So… where do I start? I suppose I could write something which made use of the word “passionate”, but I’ll try and be a bit more… well, me.

My sister got herself an SLR when I was little (back in the days when you had to use something called “film”), and I was always quite fascinated by the whole idea of taking pictures. I got my first camera – a 35mm point-and-shoot when I was about 10, but it was pretty limited and I could never afford the developing and printing costs as I tended to always be saving up for some gadget or other.

When I finished university (I did an Electronic Engineering degree, nothing arty I’m afraid), I treated myself to a digital camera – a Kodak DC200 in 1998 when hardly anyone else had digital cameras. It caused quite a stir when people saw it! While not an SLR, it took away the cost of taking pictures, and from there I started taking pictures of everything I could see (really… and I’ve still got all those pictures!) Hardly anything beautiful came from my camera at this time, but I started learning about what made nice pictures and what just technically didn’t work.

I went through several other cameras – a Fuji Finepix A202, and then a Fuji Finepix S7000 which was a superb camera. 6MP (although it lied and said it was 12MP!), a really decent video mode, and finally some control with aperture and shutter priority modes and a few other bits and pieces. I bought some adapters and Cokin filters for this too to give me more flexibility, and started to get a thirst for learning more about photography, until finally in January 2007 I bought my first DSLR.

Enough history of gear (you can read about it all here if you’re really bored). I developed a bit of a passion… argh! I used it! OK, I think obsession is a better word. I started reading lots of books and magazines, and seeing things for the first time. Photography has bought me the gift of vision. It sounds like a load of cobblers, but I used to do the same commute to and from work every day (140 miles per day), and once I started really enjoying photography, I looked at everything differently. I was convinced (and still am), that no matter where you are, you can capture an image truly unique and interesting – the motorway, the forest, the sunrise and sunset, trees, ponds, streams, woods… Note that I didn’t say it’s easy – that’s where the practice, learning, and working hard comes in.

So here I am now. When I’m not holding a camera, I’m thinking about photography. It’s a bit sad really, but I just love coming up with new ideas of things to shoot. I try to concentrate on people now – it’s so exciting working with people! Weddings and portraiture work mean that I can work with people with their own ideas, their own emotions and try to get the best, most natural shots. It’s both fascinating and thrilling, and there’s so much to it! I prefer natural light photography, but I keep toying with off-camera flash and love the results – I’m just not that consistent yet.

I’ve also spent a few years working with landscapes which have their ups and downs – they don’t move very fast, but they can be desolate, freezing places that you need to get to at stupid times of day to catch the best light! I also love macro – the day I got a macro lens I fell in love with a world I had never really looked at, but it’s fascinating, ever changing and gets stunning results when you get it right. I also dabble in product and stock photography – something that takes a keep eye for detail and a good understanding of lighting techniques.

I’m an engineer by trade – software/hardware/systems… a bit of everything really. My degree is in electronic engineering, but I’ve spent the last 15 years doing embedded software. I like gadgets, and I like technology, but I’ve always had an “arty” side. I play lots of musical instruments (drums and percussion, piano, guitar), but photography is something that really fills that artistic need.

I develop some software for cameras called FoCal, and because of this I not only have my personal 5D mark 2, 7D and 400D cameras but also have access to a variety of other Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, a variety of lenses, tripod, filters, remote releases and other bits and pieces.

If you just can’t get enough, I’m on twitter (@reikanphoto), and Facebook too.

Rich Meston