Camera Club Member Focuses On Wildlife In Behind The Lens

The star of Behind The Lens this week is David Bolton who has spent his entire adult life in Sussex, having moved here in 1966 at the age of 18. He is now 72 years old and he and his wife Linda have two married daughters and eight “wonderful grandchildren”.

David Bolton

When and why did you get into photography?

After stepping back at 70 years from the charitable work that my wife and I established in the street community of Brighton and Hove, I found myself with free time – what to do ?!

What do you like about taking photos?

Photography is an art form for me and the challenge I enjoy is to produce an image with the “wow factor”.

What equipment do you use?

Growing up, I always admired my father for his fondness for photography and his fascination with purchasing 35mm photographic equipment. Therefore, once newly married, I followed in his footsteps, collecting interchangeable cameras and zooms and wide angle lenses. My favorite camera was a Minolta 700i with a Tamron 70 – 210 zoom. Life sometimes calls for sacrifice, and the need for a security deposit has led me to trade in my beloved gear for money that I have to offer. needed so much.

A country scene photographed by David Bolton, right.  Below is his close-up of a reed sparrow

A country scene photographed by David Bolton, right. Below is his close-up of a reed sparrow

At 70, I decided to resume the hobby of my young adult life, but by then the photographic equipment had gone digital. My first camera was a cheap Canon with a really random 75 – 210 zoom, which I bought through Cash Converters for £ 80, with a used 28 – 55mm lens for £ 30. I was then ready for our vacation in the Spanish Sierra Mountains with many photographic opportunities – and great weather. Having successfully mastered my inexpensive used Canon and gaining immense pleasure in producing what I thought were “correct” images, I set out to study upgrading my equipment. I went for an affordable Canon 800d because it had good reviews, but it mainly had the ability to transfer photos directly to my phone, which allowed me to share them with others more efficiently. Added to the camera, I have accumulated lenses for macro photography, wide angle and zooms.

Breaking waves at Brighton Marina

Breaking waves at Brighton Marina

With a limited budget, I found carefully selected second-hand glasses that could save a lot of money. Equipment can therefore be expensive and off-putting. My advice to anyone considering getting into photography would be to buy affordable gear first to make sure it’s a hobby you want to pursue for the long haul. If you go about it, budget on a reasonable basis, but don’t be tempted to think that spending more will necessarily give you better images – you might be disappointed.

A delicate vole

A delicate vole

What’s your favorite photo?

My favorite subjects are nature, wildlife and places of historical interest. My favorite is the wild birds. Every day through photography I seek to record moments in time, in particular those of beauty and interest, and sometimes those of humor. For example, I spotted a seagull sitting on an awning at Ask Italiano in Worthing and noticed that it was as if the bird was encouraging passers-by to “Ask”! I waited for the bird to look at the word correctly – and took the photo. I sent it to the Argus and it was chosen as the photo of the day.

Close-up of reed bunting

Close-up of reed bunting

What tips or advice would you give to those looking to get into photography?

I find that with digital photography you can improve the result with minimal editing, not necessarily using expensive Photoshop software, but just downloading Photoeditor or something for free. Sometimes an image needs to be cropped or the exposure / brightness adjusted to suit the composition or to compensate for different lighting conditions.

Where is your favorite place to take photos?

My ‘happy place’ is surrounded by beautiful countryside with the Woods Mill Nature Reserve in Small Dole being one of my favorites. The diversity of the vegetation, and in particular the wild birds, gives me ample opportunity to take photos all year round. With their small lakes and bird skin, my favorite 150 – 600mm telephoto lens really makes sense for getting close-ups of a wide range of small birds and even small animals like voles.

This beautiful shiny horse was photographed at Stanmer

This beautiful shiny horse was photographed at Stanmer

Why did you join the Argus Camera Club and what do you like?

It was a great decision. It’s a good forum for sharing photos with other like-minded people. It is very encouraging to get positive feedback – especially if one or two of your photos are chosen for inclusion in the article. A real advantage is being able to see other members’ photos and learn from them what creates an interesting shot. Photography not only gives me enormous personal satisfaction, but gives me the opportunity to encourage others.

A serene shot of Littlehampton Beach

A serene shot of Littlehampton Beach

Nothing else?

I am sharing images of the beauty of nature on social media platforms which I hope will be uplifting and encouraging. A young lady (whom I don’t know) recently spoke to my wife and told me that whenever she felt depressed she would visit my Facebook page to see my photos which cheered her up and brought her a lot of joy. Now for me that makes it so rewarding.

About William Moorhead

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