Local photographer Chris Doyle tells us about the inspiration behind his work, tips for getting the most from his assistant (dog biscuits!) and how a walk before sunrise could do us all the world of good.
Who are you?
What type of artist are you?
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?
Not at all. I have always loved art but chose not to pursue it academically. However, since my 18th birthday I have had a camera clicking away.
Can you describe your creative process?
After loading up my rucksack with kit (1 camera, 3 lens, several filters and a tripod) and calling the dog (Archie), we will head off on our hour long walk. I am presently doing a year long blog on Instagram (called #pawsontheforeshore) to document the changes in colours between Emsworth and Langstone, as the seasons unfold. I’ve only been doing it 10 weeks but have already learnt loads and have about 140 followers worldwide, including Australia! I try not to have any kind of shot in mind when I set off, although I will check the tides and weather! Then it’s a case of looking all around as we walk and stopping whenever something catches my eye. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, I just trust my instinct to stop and look.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
One of my most popular posts so far on Instagram was a close up of the top of a wooden post, which surprised and delighted me. Otherwise the thing I love the most is the enormous variety and beauty of Emsworth foreshore – the sky can be huge. That might sound daft but we have an amazing uninterrupted view south, and that can be doubled when the water is still as a mirror. Everyone sould be prescribed an hour walk before sunrise – great for the soul!
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
Once I have taken the photos, it’s back home to my PC to review the images. I use lots of techniques to make sure my images have captured what I was observing. As some of my photos are taken in unfavourable conditions (for example, low light or directly into sun) this tends to make the camera try to ‘correct’ the shot. I have now started to work in RAW format which allows me to really get the best from the photo. Finally the shape of the image can make a huge difference – don’t be afraid to crop.
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant?
That’s easy – Archie and my beautiful wife Helen. Archie is always with me on the walk, will patiently sit down when I’m taking the shot (subject to a treat of course), never criticises and he is always happy to make new friends. Helen is very patient with my busy hobby, gives me great, honest and insightful feedback that has led to some of my most successful shots, and of course helps me set up for my Emsworth Arts Trail.
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail?
Something familiar but maybe from an angle not seen or shown in an entirely difference light. in short, something for everyone to enjoy.