Our Members

Insights - Chris Parvin, 06 Nov 2020

Insights - occasional articles about our club members - Chris Parvin, 06 November 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 - Chris Parvin.

No Box Brownie or watching his father, or even grandfather in the dark room, but quite simply as a young lad when studying at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on an impulse one day, Chris decided to buy himself a Praktika MTL-3. No particular reason, but he was amazed at what he could (or rather should) be able to do with the camera. Next came a telephoto lens and some filters – and a flash gun! His photographic journey had started.

Chris would say he is still searching for a ‘signature’ genre. He likes to set himself projects - for example, statues in Bristol (some probably not standing now!) or views of the Thames. One thing is for sure, he tends to avoid anything living, as he is not a patient person, so sitting around all day really isn’t his ‘thing’!

No particular favourite haunts, but once on holiday likes to scout around and see what presents itself. As his parents live in North Yorkshire, then the landscape in that part of the country has a beauty all of its own. Nearer to home, as he acknowledges, he has more shots of Maiden Castle than he knows what to do with – and there is always sheep there – this from a man who tries to avoid anything living!

Before he goes off on one of his jaunts, he will remind himself of the photographic basics eg. which mode the camera should be in! Check the batteries are charged – always recommended! He will take a look at the weather forecast and other than that, just wait to see how lucky he will be on the day. What's that, PPPPP? I'll think about it.

One of the simplest pieces of advice Chris has been given, is don’t just look at the subject – look around it too. Also, turn around and take a look behind – you may be pleasantly surprised. Which thought reminded Chris of an incident while with a friend in Spain. They were admiring the Alhambra Palace and of course, taking some shots. His friend was so busy getting into a good position, that he stepped back into a water channel (only small!) – so do remember to look behind for all sorts of reasons!

No particular favourite image, but Chris admitted that nature and macro are probably his least favourite subjects – when combined he feels he doesn’t stand a chance. That said, when he was visiting a local National Trust house, he found himself in the kitchen garden (haven’t we all done that not knowing how we got there!), to find it was full of bees and butterflies – macro heaven and a chance for Chris to get a few shots. Once home and looking through his images, his favourite turned out to be of a bee hovering over a flower – if only it had been facing him it would have been perfect!

What would you find in Chris’ kit bag – well for the last eight years, he has used a Nikon D5100 with DX 18-55 and DX 55-200 lenses. Prior to that he had a Nikon bridge camera – the latter down to budget and the D5100 was familiarity with the controls. He has now bought a Canon GX5 Mk II – why I hear you ask. Well apart from people telling him how good it is, he’s still not confident getting out a big camera and clicking away. The Canon he can keep in his pocket and have with him most of the time – and the results are good too. Anyone want to buy a second-hand Nikon?

So is Chris trying something different “out of his comfort zone” – yes - taking pictures when the weather is bad and it is not going well! So much so, he has not been outdoors with a camera in a month. Now with the winter weather upon us there really is no excuse Chris!

~ Janine Scola