot with is my Nikon FE. It’s so easy to use, well built and has everything you need at hand and no stupid unnecessary frills – just as it should be.
Who would you say is your favourite photographer?
This is a hard one. I would have to say either Rankin or Don McCullin.
Rankin’s portrait work is just unreal. They all have great character and expression, and all tell a story – which to me, is the main thing to achieve in portrait photography. Being an advertising design student as well, the work he does is very relevant to my area of work.
Don McCullin is an inspiration, and war photography is a big interest of mine, linking the front line to people back at home so they can see what really goes down.
How would you describe your photography style?
My photography style varies so much, although mostly it’s me staying unnoticed and getting candid shots, whether at events or in the streets. I seem to be good at it so I guess that seems to be what most of my photography is, and what I guess you could say my “style” was.
Do you work along side anyone?
The one guy I work alongside most of the time is my housemate, Nick, who is also my business partner. We go out on photography trips a lot and are currently in the process of launching West Yorkshire Cameras at wycameras.com
– dealing new & used camera equipment, and eventually going into repairs down the line. The website is going to be fully running soon so watch this space!
What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I would probably say the strap I have… It’s an Optech strap which clips off, making a small strap which I wrap around my wrist – as I don’t like carrying my camera around my neck or over my shoulder, it makes taking photos so much smoother for me.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
Definitely a 50mm f/1.8. Standard prime lens which can essentially be used for anything! (to an extent of course) The image quality is great from it, it’s fast, sharp, lightweight, compact, easy to manually focus with… Just a great lens really.
Do you ever enhance or edit your photography with software? if so what software ?
I do, I try to keep editing to a minimum but obviously shots straight from a camera are for the most part not 100% right, and could do with a small tweak to levels or colour balance. I use Lightroom for pretty much all my editing, its very easy to use and makes editing and sifting through photos real quick and easy, and setting export options to mass export for different platforms is a very useful tool.
Last but not least, if you could shoot anyone, or anything/anywhere what would you do?
I’d love to shoot Justin Bieber.
But with a camera, I’d love to travel the world and shoot across loads of different countries, Canada, New Zealand, India, China, Tokyo, various African countries… The list is never-ending.
From looking at Tom’s work, I’ve noticed he doesn’t just capture aesthetically pleasing pieces to look at, he captures the everyday thing we may miss.
Check out more of Toms work on his personal website !
Thanks for reading!
By Rebecca Roslyn