Welcome to One Camera One Len’s Photographers Spotlight Series, where we discover other photographers who you may find extremely interesting. They share their love for photography, their stories and a selection of their images. This will be a regular feature, see the end of the article for details.
I took up photography as a hobby in April 2017 after being inspired by a number of landscape images posted on several local social media groups. I started with just the awful phone camera I had at the time, but despite being on an extremely tight budget I have gradually built up a kit list that includes two DSLRs, one 35mm film camera and five lenses (see below for details) covering angles from ultrawide up to long telephoto for pretty much every shooting scenario. For 99% of the time I shoot in full manual, but occasionally switch to aperture priority or manual/auto ISO. I only ever shoot in RAW for maximum processing power, and I’m also a recent convert to back button focus. In addition, while many photographers are quick to dismiss the validity of a mobile phone for anything more serious than a holiday snap, I use my current phone regularly in parallel with my other cameras because its RAW files are a joy to work with (and it’s with me wherever I go).
I use a variety of techniques to overcome limitations of dynamic range and depth of field, such as bracketed exposure merging (using luminosity masks) and focus stacking, plus I regularly shoot panoramas and long exposures. I also love to experiment with whatever brainwave is floating around my wandering mind at the time. If I’ve learned anything during the past three years then it’s most definitely the importance of experimentation.
I really enjoy shooting architecture, nature and portraits. However, my number one favourite genre (by miles) is landscape photography. For me, there’s nothing quite like being able to visit a beautiful location in (hopefully) beautiful light and being creative and artistic at the same time. I prefer to avoid very bright, harsh, middle-of-the-day sunlight with “postcard blue skies” for landscapes. These conditions can be good for black and white photography, but in general it does absolutely nothing for me. Rather, I favour drama and mood in my landscape images, and will always opt for either golden hour, dappled light as a storm is breaking, fog or mist. Anything that doesn’t involve “holiday brochure” weather.
For three years I have used Affinity Photo for all my editing. It was a very steep and lengthy learning curve to get to grips with this very complex piece of software, but once past that I have loved it ever since. It does 99.9% of what I need it to. Very occasionally I use Nik Collection as a plugin with Affinity if I’m after a specific effect that is otherwise time consuming to create from scratch (when I get lazy, basically, which isn’t often).
I’ve never really thought about whether I have a particular editing style or not. However, after scrutinizing my website and various social media galleries recently it does appear that I have a relatively consistent look to my photos. This will undoubtedly continue to evolve as I relentlessly seek to improve. My website and social media pages are always up to date, and I regularly write blogs on various photographic topics.
I’m really looking forward to experimenting with film photography once my recently gifted Minolta comes back from having a service and repair. With my digital photography I’m looking to eventually upgrade to a full frame 24MP sensor (D750 or Z6, for example; any higher than 24MP is overkill really) mainly for the far superior low light performance. In the meantime my aim is just simply to refine my current methods, shoot in more favourable conditions and just generally get better… much better than I currently am. I don’t tend to do things by halves, and photography definitely isn’t an exception to this.
Thanks for reading
David C. Ellinsworth PhD
Facebook Page: facebook.com/DavidCEllinsworthPhotography
Manfrotto 05XB (tripod)
Manfrotto 222 (tripod head)
Affinity Photo (Serif)
We’re always looking for photographers to share their stories, websites, social media and more. Please contact me if you would like to contribute! People always enjoy reading about others. Get yourself seen today!