General Updates · Photography

Taking Up Photography – Maybe as a Side Business?

I have always had a keen eye for landscape and building photography but I’ve never considered myself a particularly good photographer. Sometimes I just seen an image and think “ooh that’s nice” pick up my camera (or in this case my smartphone) and snap away without any thought beyond creating a good header image.

I’m aware of the basics – lighting, angle and perspective. And, of course, The Golden Ratio but that’s about it. Usually, I’m happy just snapping away without any pressure for the “perfect shot”. Images such as this on appear regularly on my Facebook page with such ironic titles as “WTF am I doing living in Cornwall? It’s horrible!”

From Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, Cornwall. Copyright MG Mason 2018

I had a birthday recently and while I certainly didn’t pass any major milestone of note, I decided that for want of anything else, I would buy my first DSLR camera. I asked friends and family for cash or Amazon vouchers so I could buy a camera at some unspecified point in the future. I would like to have one, and fully understand how to do the basics, before my I go away on holiday in the summer. The last point and click camera I bought is now 10 years old and as good as obsolete. It’s 8MP. In contrast, my recent upgrade to a Galaxy Note8 is 12MP. No point using the point and click any more then.

My Love of Landscapes

I love writing; I love being a professional writer and I will never stop writing for a living while I am still able to do so. But part of me wants to explore other hobbies and potential business avenues. I love seeing the great outdoors, especially around Cornwall where I now live. There are so many views I could never get bored with seeing as I travel the beautiful southwest:

  • The view of Colliford Lake travelling west along the A30
  • The large number of wind turbines dotting the landscape between Truro and Redruth
  • The craggy coast and heath of Land’s End
  • Various sheltered bays and beaches of the coast, some of which tourists never visit
  • The sudden appearance of an Engine House at the side of a road in a field (industrial archaeological ruins from when Cornwall was the centre of the world’s tin mining)
Copyright MG Mason 2017

And that’s just Cornwall; slightly further afield, I’ve always found Dartmoor’s towering tors and valleys impressive. In the north, Exmoor coast road from Porlock (Somerset) to the twin towns of Lynmouth and Lynton (Devon), Exmoor’s Doone Valley and Brendon Hills, the tree lined meandering river of the Exe Valley as it slowly makes its way towards Exeter and Exmouth. And who could forget that view from Exeter St. David’s heading west along the coast, watching river open up to coast along the red rocks of Dawlish?

You’ve probably gathered from this that I love landscapes. It’s the part of me that led to me studying landscape archaeology. I also love urban landscapes, which I explored during my study through cartography, aerial photography and GIS as a correspondence course (digital mapping).

Medium and Long Term Plans

I have been thinking long and hard about whether I could make a side business of photography. I need a decent camera first, obviously. Then I need to truly learn the art of photography; in the autumn, I intend to study a night class at the local college. Eventually, probably starting next year, I hope to explore the business potential. It won’t be anything too intense and will probably remain amateur with a “hope I sell some photos on occasion”.

As you can see, my interest is mostly in landscapes and buildings and that’s the area I intend to explore, mostly. I’m not interested in wedding or event photography. Hell, I’m not all that bothered about photographing people!

For now though, I’ll have to leave you with some of my amateur efforts on my Instagram page. Please do follow, like and comment!

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