I got into photography when I was about 14 yrs old when my Dad lent me his old Halina Micronta 35X for a school hillwalking trip. I continued to use this fully mechanical (auto-nothing) camera for about 4yrs, replacing it with a Minolta X300 kit. The Minolta took a fair bit of abuse until it gave up the ghost 2yrs ago. I say abuse, because it accompanied me for about 15yrs on my trips climbing and hill-walking in Scotland. For a number of years my interest in photography waxed and waned, until about two years ago when I realised this was probably because I hadn't really explored many aspects of the craft (Although,I had flirted at times with processing and printing b&w, but this was self-taught using very basic and borrowed equipment).
I was also at this time looking to make a serious career change, and friends and family had always said I should do something with photography.
Anyway, in 2003 I decided to work part-time and return to college in Dundee to do an NQ in photography, and was surprised at how much I already knew. Thats not to say that I didn't learn anything, far from it! Doing this course introduced me to Medium Format and 5x4 equipment as well as studio lighting techniques. Everything was done in b&w and produced by hand. But probably of most benefit was having to work to a specific brief on each assignment (forcing you to use equipment you'd probably avoid given the choice ;-)!!). And these briefs covered a broad and challenging range of genres.
Right now I've just completed a 2nd year (HNC Photography and Digital Imaging) which obviously takes things a bit further, working to briefs but including colour transparency and a lot of digital.
During these two years I've had images published in both the local and national press and have undertaken a few commissions, mainly portraits and group shots.
I am intending to enroll on the next stage of these courses (HND) which will be mostly self-directed and themed. Overall these courses have made me realise that I do have a modicum of talent that can be developed, but mostly it has given me the confidence and self-belief to make that career change. Heres to the future, Slainte! :-)
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