Matthew Draper, who i used to work with many years ago, is someone i have been following on Facebook and Instagram and the quality of his pictures are really inspiring. For this reason I decided to Interview Matthew. I wanted to understand how he now has over 1000 followers on Instagram, won awards and what makes a good picture. If you need help and inspiration, we have found the right person
Who inspired you into the world of photography?
Well, first of all thanks for even asking me to be involved. I know much better photographers than me. I guess I’ve just focussed on it a lot in the last 8 or so months (growing my Insta account from 200 to 1500)
I'd always liked photography, but been nervous to invest loads on an expensive DSLR, so I'd just used iPhone and used to post all my shots at same time.
Then my ex gf gifted me a DSLR with all these dials/modes ..and I thought I must take the time to get the most out of the nice gift !
Ironically, I never really progressed until after we split up ..as whenever we were out, I'd always want to stop and try to get a shot right ..and she'd be standing, getting cold, and wanting me to hurry up (fair enough, lol)
What would your advise me to bloggers and photographers be on the quality of their pictures?
1. Always shoot in RAW. Shooting in JPEG means that every single edit you do will reduce the quality of your final output
2. only post 1 shot at a time. If you post 3, 10, 100, etc then people will half look at some and drift off. Only posting 1 shot at a time means that they give that one shot the time it deserves and they validate it on it's own
3. "Check your homework" I used to take 2 shots and move as I assumed one was ok. But now I take a shot and really look at it from corner to corner to make sure it's symmetrical or a good composition. As it’s composition that is important. Everything else can be edited
4. Get “snapseed” ..a really great free app. Incredibly versatile and then just sit and play for hours
When did this passion start to become serious for you?
After splitting with the ex. I started using the app "meetup" to socialise more and through it I saw all manner of photography groups ...including @igerslondon and @london both linked to Instagram. The format being; go for a wander with some like-minded photographers; shoot some stuff, then end up in a pub somewhere and see how everyone else viewed the same things you saw - via a shared hashtag ..really fun, social and educational; seeing all the different angles people use, techniques, puddle'grams, creativity.
I’ve learnt so much from others on Instagram. Before I used it, I used to post photos on Facebook, but a lot of my friends don’t really care. But, Instagram is very supportive and super sociable
Where has been your favourite place to photograph?
Sounds cliché; but Southbank and all of the surrounding bridges, buildings, tunnels, lil stretches of shoreline (at low tide) ..perfect for long exposure shots at night, portraits, bokeh …and also so iconic
Why is taking a good picture so important?
I might answer this in a slightly different way…
Photographs are different to movies …though both try to tell a story.
The Photograph shows a specific second in time, whereas a movie can have 2 hours to deliver it’s message and value
With that in mind. Any photographer will have occasionally had challenges translating what they see into an image ..whether that be settings, lighting, etc
..and strongly believe that the best images are the ones that tell a story, resonate with a memory we have, or are just aesthetically pleasing
The challenge is mastering our cameras to be able to do that
Which picture of your own would you say is your best one? Or top 5
lol, well.. One of the photos that got the most attention on my page was actually a door :) ..but I personally prefer a couple of others; I've posted them below
The Instagram community is so great; I've met so many cool new people that are now genuine friends, learnt sooo much stuff that I’ve now 2 accounts; @drapes213 and @drapes213_people
Thank you so much.
Good advice, good words and some great pictures.
It is all about the quality.