All the header photos are also by me.

A bit about me.

 

Mike from the UK.

I often look at other people’s profiles and find some are written in the third person thus;

Mike is an award-winning photographer who has published a number of books;
1.Black and White photography for the arty and pretentious photographer.
2. Life and times of the Ningo people of the Central Amazon.
3. The Mongolian steppes in winter.
4. A photographic study of nuts and bolts for the Society of English steam engineers.
He won first prize in the Twiddling under the Wold  annual village show, 1998
Gold medal at the Australian young farmers photo exhibition in 2002.

It is almost as if they (the photographer) are too important to write their own and are allowing their ‘agent’ to do it for them.
As to me, in the first person, read on.

I don’t call my self a freelance photographer in the hopes of sounding professional, I have never won any prizes for my photography. No one has ever commissioned me to take pictures, apart from the odd friend asking me to take a few casual pictures as a back up for their wedding, the only books of my photos published are self published ones (give it a try it is very satisfying). I am just one of millions of people who put billions of photos on the web, My aim is only to publish photos that I think do me justice as a photographer. The question you should always ask yourself is :- “Would I pay to have it properly printed and hang it on my wall?”  If the answer is yes, publish. If the answer is “No” keep it to yourself. I hope that of the billions of photos on the web some of mine may show through the blizzard. I like to learn from others and in turn I hope others like my pictures and think  “What a good idea,I could do that”

I love looking at the photos by famous photographers, I have endless books at home that I like to look at. Why some photographers become famous is a matter of chance and fashion, a war photographer like Don McCullin is famous not only because of the quality, emotion and feeling in his pictures but because of the sheer guts needed to get them. Cartier Bresson is a great photographer, I have to say his photos look simple to take and I guess with lots and lots of practice we could do the same if we spent hours and hours every day. After using  digital auto everything cameras for some years going back to using a rangefinder with film is very hard work I can tell you, for goodness sake you have to decide on the exposure then focus it before even considering pressing the shutter button to get a photo, if you remembered to wind on the film. Then there is no looking at the screen to see if the photo is good, you have to wait days or weeks.  You soon get a great deal more respect for his and other film photographers photos and how they got them.

I still have film cameras and use them.

35mm-Leica M6 with a 35mm F2 Summicron Asph,

Medium format- Twin lens, Mamiya 220 with an 80mm lens and a Hassleblad 500cm with 80mm Zeiss planar lens.

Old film cameras I seldom use Nikkormat FT2, Pentax 1000, Olympus OM10, Olympus XA and XA2

In digital I use a Nikon D7200 with a 50mm 1.4 lens or a 18~105 and a Canon G16.
I took my first picture around 8 years old and been doing so ever since. I have been fortunate to have been to a number of places around the world while a navigator in the merchant navy and working in hospitals in Nepal, Uganda and Tanzania so lots of pictures on slides. Digitally taken pictures in various places around the Mediterranean, Egypt, Cuba, Dominican republic, Dubai, Thailand and Australia and of course the UK.

As to commenting on other people photos and followers of my blog. I am delighted if you want to follow my blog and if I say I like your photos it is because I really like them / it, I will never do so simply to get you to like mine and so build up followers.

Mike.

 

46 responses

  1. I agree with your comment, ‘would I hang it on my wall’. You have an excellent blog, I will be dropping in often.

    December 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm

  2. There’s great diversity here, of people and places. I often find it difficult to be as diverse, because I’m so completely pre-occupied by looking for that one face in a million. It’s easy to mimic someone elses work, but I think defining one’s own style, is probably the biggest challenge we face as photographers.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

    • Mr Mole

      Kenny,
      Thanks, you are obviously braver than I am in asking people to pose for you, sometimes I wish I could do it more often. Like you I love pictures of people, posed or candid.In a way I like candid because I think you get a more relaxed view, but then I miss lots of interesting people that you capture.
      all the best
      mike

      January 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

  3. There’s something in me motivating me towards people in this manner, although it’s never easy. Someone once commented, how they wished they had asked a stranger they had met while travelling, for their photo. By doing what I do, I never have to let anyone pass me by. But it can also torment me when for whatever reason, I am unable to reach someone, because there are barriers both social and physical. I don’t look upon candid photography as being any less demanding, in terms of achieving inspiring results.

