Welcome to the monthly focus on one of our Society members.
For April 2019 we talk to Terry Mann
Can you tell us what first got you interested in photography?
I first became interested in photography in the early 1960’s when I was a student apprentice at AEI Rugby. I bought a Kodak 66 in 1962 from a local chemist. It used 120 film, 21/4 ” square negatives.
A couple of years prior to that I had borrowed the Zeiss version of that camera type from my brother-in-law while staying with him and my sister in Malta so was familiar with its operation. The Kodak 66 was used a great deal when AEI arranged for me and two other apprentices to spend 6 months at a ship builders in the Netherlands. During that period I started to do colour photography with colour negative film. I’ve never done any film processing.
Following the Kodak 66 I moved on to SLR photography with Praktica and then Canon cameras. My interest in macro photography started in the Praktica era. I had a set of bellows I used with the 50mm lens reversed on the bellows.
What type of photographs do you most enjoy taking?
I enjoy taking any sort of photograph if the opportunity arises and my equipment is capable.
Landscapes, nature, particularly close-up and macro of insects but any animal or bird that comes my way and I’m ready for it. I like taking candid people shots and scruffy features of old buildings and equipment.
I tend to be an “as seen” photographer and do not go in for significant post processing – the picture is made when the shutter is released! I particularly like to make prints because they are more tangible than a screen image. For some time I’ve made albums as a record of my photography, often with several images on a page and some form of description.
One of my favourite programs is Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) used for making panoramas and even 360x 360 degree images.
I have a 1500 x 400mm print of a National Trust property at home made from 42 images in 3 rows giving a 124 degree span. I’ve also made an 80 image, 360 x 360 degree photograph of a church interior. The original image is 25088 x 11534 pixels, or 289 Mega Pixels.
There are some discontinuities but I would have needed many more images using a longer focal length to eliminate that.
(Drag in any direction to look around. Use the full screen button, if you wish. If viewing on a phone or tablet you can even use the device’s internal accelerometer and gyro to look around by physically rotating the device. You can even use a simple phone-based Virtual Reality viewer such as Google Cardboard for an immersive experience.)
What type of photographic equipment do you use?
I first used a digital camera at work in the late 1990s. It was a Nikon Coolpix 900 and was 1MPixels. We used it to record quality problems but the trouble was our IT department complained we were using too much of the network storage space! How things have moved on!
I bought my first digital camera in 2002, A Fuji S602, 3MP “prosumer” camera. That was followed by a Canon DSLR and I’m now using my 3rd DSLR, a Canon 80D.
My lenses are Canon 15-85mm f3.5-5.6; 70-300mm f4-5.6 L series; 60mm f2.8 Macro and a Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6.
Currently I am have an Epson R2000 A3+ printer and use Qimage Ultimate software for printing. In addition to making it easy to arrange images on a page (from A4 to wide format professional printing), add borders & text, the program’s unique algorithms make high quality prints, even from low resolution images. I also use its raw processing and editing functionality. I have Paint Shop Pro, Affinity and SNS-HDR for other editing or processing.
Can you identify some photographers that have inspired you?
There are none in particular. However, I do enjoy seeing the work of the other members at DPS and work on Internet galleries. Both sources give me ideas for subject matter and composition.
Can you show us a selection of your photographs each with a short explanatory paragraph; what inspired you to take the photograph or process it in the way you have?
This owl is an early digital shot taken with the Fuji S602 at the Royal Agricultural Show at Stoneleigh. I started to learn how much more control I had with a digital image.
“A Nosey Dog” is a 2005 Canon 350D jpeg photo, I think I entered it in a DPS competition.
The next was raw image processed with SNS-HDR. It does not overdo the tone mapping, saturation etc. and good at giving grey skies plenty of contrast.
Photography teaches you to be observant and spot amusing scenes.
“Enter Here For An Undercut” is a barber’s shop in Norwich. The open door helps to lead you inside and see the occupants and hopefully tells a story.
The next photograph was taken in Norwich Cathedral. The coloured light from a stained glass window and the person standing in the doorway made the scene stand out.
The next is one of the few images where I have done more significant post processing. In this case with Corel Painter.
This image is of pressure relief valves on a locomotive on the Bure Valley Railway. The composition and steam attracted my attention.
“Grandfather’s Pocket Watch” is a still life done for a competition. I used the on-camera flash with an external flash gun bounced from the ceiling.
A Soul Band were performing on a small outdoor stage in Bristol. It was raining. I was grateful for a water resistant 70-300m lens with excellent stabilisation – hand held, shutter speed 1/50th at f5, ISO 800 and 200mm focal length.
The next image is a late afternoon Winter scene spotted as I was leaving Charlecote Park. It’s the River Dene with mist encroaching on a herd of Fallow Deer.
Finally a couple of nature shots:
A Koala Bear near the Great Ocean Road Australia. Taken with a 70-300 non-stabilised Canon lens, at 300mm. The Koala was about 10m up the tree but I was able to take an eye level shot as I was at the same level on a steep slope. Canon 350D, ISO 400, 1/80 sec, hand held but leaned on a tree for support.
Here is a macro shot taken in my garden using on-camera flash with a diffuser. 60mm f2.8 macro lens, F16,1/125 sec, ISO 400, 1 x magnification; ie. closest focus distance and life size on the 80D sensor.
How do you see your photography developing in the future?
I don’t think I’ll be changing my processing very much. It would be nice to have more opportunities for wildlife photography but I’m not sure I have the patience to sit in a hide for hours. Macro photography in the garden is much easier!
I’d quite like to do more street photography, I just need a little more courage. I will continue to take my camera out with me at every opportunity, even if it’s only a local walk or shopping trip to Leamington.
I’ll continue to take photographs for my own enjoyment whatever the subject matter and accept the challenges of our competition subjects including those of the Merit series.
Thanks Terry for a fascinating article with a wide range of great images. I especially like the 360 panorama; the first we have had on our website. Brilliant!