Winners Interview: Mike Campbell
After announcing the winners of our Northamptonshire Charity Calendar Competition, we recently chatted to all of our winners to get to know more about them and their winning images.
First up, it's our overall winner Mike Campbell.
Skears Photographic: Congratulations on being announced as the overall winner and being selected for the calendar – how does it feel to know you have won and be published in the calendar?
Mike Campbell: "Honestly I still cant quite believe I won, As I am a member of various local photography groups on social media I know there are some very talented local photographers, so to have an image win a competition is an honor. Also knowing the proceeds are going to two deserving charities is fantastic."
SP: Can you tell us more about yourself and the type of photography you do? Is it a hobby or a profession?
MC: "I picked up my first DSLR when my eldest son was about 6 months old, the usual story of wanting nice photos of my little family. I soon realised that I really enjoyed photography and instead of just getting frustrated that I wasn't getting the images I wanted, I began spending hours and hours pouring over online tutorials/ Youtube videos etc to learn what I needed to do to improve, Soon this hobby that I enjoyed became an obsession (Luckily for me my wife is very patient and supportive and even booked me onto a beginners photography course with a local trainer)
Although I still have a full time job and young family I now do photograph weddings/events and absolutely love doing family photo shoots whether that be a photographing a family at Harlestone firs, maternity for a mother-to-be, the privilege of photographing a new born or having some me time and going off somewhere to do some landscapes, photography just never gets boring!"
SP: What do you enjoy about photography?
MC: "For me photography is both a social and a solitary pursuit, On one hand I have made some wonderful friends over the years who share this passion and i'm always happy to meet up with, on the other hand though I also enjoy the solitary nature of landscape photography, Its almost like taking a break from the real world being on location and concentrating on nothing but light,composition and exposure, when I come back from a Landscape shoot I always feel refreshed (Even if I didn't come away with a portfolio shot!).
More recently I have been teaching my soon to be 7 year old son, He has got his great grandfathers (Who I am told used to visit Skears regularly) old Nikon D40, and anytime I upgrade any gear I pass my old gear down to him, The process of teaching him and seeing his enjoyment in something I am so passionate about really is extremely rewarding."
SP: Tell us a bit about your winning image – where and why did you take it? Is it a favourite spot for you?
MC: "I have lived in Northamptonshire most of my life but didn't know Harlestone firs existed until about 5 or 6 years ago, the first time I visited there it immediately became one of my favourite places in the county, and after taking this shot with my son in the frame, I knew I had something special, and since then I have photographed many families in this exact spot and the results never disappoint."
SP: What gear did you use to take this shot?
MC: "For those that are interested I think I took this with my Nikon D7100 (Purchased from Skears!) and Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 which is a wonderful lens, However I am a firm believer that understanding Light, Exposure and Composition is far more important than the gear you are using."
SP: Do you have any advice for others who may consider entering next year?
MC: "I would say, think about beauty spots in you local area, this county has so many hidden gems that people would love to see, also once you have a location think about time of day and time of year (Sunrise in autumn looks very different to sunset in spring!)"
SP: You've won £100 to spend in-store- do you have an idea of what you may put your winnings towards?
MC: "That's the thing with photography isn't it, there are just too many things to spend money on! The main items at the top of my list at the moment are a colour calibration tool and more filters to add to my collection, however in the short time it will take me to drive from my house to Skears i'm sure my mind will change a dozen times."
SP: How can others see more examples of your work?
Congratulations once again to our overall winner Mike! It has been great to hear a bit more about the back story of the winning images. Don't forget you can still purchase the calendar online here - or in-store! They are £10 with proceeds going to Cynthia Spencer Hospice and The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.