Kieran out with his cameraPreface

Wherever I travel my camera travels with me. I love simply capturing the moment but also enjoy taking my time and composing more artistic shots. You can see all of my photos I think worthy of sharing over on my photo gallery.

I am often questioned about my camera, lenses, filters and other gear so I’ve detailed these below.


I shoot with a Cannon 400D digital SLR. While in some respects a digital camera will always lack something compared with it’s film counterparts, the convenience for the amateur far outweighs any minor undesirable effects that may arise.

I rarely let the camera make decisions for me and select manual mode for the most part, although the configurable auto-focus and light metering are invaluable tools for capturing the perfect photograph.


Aside from the kit lens which I mainly use for wide angle shots (it’s lowest focal length is 18mm), I also have a 70-300mm zoom and a 50mm fixed lens.

The former allows me to get really close to distant subjects and capture subtle details on objects that are closer. While it is easy to overrate the benefits of a zoom lens, now that I’ve got one I wouldn’t want to be without it on photography outings.

The latter is known in photography circles as the Plastic Fantastic – a lovely little Canon lens the low F-Stop (1.4) of which allows for striking focus and strong background blur. The portrait shots obtained with this lens, particularly around dinner tables and similar low light settings are truly remarkable, particularly when you consider the price tag coming in at below £100.


Amongst amateurs far too little importance is placed on the use of a tripod. In low light conditions a tripod provides the stability the photographer needs to use a long exposure time without blurring the shot, but even if these kinds of photos are not your thing, tripod use should not be underestimated. When so much emphasis is placed on composition, the last thing you want after framing the perfect shot is for a flick of your hand to cause a shot to be taken skew-whiff or for you to move the camera slightly at high zoom and bring something into frame that you didn’t intend. Not to mention that if you like to be in shots with your friends in front of beautiful vistas then you’re going to want a travel tripod on which to place the camera so everyone is in frame. I have a very basic travel tripod which I purchased from Jessops for under £50. It fulfils all of the purposes I outlined nicely and has the advantage that it folds away and fits in my day rucksack. If you are getting into photography and don’t yet have a tripod, blow £40 or so on one in your local camera shop. You won’t be disappointed.


I tend to shoot without filters for the most part as I like to let the light hitting the camera do the talking although I do make use of a circular polarising filter occasionally, especially with landscape shots where the depth and richness of the sky colour can really make a difference to the outcome of the photograph.


I’m not a fan of post processing, indeed I try to avoid it entirely and advise others to do the same. Take time to compose your shots, trust your spur of the moment snaps to chance and always have a spare memory card on hand to take additional pictures if you fail to get the perfect shot first time. The only post processing I ever really perform is cropping on photographs containing human subjects when I haven’t quite been able to get close enough and have unwanted background. I use theGimp under Linux for this.

Storage & Sharing

I store all my photos in RAW format (downloaded straight from the camera) and these are what I send to the photo processing shop if I want a print done. For sharing with the world on my gallery I have a script which extracts the image from the RAW file and saves it in a high quality JPEG. The script also preserves the EXIF data on the RAW image and appends it to the JPEG which allows fellow photographers to get a sneak peak at the settings I used to get a particular picture. These are then uploaded to my photo gallery on this site, categorised by the trip on or event at which the photos were taken.

Comments & Suggestions

I love talking about photography and I’m always happy to hear from other amateur photographers and take a look at their work. Please get in touch.