Russell Hardy

My photography takes me all over the British Isles whenever time allows. I've been into taking pictures for probably over 10 years but only the last 5 or 6 years have I been able to go out and have some fun with it properly.


I now have a small collection of old cameras ranging from 1901 to present day DSLR's, it's amazing that a bit of plastic or paper coated with some chemicals or a digital imaging sensor can create an image of something that’s happening right at that moment. At the flick of a few switches the same image can be recorded in a completely different way.


I nearly always carry a camera with me, as of late I’ve been carrying my trusty Olympus OM2n 35mm film camera and various films, as well as my lovely little Sony NEX-5N which is think is a great camera for its size.

In 2006 I had an accident at work which damaged my left eye, for over 2 years I struggled to see well in that eye and caused me to have terrible claustrophobia,(taking pictures helped me get over it).


Luckily my eye is completely healed now but it does seem to show my brain a very vivid colour which is why my style has such bright colours in them.


Along with my photography I also have many other interest’s, I quite often go to 1940 events where I normally take an old style camera that someone was going to put in the dust bin. A very kind old gentleman gave me his old War 1939 Kodak Retina 1 that is almost pristine condition, it's 35mm so needed no modification. I slid in an old 35mm Fuji colour film(even though the lens on it was made for black and white) and off I went and for an old camera like that it did pretty good.

Everything I've done my whole life has always seemed to involve old modes of transportation, it might be classic series land rovers, classic cars to steam rollers and tractors. These days I’m often invited to help run many steam rollers or classic cars across the country at different shows and events, this leads me to thinking of taking photos of these machines. It's very hard as a lot of people take photos of cars and they all look very similar, it's very hard to get something different, so recently I've been doing all sorts of strange angles and lighting conditions.

Some of my friends work for the national trust (Calke Abbey, North Devon, Wightwick Manor) so when there stuck for some strange photos they often ask me to pitch in with all my crazy colour photos. I particularly like photographing at night when everyone has gone home, the things a camera can see at night is amazing. The Sony NEX-5N has no viewfinder so in the dark I use a green laser pen, I shine it on what I want in focus and manually focus until it lights up bright green on my rear screen, seems to work pretty good.

HDR photography has recently taken me by surprise and enables me to produce photos that are more vivid than I can do with normal techniques and is much more like what I see through my own eyes. The only problem with HDR is that you need 3 exposures generally and thinking about 1 exposure is hard enough, having to think about 3 is sometimes aggravating and takes a bit of patience and practise.


Some people ask me if I have a favourite genre or style and I always say which ever makes me smile most. I try and make my images different any way I can and I’m amazed that you never stop learning new tricks and ways of taking photographs. Whatever style or genre you pursue, the main thing for me about taking photos is to enjoy taking them and enjoy looking at them! It's all about fun and enjoyment.

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