Today’s interview features a very talented Dorset based published photographer named Steve Hogan. Steve is primarily a landscape photographer and finds inspiration for his work through his close relationship to nature. With a true understanding of the ever-changing light in the environment, Steve is able to capture dramatic scenes for his stunning photography. Thank you, Steve and it’s my pleasure to share your thoughts and experiences with our readers.
Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I’m married and have two daughters and four sons and I also have a mechanical and engineering level three.
Where is home?
I grew up in the pretty city of Salisbury, Wiltshire but now I reside in the beautiful town of Christchurch, Dorset.
When did you first realize that you wanted to get into photography and how long have you been involved with it?
I have always known from a very young age that I loved country walks and admiring landscapes. After owning a small fishing boat for many years, I decided to sell it because of changing sea conditions and purchased a camera just under two years ago.
Are you formally-taught or self-taught?
I am totally self-taught, but I owe thanks to my friend David John Faulkner for showing me some lovely locations.
Are you satisfied with your choice of getting involved with this industry? Is there anything else you would rather be doing?
From the first moment I held a camera in my hand, I never wanted to put it down and I honestly don’t think I could ever stop my addiction for photography.
What is your favorite part of heading out for a photo shoot?
I love the feeling of when I head out and it excites me because I don’t know what joys of nature I’m going to be able to capture.
When you’re out photographing, what do you find most challenging?
Photography is the most challenging and rewarding hobby I have been involved in because I am constantly chasing the weather in all conditions and constant early mornings.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I will never forget arriving in the new forest at 03 am on a summers day and to be able to see and capture the forest come alive with a beautifully coloured sky that blended together with new acres of colourful heather with layers of mist in the background.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
I’m motivated, have determination and addiction because every day is different and you never know what you are going to capture.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I love to capture beautiful things and it pleases me and makes my determination more because I have shared my images and my images have pleased so many people.
What has been the best source of information along your photography journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
I purchased a couple of photography books and read them over and over and I decided not to join camera clubs. I made the decision to just go and practice with my camera.
What advice can you share with someone who would like to break into the photography scene?
Photography is so rewarding and my advice to anyone who loves what you see and try and capture that moment and never give up if you get disappointments from nature.
Your use of light and color is truly exceptional. Is there a secret you can share that may help explain how your photos look so vibrant and interesting?
I’m very lucky to live in Dorset and the light is wonderful. My advice to photographers is to travel to different locations because the sun is constantly moving.
Share with us your favorite image and why.
As regards to my favourite image and why I think it is, it’s the one of the forest in the mist. I love this photo because of the beautiful soft colour I saw that morning and the lovely mist in the background and atmospheric scene made it one of my best experiences in the new forest.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with? What is your favorite lens?
I use all Nikon and my favourite camera is the Nikon D500 and the Nikon 200-500 lens.
What is in your camera bag?
In my camera bag I always carry a cleaning cloth, spare battery, a couple of nd graduated filters, memory cards, and a landscape lens and wildlife lens.
What is your favorite photography accessory?
My favourite accessories are my black rapid camera strap because it helps ease the weight of my Nikon lens.
What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
I would love to be able to own a Nikon prime 600 lens and I can’t see that happening because of the thousands of £ they cost.
What’s your photo editing software of choice? How important is post-processing to you?
I always shoot in raw so that I can get the best available image quality available and not lose details in my images, therefore, I use Lightroom to process my images. I don’t use any other form of editing software.
Was there a point in your journey when you started to feel really good about your work? If so, what did it feel like to get past that ‘tipping point’?
Right from the first moment I was able to photograph a beautiful sky landscape and animals, I have been addicted and always wanted to see and get better.
Do you have any projects that make you look back and shake your head? What made the experience so unpleasant?
I was out at 05 am last winter and was getting ready to have a shoot at Old Harry Rocks in Swanage, Dorset and I was with my friend and we heard a screaming voice of a woman who had jumped off the cliff. My friend and I called the coast guard and led them to her recovery. Luckily she survived a 100-foot drop. That was the most upsetting moment that will stay with me.
Are there any areas of photography that you have yet to pick up on that you’d like to learn?
I haven’t tried Astro night photography and would like to learn.
What do you think the future holds for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
In the future, I would still love to have a camera in my hand, health permitting and I would like to have improved with my photography skills.