Spotlight on Members Interview with weepete

Lez325

Wildlife Photographer
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
1,536
Reaction score
2,069
Location
UK
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
. Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview, Pete

. We’ll just start the usual way by asking how you discovered photography. Tell us about your journey so far! And maybe include a few images- say 4 or 5

That's a bit of a long story! My Dad is a keen photographer, and has been all of my life. I picked up a few things from him, and he showed me how to use a camera when I was quite young. I still remember using his Pentax K1000 film camera with the light meter at the side. But I'd say my journey really started in 2006, where I got a job that involved traveling all over Scotland. I'd get to go to places that are a bit off the beaten track, and that are pretty uncommon to visit. I'd find wee parts of my country that are really beautiful, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; so I started taking a camera with me, in an effort to capture some of these places. Below is a picture of Vattersay, in the Outer Hebrides, it's the first landscape shot that I was really happy with. I must have seen Peter Lik's 'Beyond Paradise' somewhere, and the slightly covered boardwalk, white sands and blue sea here inspired me to make my own version; although, it was a cold and blustery day in February when this was taken!

1641885550187.png


Scotland has a bit of a reputation for being grey and dull, and at times it can be! However, there's also some stunning places, and the changeable weather can lead to some fantastic light. In this next image, I managed to get a sunny day at Achmelvich beach. With clear water, the light reflects off the golden sand turning the water turquoise. There's a lot of people who have seen this one and are amazed this image was taken in Scotland.

1641885608958.png


Another striking shot for me, was taken when a couple of very good friends and I decided to hike up The Cobbler; a pretty distinctive mountain near Arrocher. Ever the opportunist, I lugged my camera gear up to the summit and shot a panorama of this fantastic rock formation known as The Needle, with views out to Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond and Loch Long.

1641920047556.png


My next shot is a bit of a story of determination, as I had researched this location on Loch Lomond and had a good idea of what I wanted from this shot. However, it took three attempts to get the right weather conditions. On the day I took this image, the weather in the morning was terrible. I initially thought it would be a washout but as the day progressed, there was a glimmer of hope that the clouds would indeed clear for sunset. Therefore, it was was a hurry home from work to grab my bag and go. I was really pleased that I finally got the shot I was after! Also, it's a special one to me, as my Dad joined me on this shoot, and it had been a few years since we'd managed to get out together.

1641920103370.png


This last shot, I'm really pretty proud of. I'd taken a similar photograph about 10 years before, but the conditions weren't as good, and my skills weren't quite up to scratch. So I was really pleased to get the chance to stop here again last year, this time in some cracking weather, and I'm delighted how much I've developed as a photographer, as this is a much better shot than my original!


1641885762196.png


2. What is your current gear? I If you have added different lenses to your kit recently. Do you keep some standard things in your bag, or do you swap it out before heading out to a shoot?

My standard kit is a 5DmkIV with a 16-35mm f4 L which I use for my landscapes, and is my go to setup.

I normally have quite a bit in my bag, though a lot of it is ancillary kit. I nearly always take my tripod, which I've replaced the head with an indexing rotator with a levelling base. I combine this with a nodal slide and an L bracket, which enables me to quickly set up and shoot panoramas. I'll pretty often use some 100mm filters, having built up a decent collection. I take: 1, 2, 3 stop ND and GND (in both soft and hard flavours) along with a 5 stop Lee little stopper. I usually also have a CPL in my bag too. Spare batteries, spare CF cards, some lens cloths, a remote shutter release and a small survival kit also come with me, as I can get to some fairly remote places.

If I'm out shooting for fun, I've also got my Tamron 150-600mm for wildlife, which is my second most used lens, along with my nifty fifty, Raynox DCR-250 macro attachment, and an old manual focus Canon 135mm f2 which has had a hard conversion from an FD mount to an EOS mount. I've also got a monopod with a gimbal head, which replaces my tripod if I'm only out photographing wildlife. I'll mix and match these to suit.

3. Have you found an area that you like to return to, at different times of the year, or day? Tell us about it (them).

The places I like to go tend to be far away from my home, so I don't get to return to spots I really like often. But I do revisit places, particularly if I've not quite managed to get the shot I was after initially. The below shot is of the mountain range North of Ullapool, which I've passed many times, but hadn't quite managed to get a really good image of previously. I happened to be in the area when some pretty terrible weather rolled in around dinner time but I thought it might just pass, so I headed out in some pretty dodgy conditions, and managed to get there just as it cleared around sunset. It was the most magical environment, with the setting sun obscured by the clouds behind the mountains.

1641886390982.png


4. Do you have a favourite Photographer ( professional or one from this very forum) and if so, who?

It's got to be Colin Prior. He's pretty much legendary amongst Scottish Landscape photographers, and really was the forerunner of my own images. He's carved a career out of showing people a side of Scotland that they were not used to seeing, and I suppose I'm doing the same thing in my own way. I've been lucky enough to attend a few of his workshops, and I can't speak highly enough of him. He's very down to earth, but knows photography incredibly well, has a great approach to his work, is very knowledgeable about the landscape, and is genuine good guy who I have a lot of respect for.

5. Do you have a favourite photograph – from any photographer of any period? One that perhaps inspired you to take up photography, or informs your own style?

That's a difficult one, as there's so many great photographers out there. This was one I took myself, but it is the shot that really got me into photography. I must say it was a lucky shot, as back when this was taken, I had very little idea how to use my camera properly, and fortunately came out with this. It's really because of this image that I started taking photography more seriously, and working on my skills. It showed me that a high standard was achievable, and with a little bit of know-how and some learning, I could do this whole photography thing.

