One of our most loyal supporters and a frequent attendee on our events is John King, BPE2. Originally from the North East and a retired deputy head, John has achieved some notable successes with images taken on Session Days events. We caught up with him and his camera bag for a quick interview.

Here is what we discussed

SD : Where are you on your photographic journey?

JKI’ve had 5 years experience with a DSLR and have been a member of South Manchester Camera Club for 3 years. I’ve learnt so much in the past 3 years from my fellow members at the Camera Club and at Session Days but realise I’ve still got an awful lot to learn.

I’m very much still like a child in a sweet shop regarding differrent photography genres and always enjoy the next challenge.

I’m a Lightroom user and use Nik Efex software in post processing but my Photoshop skills are only just developing.

I achieved my BPE2 award last year and have also started to enter the FIAP approved salons with some success.

SD : What camera equipment do you use?

JKI use a Nikon D7100 and my go to lens is the 18-140mm Nikon kit lens that came with the camera body. I use a Sigma 150mm-600mm lens for bird photography, a Tamron 90mm lens for macro and studio work, a 35mm Nikon for studio work and street photography a 55-300mm zoom for sport and I have a 12-18mm Tokina lens for Landscapes.

SD : When and how did you get into photography?

JK : I started Photography in 2014 when I bought a Nikon D3100 to go to Istanbul with my 2 daughters to see a friend of theirs who was born in Istanbul. I had no experience of a DSLR and is often the case thought that buying a “good” camera would produce “good” photographs. Naivety – eh! So having photographed everything on Auto mode when I came back I decided I’d better learn about these things. I Learnt the basics from an internet programme of lessons based locally and my first photographs were from Lyme Park on an evening were I used to go after looking after my terminally ill mum. I joined South Manchester Camera Club in January 2016 and now have an extensive network of people I can now call friends and we have had some great adventures on  long weekend, week long and even longer trips arranged by ourselves or with the club.

SD :  What Is your favourite Session Day image and Why?

JK : It has to be my image of Chris McNeil that I entitled “Presence” which was taken at Atlas Mill as it was the first image that I had consistent success with and won the “Print Of The Year 2017” at the Camera Club. Having said that there is always 2-3 that I like every time I attend a Session Day but you always remember the first. See image below.

SD :  Who or What would You Like to photograph that you haven’t had chance to?

JK : This was a really difficult question for me as my DSLR experience is quite limited although I’m trying to make up for lost time. The obvious one for me would be to photograph the Northern Lights in some frozen wasteland but I’ve been told to “let it go’.

So, as my first love and probably only hobby until the age of 50 was playing football I’d really like to be able to take an iconic shot of an important moment in a match featuring some of the world’s best players.


Presence by John King