Gallery Member Spotlight - aderixon

In the latest installment of this regular series, we cast the spotlight on members of the PhotographyBLOG Gallery and ask them about their photography. The 14th member to sit in the interview chair is aderixon.

What do you enjoy most about the Gallery?

The cost! :-) A fiver a year for all that space that is a bargain. I know I should say the sense of community too, but sadly I have little extra time available to participate fully, although I do try to reciprocate good comments. It is a very civil forum though.

Do you think being a Gallery member has helped improve your photography?

I'm not sure it has had a strong influence, but the odd positive comment is always encouraging providing one doesn't become dependent on receiving them. (Often I love shots that others seem to find unremarkable.) Showing your work in public does cause you to think carefully about whether it's worth showing (or should do anyway). It's also a pleasure when I stumble across excellent b/w work.

Black and White is obviously your favourite topic - what is it that interests you so much?

Anything more colourful than shades of gray confuses and distracts me! I like the evocative moods of monochrome work, which almost come as part of the medium. It's a different way of looking at the world; it often reduces the image to its essentials, which can be more powerful, whereas a colour shot might be a mere record of the scene. At its best (Winogrand, Erwitt or Eugene Smith, say), it hooks you and draws you in and then stays with you.

What kind of equipment do use now, and what did you start with?

Disregarding the Olympus Trip of my teenage years (excellent lens but very limited), my first proper camera was a Nikon F80. It's actually just gone up on eBay - I loved using it, but I've graduated towards older manual focus cameras because there are fewer buttons to think about and more direct control.

I now use a variety of gear, both film and digital (it's all good, folks) and much of it secondhand. My favourite though is my Nikon EM, an extremely basic and cheaply built SLR that nevertheless is wonderfully light and does everything I require - put a 50mm lens with an orange filter on it and you see magic through the viewfinder. At this point in my life, more time would be of greater benefit than more gear (that doesn't stop me acquiring gear, of course)!

Have you sold any of your Gallery photographs?

Ahahahaha, I wish!! I haven't tried and no one's offered - friends and relations mysteriously change the subject whenever I offer to make them a
(free!) print of something they've admired! I suspect a lot of my work has strictly personal appeal so I can't imagine who'd buy one. I'm open to offers though, especially if someone asks nicely because they genuinely love a particular shot - or they offer a boatload of cash because, hey, I have a major camera habit to maintain.

If so, what has been your biggest sale?

Not speaking monetarily, but I once did a b/w shoot with the young toddler of some friends and their delight over the results, and the knowledge that they wouldn't otherwise have had pictures like that, was extremely gratifying. They've just asked me to do another one with their second child, so I guess I did something right.

What is the one piece of advice that you would give to other budding photographers?

All the cool gear and clever technique in the world aren't worth one single great shot, and that often comes down to luck - it won't necessarily be of a sunset or a beautiful place, so just be ready and receptive when it happens.

You can see more of aderixon's photographs in this User Gallery.

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