It’s art month here at Frames Express! And with this in mind it’s time to pick up some crayons, colouring book and get stuck in – You’re never t…
Jim Key - Photographer of the Month March '17
My name is Jim Key and I retired and moved to Norfolk in December 2016.
Well, thank you to Picture Frames Express for awarding me the voucher for the “Little Details” competition. Here is an image of the brown wood frame with a white mount purchased with the voucher and a picture of a boatman called “The Watchman” at Morston Quay Norfolk.
I am a freelance landscape photographer. The varied landscape in this area is stunning and locations can look completely different depending on the weather and time of day I shoot. I have always been amazed by the warm colours and the beautiful shadows at dawn so I am often up very early to capture this. I have a passion for natural light and I hope you can see this in my images.
I am also a keen cyclist and am loving the lanes in North Norfolk.
How did you get into photography?
I showed no real interest in photography until my children came along and then I always had a camera to hand. It was not too long before I tried to become more creative. I am definitely a great outdoors person and developed a love of the light and shadows in the golden hour of early morning and evening. I bought my first pro camera secondhand in May 2010 and developed my skills through online courses and reading books and magazines. From the moment I bought a tripod and a set of Grad ND and ND filters, I was totally hooked. I now use a light meter and generally record in full manual mode to expose my subjects correctly. The filters control the highlights and dynamic range. Here is the first shot I took on a tripod in May 2010. No filters used, but I had read about HDR so I set my camera up for this.
What can you tell us about your entry ‘Incy Wincy’ into our photography competition in January?
This was taken in my garden in the summer of 2015. I had just bought an Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens and I was playing around trying to catch a wasp among the pot plants. This spider was tiny and I noticed it inside a flower petal. I set up with a tripod and took the shot at 1-1. I was amazed how much detail I captured.
Do you have any particular style of photography you specialise in?
The subject I get really excited about is Landscape / Seascape images especially from dawn to sunrise and dusk to sunset.
This was taken at dawn at the end of February at Morston Creek.
This was taken at sunrise on a very cold frosty morning in the middle of January at Cley next the Sea.
I am also keen to experiment with long exposure. Although taken on a bright sunny afternoon I used a 10 stop ND filter to give an exposure of 1 sec and a ND grad which gave body to the clouds. This added some drama by smoothing the water and making the clouds pop. You need patience though as I had to wait 20 minutes for this cloud formation.
I am not afraid to heavily crop photos and change backgrounds if I can create an exciting image.
Start with this
Crop to this
Select rope and post change background to black crop again and finish with this.
What do you enjoy about photography?
As a landscape photographer I really enjoy the preparation. When I lived in North Bucks I decided I needed some seascapes in my portfolio. I searched google images and found Heybridge Basin in Essex and Aldeburgh in Suffolk as a target project. I had to check the weather for a sunrise, check the tide tables, used my app SunCalc.net (shows me the position of the sun any time of day anywhere in the world) and used google maps to tell how long the drive would be. Collating all this together I decided on a date of the 4th April. This was in 2011. I was up at 3.30am to drive 90 miles to Heybridge (the excitement woke me up before the alarm went off). I found my way to the spot I’d chosen on google earth and lo and behold the sun came up where it said it would. I was having kittens by that time. It is a bit tree huggy but I really felt in touch with nature. That’s what I love about photography.
Tell us about one of your projects
I have always used third party websites to show and try to sell my images. Now I’m retired and have more time I decided to design and build my own. The search started in the second week of February just gone. I bought a domain name and company email address from names.co.uk and opted for Photodeck.com to power the site. They seem to offer great Themes, a full e commerce and lab fulfillment in one place. I chose a theme and a portfolio style and customised the whole thing to suit my style. The website is called Fine Photos of Norfolk. The site went live on the 5th March and I had my first sale yesterday. Dead chuffed!
This is the Front Page:
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring photographers what would it be?
That’s a bit difficult as I do believe in each to their own if your happy and you like it go for it. I would offer this as one good piece of advice: If your not sure how to do it google it. There is so much help out there online.
Any plans for the rest of the year?
I plan to frame a lot more of my photos, and hang them up, instead of locking them away online.
Once I have been through the seasons of Norfolk this year I would hope to have a large portfolio. One thing I do hanker after is to have a photobook published.
Here’s hoping for 2018 !!