The Story behind the shot. – My First Keeper.

The Story behind the shot - My First Keeper

In this series of blogs, I want to take you behind the scenes of an image each week, describe my reasons for taking the shots and what I was thinking when creating the image.

In my first post I want to take you back around 15 years ago, to the first shot I took that I was 100% happy with, not only technically but artistically too.

Colliers Moss St Helens
Colliers Moss St Helens 15 Years ago

As a kid, there was always film cameras hanging around the house, that my parents owned but these were often small point and shoot affairs, nothing special compared to the camera’s today, but these started my love affair for photography.

I got interested in photography around 15 years ago when Digital cameras became mainstream and affordable. I’ll be honest that I still love film photography, but digital really peaked my interest in photography again. The ability to take that shot and immediately see the results on the back of the camera, edit them on a computer a short time later really got me excited. Shooting Film is fun, but that waiting a week for the photo’s to be developed only to get them home and find you had 36 blurred images, didn’t really help with my learning. The big feature of learning for me is repetition, rinse and repeat. Take an image, if its rubbish, adjust and take it again, keep doing this until you have the technique. You can do this with film but it takes a long time.

OK, back to the point of this article. I’d just purchased my first DSLR, and I’ll say that it was alien to me. I was so used to just sticking a film in, taking a photo, and then shuffling off to the film store to get them developed. I decided that I needed to learn how to use this camera, so I decided to enrol in a night school class at my local college. I learned about light, composition and depth of field, it was a wonderful experience. If there is one tip I can give to a beginner photographer is learn these three things before you learn anything else. It will really improve your photography.

On this course, I had a project as part of my coursework, where I had to take 3 different images, a landscape, a portrait and a style of my choice. I was really into panoramas at the time and was obsessed with creating them in photoshop, this was back before the wizardry that we have today.

In order to capture my landscape, I ventured off to Bold Forest Park which is a country park built on the remains of one of the old coal mines in the area. A lot of my local area was consumed by the local industries and was left to rot and ruin once these industries had ended. There was a massive amount of mining in the area over the last 100 years, and as these mines were closed they were either turned into housing, warehousing or left derelict until the money was found to improve these. There are areas near where I live like Bold Country Park and the old site of Sutton Manor Colliery which is home to The Dream that have been transformed into wonderful places to walk and photograph. It’s good to see that these have been put into good use.

The image in question used a path as a leading line, the sculpture in the foreground and the bridge in the background was placed on the intersection of the thirds using the rule of thirds method. I did say I’d been learning composition!

I chose this image, as it was one of the first images I’d taken that I look at now and think “That’s not a bad image” it was an image that I was proud to have taken, and I think sometimes its good to look back at your old images and see how far you have come.

I’d love to be able to talk settings, but I’ll honestly say that I can’t remember. This image is more about the feeling I had at the time and what I feel now looking back. I hope to go back and visit this place in a vlog and see how I can improve the shot and talk through the image process on a screen. It might be fun.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at an image I took, and if you like this style of this blog please let me know in the comments. I hoping to get one of these style blogs out every week. The moral of this blog is don’t forget to look back on your old images, and use this as a way to improve, there are no bad images, only better images!

2 comments on “The Story behind the shot. – My First Keeper.”

  • Posted by Graham Thompson

    I really enjoy blog posts a Mike. I know that blogs have been overtaken with YouTube vlogs but when I started using digital cameras, written blogs were the norm and I love to read them.

    The idea of a blog telling the story of a picture is a great one as it is not always a subject that will come across in a video and it is fascinating for me to read about the journey photographers have been on to get where they are now.

    I started photography with a Soviet made Zenit 35mm Camera in 1970. Over the years after I used many cameras in different formats and brands (oh the money I wasted in those days).

    I still think the best shots I ever took on film was with that first Zenit but that could be because I was so in love with photography I was not bothered about technicalities, it was just about shooting rolls of film and getting into the darkroom to make prints.

    Sadly, I no longer have any of my old prints or negatives as I took the decision to bin the lot when I gave up in 2000, my first digital was a Kodak compact in 2002.

    Sorry to ramble on, maybe one day I will put pen to paper and write my journey of photography ?

    • Posted by Mike Chesworth

      Thanks. I enjoy reading and writing posts as well. It’s an art that is being lost with the medium of video and some subjects work better in this format. You certainly have a great camera history. I bet it was all good fun. No need to apologise, I could talk old cameras all day. Good to see that you have started to put this down in writing. It will be a great read and I hope you continue. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and read the blog. Its much appreciated.

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