We’re really grateful to have so many subscribers to AP, who not only save money, but also don’t have to worry about getting out to the shops during lockdown to find their copy of the world’s best photography magazine.

As you’d expect, many of our subscribers are good photographers in their own right so we’re starting a new regular series of interviews with our ‘Subscriber of the Month.’

We’re kicking things off with Michelle Hill (below) from London. If you’d like to be featured here, please email geoff.harris@kelsey.co.uk with your details and some information about your photography, including your subscriber number/account number (please don’t send in lots of high-res images at this stage).

How long have you been a subscriber and where are you based?
I’d say about 18 months. I am based in the London Borough of Bexley and am a member of Crayford Camera Club. I have also recently joined the Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society because of their online programme. I am a member of the Disabled Photographers’ Society, too.

What kind of photography are you mainly interested in?
I’m a total amateur. When I first started at the end of 2016 my aim was to take photos of nature when I got to a local park, but through the process of learning and competing at local camera clubs I went through an entire portrait phase and finally landed on street photography – until the pandemic hit and put paid to all that… I guess you could say I’m more ‘arty-farty street,’ being far from a purist (much to the horror of some of the street photographers I come across online!)

Please tell us about any competition wins, camera club distinctions, etc
Nothing major as yet, I’m waiting for my genius to be recognised (laughs). I had a portrait put through into the PAGB International Federation representing Kent (see below).

It didn’t win anything, but I attended to watch the judging, and was absolutely dumbfounded that my image was even in the room, given the standard of the competition.

What camera and lenses do you use, and why?
I began with a Canon 750D DSLR (kit lens, 50mm and a Tamron 16-300mm), because I was trying my hand at portraits and events, and because it was a lot lighter.

My Nifty-Fifty fast became my favourite lens but I have now upgraded to mirrorless with a Canon EOS R which came with a 24-105mm RF (a great lens!) I have since bought a 35mm RF, which I’ve used with great results in my garden, and an 85mm RF. I have not had much use of the latter, however, owing to ill-health and the lockdown.

How have you been able to take photos during the pandemic? Have you tried any new genres, for instance?
Unfortunately I’ve been housebound so any photography has been in the garden, the house, or out of the window.

The the boy on the bike, above, was actually taken out of my second-floor window onto the street. I have recently done a few Zoom classes online through the Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society. I also tried out my 35mm RF in our garden, and discovered that we had got frogs in the pond (below).

I did try a couple of other things like heart-shaped bokeh, using a lightpad for flower photography once Sainsbury’s started delivering flowers again. I had my best results by wetting the cooker top and getting reflection shots on it. Sometimes the simplest techniques turn out to be the best.

Please share anything else relevant about your photography
I’ve recently been trying to do more smartphone photography with my Huawei Mate 40 Pro (see below). Previously I have used my phones just for grab and record shots.

With some help, I have also set up a local online photography community and we now have some 300-plus photographers on there from the Bexley and surrounding area. It’s great for making friends and has helped those that aren’t confident going out on their own to find a camera buddy.

I am also an avid member of SheClicks, a great resource for female photographers. My favourite photographer at the moment would be Elliot Erwitt – although I think camera club judges would make mincemeat out of many of his shots!  I also greatly admire a number of fellow SheClickers’ photography.

See Michelle’s Flickr page for more.

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