Its not all about the gear

A few weeks ago i overheard someone at Badminton Horse trials state that my photos would be superior to his, “because he’s got a better camera” (i was carrying a Canon 1d, 70-200mm combination to his 400d and cheaper long telephoto). Only a few weeks before that i was lent a Canon 40d (which in my eyes is an awesome camera – just don’t get it wet) with the instruction of “just press the button, and be careful, it wasn’t cheap”

My first camera was a Pentax K1000 which was a brilliant camera to break into the world of film SLR cameras. I was largely self taught about the progression into digital photography so went back to basics studying everything about my new camera, which at the time was a Canon 300d.

Since Canon introduced digital slrs they have sold over 10 million worldwide. With so many people now owning them there is always going to be a belief in some peoples minds that they will make better pictures if they have more expensive equipment. When i was around 15 i blamed my downhill mountain bike race times on the fact that i didn’t have a full suspension bike. The reality was that it was completely down to my lack of skill at that level of riding, not at all to do with my bike. The same can be said about many things. I see it a lot with young snowboarders blaming their equipment for their downfalls. It all relates back to the saying, “i’ve got half as much as i want, and twice as much as i need”. People want automatic results; they buy the best, it will make the best….or so they think.

The moral of the story? Get out there and experiment. Study the theory and put it into practice. Should you be saying, “just press the button” with a very good digital camera? No way! Get it off the automatic setting and start playing around learning what each twist of the dial does. Don’t make excuses about your photography based on your gear.

This all stems from two nights ago where i was lucky enough to bump into a ticket tout and get tickets for the UEFA Cup final in Istanbul. As i was literally just wandering the streets before the game i had only brought the bare minimum gear out with me (a Canon 40d and 50mm 1.8 lens). Did i enjoy the game? Yes. Did my gear have its limitations? Yes of course it did but i was still able to use it to make images that i’m happy to look at and show to others…..surely the original aim of buying a camera?

If you really want to purchase a lens to make great images then look no further than the 50mm 1.8. Check out the reviews on Amazon here. I’m sure you can find it for around £50 and if you’re walking the streets of Istanbul, or any other city, then it looks nice and conspicuous not attracting attention.

If you fancy checking out a couple more from the evening just click on the image below. Right, off to do some real work…..more to come.

Need to hear what i’m doing the minute you read this? you can check me out on Twitter for those kind of updates

And yes, that button at the top of the page isn’t lying. I really am running the Eurasia marathon raising money for UNICEF. If you can spare any change then please consider donating.

Australian Snowboarder

As i prepare myself for a trip to the sunshine later this week its worth remembering that the weather in the southern hemisphere is readying itself for winter. Australian Snowboarder magazine has recently been released and i’ve managed to work my way into some of it. First up is Paul Mcmahon killing “boxzilla” which was an installation Snowpark constructed for the last couple of days of the season at the beginning of October.

The magazine also features an interview with Michaela Davis-Meehan with the following shots being in it. The first one was shot in Mayrhofen on a really flat light day with the second at Chiesa Valmalenco. We timed this to be right at the end of the day, just incase anyone was prepared to take our lift passes. With it being in laid back Italy, no on seemed to care!

Am heading out on the road again this week with a sailing competition, a  music festival and a bit of home made go-karts in the form of the Red Bull Sopabox derby for the weekend. You can keep updated here or for a more day to day rundown you can catch me on Twitter.

Horsing Around

Last week i was thrown into the Equestrian world spending several days in the company of horses. I grew up in a family that originally revolved around horses as my mother used to train them. Those days have long gone but it was enjoyable to get back amongst them. First up was Chester Races. Chester has a great little circuit that attracts some of the best horses and jockeys from around the country. After the chaos that ensued it was quite a change to then go direct to Badminton Horse Trials, a world class three day event where you find yourself in the company of royalty, quite literally. Feel free to click on either of the below images to take you through to a separate gallery  with more photos from the events.

