Insights - Peter Yendell, 03 Dec 2020

Insights - occasional articles about our club members - Peter Yendell, 03 December 2020
'Insights' is a series of occasional articles about our club members. We hope you have been enjoying reading these short articles about some of our members and their journey so far in photography. This time, A Chat with Peter Yendell..

I expect there are several of us who will say they are not sure what crystallised their interest in photography. Certainly, in all our early years, many families enjoyed taking holiday photos and of course, cine films (or video as we would like to call it today), for those magic moments, which sometimes came to haunt us as we got older! This was no different for Peter and he remembers being given a Kodak Instamatic (with the little cube flashes to go on the top) for a birthday present in his teens. This progressed when he chose Photography as his “interest” for his Duke of Edinburgh Award and has remained one of his hobbies ever since.

With his career and family life, Peter would say he has stepped into Travel Photography as probably his chosen genre, particularly when holidays were the only time in which he could focus on his hobby. This is his first love, but with more time in recent years, he has expanded into other areas and becoming a member of Dorchester Camera Club has really helped to broaden his horizons in this respect. He enjoys the combination of travel and photography (maybe true of all of us!), as it gets him out of bed early in the morning and for full active days, immersing himself in the culture and people in a way that he wouldn’t think of if he didn’t have a camera.

Certainly, having the ability to travel to countries for work has enabled him to explore some wonderful places. If it is a planned trip accompanied by his wife, possibly at the backpacking end of the travel market, then he will take one Canon body and one or two lenses, or even just a small Fuji for a weekend away, although he does not really get on with this camera. However, if he is off on a specific photography focussed trip, then his backpack will be full of lenses, two bodies, tripod etc. – and much heavier!

Closer to home, a favourite area is the Yorkshire Dales, partly because he knows it best, along with the Moors and the Lakes. Having been a regular long distance walker in these parts, he actually doesn’t have many great images of the area, much as he loves it. A good excuse to go and return!

Throughout his photography journey, he has learned much along the way. Although he has not been given specific advice that he can recall, his mantra would be from a quality of image viewpoint, “that the more you put in, the more you are likely to get out”. I’m sure many of us sit enthralled with the Planet Earth programmes and for Peter he loves the end when you see how they capture some of the footage, the time it has taken and the stories. It is a good reminder of the dedication and energy you need to put in to your photography if you want great images. For Peter, he feels this is true of all genres, be it walking the streets (not quite literally, but looking for that ‘shot’!), sitting by a lake waiting for a bird or animal, or simply getting up pre-dawn for the right light.

So, with all this travelling around, there has to be a story to tell. Like many a photographer before him, it was setting off with his camera, but without a battery or card! But for him, one memory comes to mind – he was cycling around Sri Lanka and camped one night; in the morning, he discovered his camera had got so wet it had packed up and died. It was one of the early digital cameras and was ready to be replaced, but just not at that moment! Sadly, it meant he had no camera for half the trip.

Having visited so many places, there has to be a favourite image. Peter immediately thought of two. One being a pre-digital B&W photo, taken from the top of a fell in the Lakes, where there was temperature inversion and he had climbed above the low cloud level. A friend printed and framed it for him and it now hangs on a wall. His second favourite image, would be the two Indian girls, holding hands, which has been shown at the Club. For him, there is just something about the girl looking at the camera that he loves.
(So did we!)

As for the kit to be found in Peter’s backpack – after an Olympus Trip and then an OM10, he turned to Canon many years ago, and like many of us, probably now has too much embedded investment to change any time soon, despite the advances of the likes of Sony and Olympus etc.

As with many of us, he has not travelled overseas this year, which has given him the chance to focus on the local landscape, alongside some wildlife photography. The flip side, he is making (slow) progress with PS – which definitely feels out of his comfort zone at times!


~ Janine Scola
Best Friends by Peter Yendell