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 January 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. So nearly two years in I am very happy with my decision 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 Now the OM-D E-M5 has been replaced by an OM-D E-M1 mk2 and the Olympus 7-14 and 12-100 pro lenses have been added to my kit bag.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, and its 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 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 will carry the kit I need and that is easy for me to carry and get on and off. Backpacks are out as are the larger slings and traditional shoulder bags, I’ve tried a rolling bag but the tiny solid plastic wheels make an awful racket when being pulled along. Unfortunately there is no ideal solution so I find myself with two shoulder bags which are the best fit for me and my kit, a Thinktank Spectral 15 and a Vanguard Veo.
Links to my stock portfolios