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Desert Island Photos

This week at Desert Island Photos we are joined by club competition convener Bernie Clark .

How long have you been a member of the club? I joined in autumn 2015, so this is my fourth year at the club

When did you first get into photography?

I started dabbling in photography back in the early 80’s, and even joined Greenock Camera Club for a year. Unfortunately, I found out that with travelling extensively for work, and the cost of buying and developing film I couldn’t devote the time and money needed to take my interest in photography to the next level. It is only since about 2013 I’ve taken up photography again.

How would you describe your Photography? Random and sporadic. Everything from landscapes, portraits, sports and long exposures through to astro photography - I move between them all, while struggling to fully master any of them.

What was your first camera? A Minolta XD-7 (a 35mm SLR film camera manufactured in the late 70’s / early 80s. It was the first camera ever to feature both shutter priority and aperture priority automatic exposure modes). I still have the camera today.

Whats been your biggest waste of money on camera gear? Presets for Adobe lightroom - absolutely no need for them.

Be Honest - What kind of photography are you bad at? I struggle with portraits (both people or animals) and flash photography - it’s something I’m constantly trying to improve on.

To Crop or Not to Crop? To Crop - I always leave a little extra in the frame so I can crop an image exactly the way I want it in post production. There’s nothing worse that framing an image too tightly in the viewfinder, then getting home and deciding that you need to straighten the image slightly and find that a key element (e.g. the top of a church spire) is now touching the extreme edge of the image.

Whats the thing you enjoy most about photography? I enjoy many different aspects of photography - from the planning of a shoot, getting out and taking the images (whether it’s the piece and tranquility of capturing a landscape or the buzz of following fast action sports), through to the post processing of the final images.

What are you shooting with just now? I currently use a mixture of Canon EOS 1D IV, Canon EOS 6D & Canon EOS 7D II, with a mixture of Canon lenses covering a focal length of 17mm at the wide end through to a 400mm telephoto. I also use a Samyang 14 mm ultra-wide angle lens for astro photography. There is also a saying that the best camera for a given job is the one you have with you - so in many cases it’s the camera in my phone.

What advice would you give someone thinking of taking up photography? Practice, practice, practice. Invest in good lenses before spending money on more advanced camera bodies. Also, find a few good photographers that cover the same genres of photography that you’re interested in (e.g. landscapes, portraits, sports, etc.) and follow their YouTube channels. You can learn a lot this way - both in terms of planning and executing photo assignments, but also how to best post process your images when you get back home.

Whats is your desert island camera and lens set up? Something not much bigger than a mobile phone, shoots at 20 frames per second, f1.2 aperture and a focal range of 14mm to 400mm