Top tips for your summer holiday photos with Mike Kerr
Have you had enough of the rain and snow? Are you dreaming of a summer holiday? Sadly, due to the current lockdown restrictions we can’t go on an actual holiday. But we can go on a virtual holiday thanks to these amazing photos from my good friend Mike Kerr.
Mike is a brilliant amateur photographer. He has kindly allowed me to use many of his photos on my website. He is joining the blog today to share some of his photos from his travels, with his lovely wife Julia. He is also going to give some tips especially for budding photographers and beginners.
Photography is a great passion of yours. What first made you interested in photography?
I think it was looking at the dozens of photographs my mum took on her Kodak Instamatic of our holidays and other family gatherings in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Blurred images, heads cut off, off centre compositions and lots of photographs of the floor. Yes I know, that was the norm in those days. Bless her she tried her best and we do have some decent photographs stored away. I thought to myself, I wonder if I could do any better?
What was your first camera?
My wife Julia was the camera owner for our early married years, another instamatic type, sending the exposed film off to “Trueprint” and eagerly awaiting their return. The format was 1 main photo with 4 smaller images on it. Wow how cool was that! I don’t think we ever separated them to hand out to friends and family. Thank goodness for Facebook!
My first camera in the early 1980’s was a Christmas present off Julia, a Russian made Zenith TTL with a Helios 35mm lens. It was fully manual and had a small battery to power a very basic built in exposure meter. The camera was so solid it could have been modelled on the Russian T80 tank. It was a great camera to practice on and got me hooked on photography.
What camera do you use now and why?
After the Zenith I decided on Nikon and have always stayed with them. I currently have a Nikon D500. I chose this for its 10 frames per second continuous shooting, which is ideal for motorsports and wildlife photography.
What camera(s) would you recommend to a complete beginner?
Difficult question. There are now so many digital cameras out there. It’s all down to budget and what you want to use the camera for. Most now come with built in zoom lenses, that will enable a wide variety of shots and differing compositions. Purchase one to suit your budget and maybe progress to a DSLR with interchangeable lenses if you feel photography is for you.
Your landscape photographs are incredible, they always make us feel as if we are right there in the moment and we can almost feel the warmth of the sun. What do you particularly enjoy about taking photographs and what are your favourite subjects?
I enjoy everything about photography. From developing and printing black and white images in the “olden days” to capturing “instant images” thanks to digital technology. My favourite is motorsports. Julia and I also enjoy walking, especially when we are on holiday. I have developed (!) an interest in landscape photography and I now do more wildlife photography. I find this more difficult than motorsport as wildlife subjects are so timid and unpredictable in their movements.
What top tips would you give to the complete beginner?
Carry your camera with you at all times. There is a photograph around every corner.
Perseverance, don’t expect fantastic photographs every time, if it doesn’t look good then try changing shutter speed, apertures and composition, even come back when the lighting is more dramatic, as a photograph can be transformed into something more pleasing with simple camera adjustments.
Always carry spare batteries and memory cards and just keep clicking away.
I also heed the wise words of Robert Capa, an American photographer who said:
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
It works for me.
Thanks Mike, for the interesting tips and the amazing photos! Do you have any questions for Mike? Post your questions in the blog or my social media.
All the best
Scouse Mr Darcy
Supporting Local Businesses: Wilkinson Cameras, Southport
If Mike has inspired you to take up photography and you are thinking of buying a camera or any photographic equipment I would highly recommend Wilkinson Cameras. The team at the store in Southport (38 Eastbank Street) are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, or you can visit their online store.
Please note: this is a personal recommendation in support of local businesses and not a paid post.