It’s not often that someone gets to interview a Photographer as talented as Matthew Barfield. That’s why I was extremely delighted when he agreed to answer a few questions for me. Matthew is from a town called Lymington in Hampshire on the South Coast of England. Although Matthew works as a full-time Precision Engineer, he finds the time to get out in nature to take photographs of wildlife with great skill.
Matthew, thank you so much for all your thoughtful responses. It’s not every day we get a behind the scenes view of someone with such expertise.
Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I’m 25 and work full time as a precision engineer. For the past couple of years, I’ve been using a lot of my spare time to getting outside and close to wildlife with my camera.
Where do you call home?
Home for me is a town called Lymington in Hampshire on the South Coast of England. It’s part of the New Forest National Park district. It a wonderful place to live and allows me to always be only a short drive from a coastal, heathland or forest walk.
After browsing through your website, I see that you’re truly immersed in the field of photography. What is it that led you towards photography and how long have you been working in it?
I bought my first DSLR camera at the start of 2016 to try to photograph some of the Buzzards I would see whilst making regular journeys across the forest. I have soon realized it wasn’t going to be easy as I had first thought.
Are you self taught or formally taught? Where have you found the majority of valuable information along your journey?
Everything I’ve learned these last couple of years has been from watching YouTube videos, reading articles but mostly by just getting out and using my camera. After a while, you start to see which settings & techniques are producing better images. Then you just have to try and eliminate those not so great photos but it worth noting that I’m still learning and therefore take many photos that I don’t keep!
What’s the best part of being a photographer?
For me, the best part of being a photographer is being able to look back through your collection of photos and remembering the story behind each one. Also, its great to see how much you’ve improved!
Share with us your favorite image and why.
My favourite image is probably my photograph of a Dartford Warbler with a spider it had caught. I chose this image because I set out on that summers day to look for that specific bird. After a little while of scanning the gorse and listening out for theirs calls this wonderful bird popped out the gorse and perched long enough for a photo.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with? What is your favorite lens?
I use a Nikon D7200 camera with a 300mm f4 lens and most of the time with a teleconverter attached which helps me get that little bit closer to smaller birds.
What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
My dream lens would be Nikon 600mm f4 but maybe something more realistic like a Nikon D500 which is a really fast camera with great autofocus.
What’s your photo editing software of choice? How important is post-processing to you?
I use Lightroom and for me, post-processing is mostly about correcting the exposure of my images as sometimes moments can come and go before I’ve had time to perfect some settings.
Are there any areas of photography that you have yet to pick up on that you’d like to learn?
On many occasions, I’ve thought about trying to do more landscape photography but at the moment I’m very much enjoying photographing wildlife.
Do you see yourself as a photographer many years down the road?