    Good luck!

    Kenny

    January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  4. Mike, thanks so much for dropping by and giving me a “like” on a recent pic. Much appreciated. I browsed your shots. Love the candids. I’ll probably link up to your site…if you don’t mind. Again, thanks for stopping. Have a wonderful day.

    Lisa

    January 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  5. Mr Mole

    Lisa,
    Thanks for your visit, I shall return to your site to see what you are photographically up to.

    January 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

  6. Great photography on here Mike, I’ll be swinging by often. Nice to know that someone else in the UK has the same process of thinking when it comes to photography.

    January 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

  7. Great shots, great philosophy!! Congrats from Spain and keep going!! 😉

    February 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    • Mr Mole

      thanks for your comment, i shall look out for your pictures, I like the B&W style.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

  8. Pingback: The Awesome Blog Content Award « She Kept A Parrot

    • Mr Mole

      George,
      Thanks very much for your appreciation of my pictures.
      It is nice when people take the trouble to say so.
      Do not think you will never be able to be a ‘street photographer’ (I prefer the title ‘Urban photographer’ street photographer sound like you only take pictures of streets, far from it)
      As I said, get a good quality compact, turn off the sound and away you go, it takes time but after a few months you will find yourself getting more adventurous, it is very satisfying. I think I am only a beginner because there are many who have much more courage than me.
      I will keep a weather eye on your blog to see if you have started doing it. I think somewhere on my home page are a couple of short dits on how I go about it.

      Get started, as the 1949 Herb Magidson song goes
      ‘Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
      The years go by, as quickly as you wink
      Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
      It’s later than you think’
      All the best
      mike

      February 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      • Somehow, I missed this, Mike. I do so appreciate your taking the trouble to talk to me. I love photographing people. I just don’t get out there and do it often enough. You are very kind to help me. I will read your homepage to find out how a pro like you does it! Thank you very much!

        May 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

  9. This is one of those special sites that I search for . . . and really appreciate when I find, Mike. Wonderful candids. Wish I had been pursuing street photography when I lived in the UK!

    Keep the images coming . . .

    Bruce (photoriety)

    March 19, 2012 at 1:22 am

    • Mr Mole

      Bruce, I suppose you can do it anywhere, I found I built up to taking peoples pictures slowly, as I say, it is much easier if you use a good quality compact.
      All the best
      Mike

      March 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

  10. You have some excellent portrait work here. Very nice! I love how you’ve done so much with instruments, its very cool. 🙂

    March 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    • Mr Mole

      Thanks, most are pictures I took a couple of years ago, and re worked with Silver efex pro.
      Mike

      March 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

  11. George Weaver

    I clicked on “follow” the first time I saw you somewhere. It was a kind of bookmark click so that I wouldn’t lose your blog. Finally, I found my way back here. My instincts were right. There is a lot to enjoy, digest, learn here. What you do and your philosophy about it are both realistic and classic. I like it. Thank you for sharing it here. George

    April 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    • Mr Mole

      George,
      Sorry you lost me, I did change the title some weeks ago, I don’t know if that caused you a problem.
      I am pleased you like my pictures and the little bit of writing. I mainly do it for myself, but it is nice if others like what I do. I love taking pictures of people as you can see, My wife keeps saying “You will get in to trouble one day” so far I have been ok.
      All the best
      Mike

      April 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      • George Weaver

        I like your pictures about life. Keep snapping… I smiled about your wife’s concern. Ah, if it weren’t for wives and mothers… 😉

        April 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm

  12. We’ve nominated your wonderful blog for some awards (should you choose to accept them)—in fact one of several, your pick 😉 See http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/06/08/its-awards-time-again/

