I enjoy nature photography with landscapes being my favorite subject matter, particularly where rivers, lakes or the coast features in the scene. More recently I have started to enjoy taking photographs of wildflowers and wildlife that I find on my travels which does fit in nicely with my landscape work.
At the beginning of 2016 I took the decision to enter the world of stock photography, my thoughts at the time were that as there are no rules on how much you contribute it meant I could do as much, or as little as my disability would allow. After doing quite a bit of research I eventually opted for two agencies, Shutterstock and iStock by Getty, on both of these I now have fair sized portfolios which are steadily growing. Photographs from these portfolios have been used by the BBC, Daily Mirror online, Secret Escapes, Camping and Caravan Club, Kinder Chocolate and numerous internet based companies. I’ve now been a stock photographer for three years and once again photography is as much a part of my pain management strategy as my medication.
Because of my disability, I have osteoarthritis in my left knee, my right knee having been replaced in 2018, and spondylosis in my upper and lower back, I really have to think hard when it comes to buying new kit to ensure that it not only does what I want it to but also that I am able to carry it fairly comfortably. As an example I had to find a lighter alternative to my heavy Canon based kit, which included some ‘L’ series lenses and big tripods or give up photography.
After much thought, and trying an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with a couple of kit lenses, I opted for an Olympus system based around the then new OM-D E-M5 mk2 with the Olympus 12-40 and 40-150 pro lenses. Now the OM-D E-M5 has been replaced by an OM-D E-M1 mk2 and the Olympus 7-14 and 12-100 pro lenses have been added to my kit bag. For wildlife photography I have recently bought a Panasonic 100-400, there being no Olympus alternative at present, which is proving a joy to use. My most recent purchase has been an Olympus Pen-F with an Olympus 14-150 lens for those days out where I don’t want to be hauling a full kit around.
The tripod problem was more difficult to resolve, in the end I have had to go with travel tripods which are lighter than their full size cousins but unfortunately not as stable.To try and add some stability I always carry a small empty bag which I can fill with whatever is available and hang on the bottom of the centre column.
My biggest problem has been in finding a suitable camera bag, one that is comfortable, will carry the kit I need and is easy for me to get on and off. Unfortunately as there is no such thing as an ideal bag for me I find myself alternating between two bags, the Vanguard Alta Rise 43 sling and a Think Tank Spectral 15 shoulder bag, depending on the shoot, location and how I feel on the day.
Links to my stock portfolios