James Docherty Photography
What kind of equipment (camera body, lens, filters, flash, tripod, cleaning equipment other) do you use?
I don’t have a great deal of equipment really. I use a Canon 5d mkII, 50mm f/1.8 lens, a 70-300mm lens, a remote for the camera, and a basic tripod that was given to me. I also have a Canon AE-1 and a old polaroid camera.
What do you like and dislike about your equipment, specially your camera, and how would you improve it?
I would improve my equipment by buying some new lenses and some lighting. I’ve always fancied a Canon 24-70 f/2.8. I like the Canon 5D mkII for its full frame and RAW capabilities, now that I understand and can utilise them more. Its great in low light conditions, it has superb image quality, and the video capabilities are great too (even though I don’t use them as much as I should).
What is your favourite lens, and why?
My 50mm 1.8 is my favourite. It’s a fantastic lens. It was cheap and produces wonderful images.
When you travel, what is in your essential photographic kit bag?
My 5D mkII, 50mm lens, 30-700mm lens, remote, tripod, AE-1 and film.
What kind of software/tools do you use for post-processing, if any?
I only ever really use Photoshop. I’ve dabbled with other software like Capture One but I’ve got all my shortcuts and actions set up with Photoshop, so I mainly go there to edit anything.
How long have you been taking photographs? How do you find inspiration?
I started photography when I was in high school. I did it for 2 years there, then went off to do it at 6th form college and later at university. I started shooting more seriously after I left uni though and found I learnt more from practising and shooting for myself.
I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere I can. Other photographers/ artists inspire me, such as Jeff Wall, Tim Walker, Jeremy Cowart, Sebastiao Salgado they make me strive to do better. I find it in Street art, people around me, the landscape, films, music. Music has always been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Picking out certain lyrics and letting my imagination run with them, the atmosphere music creates, the emotions it can evoke, that to affects the feel of a photo for me and provides a great source of inspiration.
Which style of photography do you like the most, and why?
I enjoy most aspects of photography and I can’t really pick a favourite as I will see something from another style that will make me choose that style and so on. I like photographs that evoke some sort of emotion from me, I love getting lost in landscape photography, I love the stories that can be told/ found from portraiture, I love seeing well executed surreal photographs that push your imagination.
What goal are you working towards within your photography and when will you know you have reached it?
I guess continuing to grow and develop is an ongoing goal, and one that I’ll never really reach because I’ll always be wanting to improve. I would like to finish my 365 project that I started ages ago, and even though by its definition I guess its technically failed, I still want to complete it for myself. I would also like to start building a solid career out of photography as well, but to also make sure I continue to shoot for personal work as well and not get lost in “jobs”.
Looking at your own work, which piece is your favourite? Why?
“A Poet in Need of an Empire” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jald/5141118995/in/photostream) is probably my favourite piece I’ve taken. While I feel it’s one of my most successful photos to date, and it came out how I’d imagined and it captured the story I built around it in my head, it’s more my favourite for the simple, corny reason that it takes me back to a time and feeling when I was happy taking photos. I hadn’t taken any photos for a long time and this was my first proper outing to take some. When I look at it. It does take me back in a bit of a nostalgic way to my 365 time which is always nice. I like that this photo does that for me.
Does your work fit into any one or more distinct genres (nature, landscape, long-exposure, black-and-white, infra-red, urban, artistic, macro, vintage, vernacular, social, street)? If other, please specify.
I guess my main work to date would best fit in portraiture and fine art. If I use film it tends to be black and white and nature/ landscape.
Are there any photography websites that you visit regularly?
I usually visit social photography sites like Flickr, Society 6, 500px, Tumblr photo blogs, Behance.
What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started taking photographs?
Practise and be patient. I learnt more in terms of skill, composition, editing, about my camera, developing a style, everything when I was taking a photo and editing everyday. It made me develop and grow faster than I had before. You need to be patient with yourself and your craft and know that it will take time to get to where you want to be. That applies to developing yourself as a photographer and to every shoot you’re on.
And finally, what other interesting photographers would you like to see in this blog?
There are a tons of brilliant photographers around that I admire; Rob Woodcox, Sophie Ellis, Steven Sites, Matt Hill, Patrick Eggert, Sid Black, Whitney Justesen, Elizabeth Gadd, Alexis Mire, Suzy Wimbourne, Nick Counts, Alex Stoddard. All have their own unique style and more than deserve a feature.