1641886469358.png



6. If money was no object, what would you buy? Photography or non-photography related, what’s sitting on your wish list?

I don't really know which way I'm going to go now, as it looks like DSLRs are on their way out, and I've not decided if I'm going to switch to mirrorless. I'm very attached to looking through the lens! If money were no object, I'd order these tomorrow though...

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II

Canon 70-200mm f4 L II

Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L II

Canon 600mm f4 L III

7. Do you have any formal training in photography?

No, though I have always really liked art, and was lucky enough to have a very good art teacher at school. She taught me a lot about composition, and how to analyse artwork, and I still use the stuff she taught me today. I'm also very technical, being a mechanical engineer by trade, so photography sits quite well with me as a mix between the technical and artistic traits of my personality.


8. What if any are your favourite lenses and why do you like them- add images if you like to demonstrate why?

It's got to be my Canon 16-35mm f4 L, it's a superbly sharp lens that I really love to use. This lens combined with a good size of sensor on my 5DmkIV delivers great picture quality like this shot from Easdale Island.

1641886555011.png


But I do really like my 150-600mm, and being able to leverage those long focal lengths, particularly with the opportunity it gives to take shots of birds in flight. For me it's a really fun lens, and often I'll take both out!

1641886593486.png



Thank you Pete a very informative interview and those images are superb - Over to our members now- take it away guy's

also Pete has a web site - well worth a look Here: Pete Crawford Photography

Les :)
 

Attachments

  • 1641885719430.png
    1641885719430.png
    537.8 KB · Views: 43
Last edited:
OP
Lez325

Lez325

Wildlife Photographer
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
1,536
Reaction score
2,069
Location
UK
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Nice job on this @Lez325. I believe you have put Scotland at the forefront of places to visit, Pete. Beautiful pics and informative read.
Thank you Dean- It is a learning curve that's for sure.

I have been to Scotland many times and I do hope to return this year at some point :)

Les
 

webestang64

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
1,242
Location
St. Louis, MO. USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Wonderful read Pete. Stunning landscapes. Hard to pick a favorite but I really like "The Needle" shot, the colors are amazing.
 

weepete

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
6,068
Reaction score
2,404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Website
www.petecrawford.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Nice job on this @Lez325. I believe you have put Scotland at the forefront of places to visit, Pete. Beautiful pics and informative read.
Thanks Dean, Scotland is a place where you often need to do things in spite of the weather, and not because of it! But if you are lucky, it can be phenomenal. Particularly our North West coast.
 

weepete

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
6,068
Reaction score
2,404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Website
www.petecrawford.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Wonderful read Pete. Stunning landscapes. Hard to pick a favorite but I really like "The Needle" shot, the colors are amazing.
Thanks webstang64, I was really pleased with that one, it was a superb day with the sun splitting the sky. In fact I just had it printed 45"x18" and it looks great.

If you are really brave, there's a hole in the front of that rock formation, walking through it is called "threading the needle", but the drop is very intimidating....not for the feint hearted!
 

SquarePeg

hear me roar
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
13,597
Reaction score
11,384
Location
Boston
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Great interview! Very interesting that your work travel has inspired you along with your dad’s influence. I do think of Scotland as dark and moody but your photos show both sides. It has been on my bucket list for years. I love the lone tree photo and the one when the clouds cleared at sunset - a stunning shot with amazing light!

Nice of you to pick up the interviews Lez! I enjoy learning more about our members.
 

CherylL

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
3,472
Reaction score
3,615
Location
near St Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Loved the landscape photos and the story behind the photos. The single tree photo is special and with your Dad going with you on the shoot makes it even more special.
 

weepete

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
6,068
Reaction score
2,404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Website
www.petecrawford.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Beautiful shots, Pete! :) Great interview.

Nice work, Les.

Thanks terri, glad you liked them and found it interesting!

Great interview! Very interesting that your work travel has inspired you along with your dad’s influence. I do think of Scotland as dark and moody but your photos show both sides. It has been on my bucket list for years. I love the lone tree photo and the one when the clouds cleared at sunset - a stunning shot with amazing light!

Nice of you to pick up the interviews Lez! I enjoy learning more about our members.
Thanks SquarePeg! It is a beautiful country, particularly the North West coast. The weather is changable and can't be relied upon, however we do get settled spells of good weather during the year. It's just impossible to tell when they will be 🤣. The mountain shot you talk about I'd actually missed a perfect sunrise at a few years ago. I was passing through in the early morning and the sky and reflections were pink as the sun came up. But I had somewhere I needed to be and couldn't stop. I still kick myself for not allowing a bit of extra time that day 🙄

Loved the landscape photos and the story behind the photos. The single tree photo is special and with your Dad going with you on the shoot makes it even more special.
Thanks CheryIL! I was really happy with the way that one turned out. It's an exposure blend of 3 different shots in PS. Probably the most ambitious shot I've done in terms of PP. There was a long exposure for the water, an exposure for the sky, and a fast shutter speed to freeze the tree that was blowing in the wind. And is also a great memory for me, so win, win!
 

CherylL

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
3,472
Reaction score
3,615
Location
near St Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thanks CheryIL! I was really happy with the way that one turned out. It's an exposure blend of 3 different shots in PS. Probably the most ambitious shot I've done in terms of PP. There was a long exposure for the water, an exposure for the sky, and a fast shutter speed to freeze the tree that was blowing in the wind. And is also a great memory for me, so win, win!
Wow! That is wonderful how you blended the 3 together seamlessly. Thanks for sharing your technique.
 

SquarePeg

hear me roar
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
13,597
Reaction score
11,384
Location
Boston
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
@weepete I think we all have those missed opportunities that haunt us. I tell myself that the sun will rise again!
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top