Stephen Wolstenholme is ready to take his photography up a gear
I bought my first D-SLR, a Nikon D3200, when my son was born a couple of years ago, and I started to take a lot of photos of him. I soon discovered the joy of creative photography, and of post-production editing using Lightroom.
The main genres of photography that I especially enjoy are macro and landscape photography. I really like low-light landscape photography, but I struggle living in an urban environment to find picturesque locations within a short distance of my home. I work long hours and have a young son, so spending time with him is very important to me. When I have a couple of hours while my son has his nap I take a lot of macro shots, playing around with offcamera flash, light and reflections to try to make my images unique.
I have recently bought a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and a Tamron 90mm macro lens, and love discovering what can be done with a little offcamera flash or a shallow depth of field, or a long exposure. I am currently looking to invest in an ultra wide-angle lens (possibly a Sigma 1020mm f/4-5.6) to take my landscapes to the next level. I have also just subscribed to Photoshop CC and have set myself the challenge to learn how to use this to add that extra finish and ‘wow’ factor to my images, and I am daunted as to where to start.
Your landscapes are nicely composed, and you’ve got the knack of waiting for the light. It might be worth getting a set of ND grads. In one of your sunset shots, the silhouetting of Brighton’s derelict pier works because the sea is reflecting the brightness of the sky, but in situations where the foreground is darker (if you’re shooting a sunset over a landscape, for example), a graduated neutral density filter would help balance the exposure.
Beware of the background in backlit portraits – the shot of your son has lovely edge lighting, but the silhouette of a tree trunk behind him is too close in tone, and detracts from his shape. A couple of steps left or right would have avoided this.
As you enjoy macros and live in an urban environment, have you considered trying a series of outdoor macros? Walls, architectural details, wooden doors and fences and so on all make great subjects for macros, in colour or black and white. Also, the narrow plane of focus macro lenses produce can take a little time to get used to, so static subjects are perfect to start with.
Now you’re a subscriber to CC, don’t forget to try our Photoshop project each month! We supply the images you need, and following the instructions in the magazine or on the disc will really help you get to grips with its powerful tools, so you’ll be ready to try new techniques out on your own photos.