    June 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • Mike

      Vladimir and Johna.
      A million thanks. I did write a long reply a few moments ago put must have touched the wrong place because it was lost, may be it is still floating around the internet.
      Any way, thanks for the nomination, I appreciate it greatly, it is not so much the award in itself but more the fact that you think enough to want to award it.
      It is good when people appreciated my photos, but in a away what I like is the contact with people from all over the world sites like this bring.
      It reinforces in me the notion that where ever you live, what ever your colour or religion we are all people. I have been lucky enough to work and travel all over the place and I have found that for the most part people are decent, welcoming and friendly and don’t naturally fight.
      I had a quick look at the various awards and will go back and properly look at them, but thanks again.
      Mike

      June 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm

  13. I like your introduction. Be it in first, third or whatever person 🙂 As an expert in photography books, what would you recommend as a good start in that kind of literature? I do have a few books of concerts and that kind of stuff, but what is the best way to read about good photography?
    The more I explore photography myself, the more I get into the same direction as you. Trying to change as less as possible after making a picture. Trying not to correct too much or to make it perfect.

    There is something you can’t create through HDR, overexposing, lensflareeffect or whatnot. Creativity and a good eye for composition. This is what I like in street- and black & white photography. Styles where these effects are gone or very, very limited. Areas where you need to have an eye for the moment and the situation at hand. These areas also are the ones, which excite me more and more and this is an area where your pictures are a huge inspiration. Thanks so much for pushing them into the blizzard. And be sure, they are seen. Well, at least from me they are.
    Cheers,
    Andreas

    June 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    • Mike

      Andreas,
      Thank you for your long comment.Sorry not to write in German, my mother speaks it well and my brother has lived in Berlin for 30 years, and despite going there many times sadly my German is very limited. I am glad you like my photos.I am hardly an expert on photography books, I have lots of them. My view is that I seldom read about photography and how to do it, what I enjoy is looking at other peoples photos I like, to think Why do I like them? then try to take the same style of pictures.
      I think your pictures are going in the direction you want. I love ‘Ein violinist’ The movement and passion of the violinist improved by the shutter speed showing his movement but with all the people walking past without looking at him as though he is not there, then in the background the window display with reflection, lovely.
      I like to do street photography with a good quality compact camera with the sound turned off. You can read two articles on my page ‘How I take candid photos of people’ and an article on what equipment I use.
      I think that most modern cameras take very good photos and often need little adjustment afterwards, just about the only thing I almost always do is to crop out anything that does not contribute to the picture. I think with people you should take the advice of Hungarian photographer Robert Capa ‘If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough’ Having the confidence to get close is something you get better at with practice and little tricks, some people ask I would rather not, though sometimes I do.
      The other advantage of a compact is that it is so easy to carry, even if you only go out to buy the newspapers.If you have your camera you are more likely to take photos, no camera, no photo. The other thing is not just to look but also to see, I don’t know if that translates in to German in the way I mean it. We all look as we walk about but do we really see.I am always looking for shapes, patterns, window reflections, interesting situations, interesting looking people, being able to see what is going to happen next and to be ready for it. With digital it is so easy because you can take ten photos and discard nine and it costs you just about nothing.I am not a fan of machine gun photography, taking hundreds of photos in a short time.
      The other thing I like to do is to think of projects, little photo essays on different subjects. I have one of taking photos of people who meet at a large sundial in the city, I have one called ‘Over there’ of people on the other side of a road pedestrian crossings, and a number of others. I keep them all in mind and when I am out I look for chances to add to one or other of them.
      The thing is that while it is nice if others like your photos, the main thing is do you like them? Do you enjoy taking them?
      I have recently started printing books of my own photos.I use a company called ‘Blurb’. You down load their software on to your computer for free, with it you can design you photo book, however many pages you want and what ever mixture of photos and text. Obviously the more pictures the more expensive, when you are ready you upload it all to their site, pay and a week or so later your book arrives. Brilliant.It makes you look at your photos with a critical eye as you only want the best to go in to the book.I have done five so far, you can even sell them on their site to other people. Always be critical of your photos, most need to be sharp and well exposed, though for some types like mine of funfairs you can get away with them being unsharp because they express colour, excitement and movement like your Ein Violinist. If you would pay to have a picture properly printed, framed and put on your wall it is probably good enough, if not keep it to yourself.
      Thanks again for your interest, it sound silly but the best way to be a good photographer is to take pictures, never be afraid to experiment and be critical of what you do, and you only take pictures if you have a camera in your pocket all the time.
      All the best, guten Abend.
      Mike