First up: Chester Races

Next on the cards: Badminton Horse Trials

My birthday will roll around this weekend and then i’m off to shoot a sailing race and Red Bull Soapbox Derby in warmer climates than Chester right now. I’ll keep you posted.

Couple of things

I’m in a transition stage back in the UK spending long hours on my computer trying out all sorts of new things whilst following the daily Swine Flu drama. Could this turn into such a pandemic where countries start closing their doors to visitors – watch to find out!

The hours spent on the computer have finally succumbed me to the world of Twitter. If thats the kind of thing you’re into the feel free to follow me here.

One final update for you; I’ll be over in Nottingham this weekend and will be competing in a charity 5Km run for a childrens charity in Central America. It’s not exactly marathon distance (having done one i’m glad) but its for a great cause. If you can spare any money then please donate by following the link on this picture.

To see more information on the charity please visit www.eftc.org.uk

Dick Schulze in Huck Magazine

Huck Magazine has just released its latest edition.

Whilst over in Japan i shot some images of Dick Schulze for this issue. Dick is a 63 year old American who travels the world competing in the Burton Global Open series. Not content with just shredding, Dick enters all of the the Halfpipe competition on a circuit that takes him from New Zealand to Australia over to Switzerland then to Canada followed by Japan and finishing up in America….quite a journey!

Be sure to check out a copy of the Magazine, it makes for a wicked read.

G20 Protests in London

The events of this week made it an inspiring one if not rather unusual for my life. It started on Sunday where i attended the polling for the Turkish local elections. The amount of flags that were strung up over the city made me expect big things but in reality polling just isn’t that interesting, 1 hour of waiting with nothing to show for it. As far as i’m aware the party which eventually won the election was covered in corruption with all sorts of tricks being pulled so they won.  Democracy in theory for the Turkish people but in reality it wasn’t that simple.

Within a day of being home i’d left again and headed southward to attend the G20 protests in London. I’d initially been enticed by the scenes of mini riots from April 1st and the thought of capturing this on film appealed greatly. Predictions were made on the amount of protesters compared with the Police, who had bigger numbers. Well they both appeared to be outnumbered by the amount of photographers and filmers who had descended on mass all with similar intentions the those of mine. How could the police handle the 10 fps of the hungry photographers?!

The day passed by with little incident and i’d been left reflecting on everyones reasons for participating and the reasoning behind the violence the day before. There was talk of the protest heating up but nothing came of it – probably for the best considering i’d overheard two policemen discussing which protesters they’d hit with a baton first should the opportunity arise…….

If you want to check out more images from the day itself just click on the below image.

East Meets West

I’m picking up my computer after a couple of weeks more or less off the radar. I relish any time i can have away from the computer just giving me the opportunity to get out more, see new and interesting things and, in this instance, learn to play and become completely addicted to backgammon.

This last mission has been a cross continental affair. I jump at any chances i get to go snowboarding somewhere new and an invite to Turkey for some springtime powder was too good an opportunity to pass by. With no schedule, no work and no real plan to follow the trip was on. For those who are interested, the resort was called Kartalkaya. Its roughly 300kms from Istanbul with pretty mellow terrain. The resorts are all inclusive with Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, midnight soup and all day long drinks included. Luckily they also have various additions for ways to try and burn all those calories including a kicker with an air bag for you to practice those elusive double corks, or in my case, a simple backflip.

The Spice Bazar, Istanbul

Inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Election fever as Istanbul went to the polls on Sunday.

“Dead Rat”

“The Chain Men” These guys work tirelessly throughout the night shovelling snow onto the road so that you have to rent chains from them in the morning. What great business vision they have.

“Turkish Pam”

Canon EOS 1D strapped as tight to my hand as possible

This is where i called home whilst in Istanbul, Fenerbahce Marina

The descent back into England

All images © Tim Lloyd, 2009.