      June 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  14. I see I am too late and you have already been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. Nevertheless, there seems to be a new logo, so please consider yourself re-nominated for another term of the improved award.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:44 am

    • Mike

      Adam,
      This is the third effort to reply, the first two have unexpectedly gone in to space somewhere.
      Anyway, thanks very much for nominating me for this award, I am never quite sure what to do having been nominated, but I an sure the main thing to do is to thank you. Which I do again.
      What makes the nomination all the more special is that it comes from someone whose photographs and style of photography I enjoy and admire.
      You and I like similar photos, street photography. It is a style that is increasingly under threat from laws and opinion but I for one will carry on regardless because of the social importance of what we record.
      Adam, thanks again for the nomination.
      all the best
      Mike

      September 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm

  15. Congratulations, I just nominated you for “One Lovely Blog Award”: kindly see the blog and accept the nomination.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:53 am

    • Mike

      Arjungabriel
      Thanks very much for your nominating me for this award.I really do appreciate it. However, awards are not really my thing, I am just happy that you appreciate my photos. Just clicking the like button or re-blogging is good for me.
      But thanks again anyway, as I said I do appreciate it.
      All the best
      Mike

      October 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      • I will surely take remember your suggestion here after. Thank you very much.

        October 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

  16. great comments!
    i agree 101%…there are afr too many people trying to appear as professionals…whatever that may mean!
    your maxims are sound…dont pretend to be what youre not!
    and keep the number of shots you post down…there are millions of people, posting trillions of shots…adding ours will not do any good..unless of course, they are brilliant!

    November 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    • Mike

      Thanks for your comments, yes there are too many people who pretend to be what they are not.

      November 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  17. Dave Thomson

    Hey mate – just wanted to get in contact to see if I can use one of your photos for a song image?

    January 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

    • Mike

      No problem, which photo and what is the song?
      All the best
      mike

      January 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

  18. Julia

    Hi!
    I’ve been looking for some Devon landscapes and I find your photos just perfect to present the British Nature and its rural views. I liked them all, I think you are a brilliant photographer!

    July 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    • Mike

      Julia,
      Thank you for the compliment, I can only blush at your words.
      If you want to use any please go ahead.
      All the best
      Mike

      July 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

  19. Hey mike nice to meet you… Your photographs are really good and full of stories. Looking forward for to visit you soon

    July 4, 2014 at 5:26 am

    • Mike

      Thanks, glad you enjoy my photos

      July 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm

  20. “As to me, in the first person, read on.”, nice one 🙂

    August 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    • Mike

      Thanks, I like things to be honest and unpretentious.

      August 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      • Seems a reasonable stance to me

        August 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

  21. Nil

    Hi Mike from the UK 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and ‘like’…

    And about that thing of ‘writing in third person’… I first bumped into that in my last job. We had to ‘praise ourselves’ in third person, summing up all we had done and were able to do… Ough! It certainly left me with a (temporary) writers block… 😉

    Will have a look around here now…

    October 23, 2014 at 4:14 am

    • Thanks, I am glad that someone agrees with me. I liked your photo with the Mannequins, there was something almost Sci-fi about it but with a real person just visible.
      Mike

      October 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      • Nil

        Thanks! 🙂

        October 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

  22. Sylvie

    Hi, I’m interested in using one of your photos for a book cover. Could you please contact me by email about copyright matters.
    Many thanks in advance. Best regards, Sylvie

    January 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

    • As far as I am concerned you are welcome to use any images, just tell me which one and I can tell you if there are any problems.

      February 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm

  23. I love the photos here! I look forward to following.

    October 3, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    • Thanks, I will take a look at your pages, thanks again.

      October 4, 2016 at 9:01 pm

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