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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

P&P Blogger Profile: Mike Holley

Mike Holley of Creative Outlet

My day job, working for a large logistics company, has nothing to do with photography or any kind of creative arts. Good thing really when you consider I can’t draw, paint, sing or play any instruments. My career has been spent mostly in manufacturing and engineering.

For me photography is my one opportunity to be creative, but it’s squeezed into whatever spare time I have. Until recently I have focused on landscapes, now I am trying to expand my skills and creative boundaries into new areas.

I live in Worcestershire, England with my wife and two teenage sons.

Why do you blog?
I’m new to blogging, in fact I only started in December 2006. I use blogging first and foremost as way of documenting my learning and development in photography. I’ve found it’s good to write it down because it forces me to think about what I’ve done or am planning to do. Also, it’s a good way of tracking progress against goals.

I know right now that my posts are gradually becoming more technical, neglecting the “whys” of my photography. I will be addressing this in the coming weeks.

A benefit of blogging is that you meet people and even make new friends.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, which ones would they be?
Hmmm this is tough. I have a growing list of places and people that I visit every day. If I had to choose just three, right now they would be:
Digital Photography School

Lightroom Killer Tips

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
I started photography back in the early 1980’s but then lapsed for various reasons. I got interested again about two years ago and bought a DSLR, although it’s only in the past 8 months that I’ve really begun to use it seriously.

I have Elements rather than the full Photoshop, which I bought 2 years ago for restoring pictures. I then started using it for my venture into the world of digital. You know, Elements is a much underrated package, but eventually I came to the point of wanting functionality only available in CS2. Then two things happened… I began to shoot exclusively in RAW and acquired a strong preference for developing images rather than manipulating them. This led me away from buying CS2 and after trying various RAW converters I settled on Raw Shooter Premium. Sorry Photoshop Guys…

But… Lightroom has replaced Raw Shooter Premium as the centerpiece of my workflow, so I’m back firmly in the world of Photoshop. Right now my workflow is 100% Lightroom but I plan to get CS3 later this year.

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
Canon 350D

Mac or PC?

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
It has to be Lightroom, no question. It’s a real photographer’s tool.

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
A Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM lens… and a Holga.

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
Two things. It’s not about what equipment you have but what you do with it. Also, set yourself a series of achievable goals over a timescale that is realistic for you personally.

What inspires you to create?
Seeing what ordinary people like me can achieve with the ordinary gear I have.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Whether it’s in work or life in general, to quote Aldous Huxley, “Experience is not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you”.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
Slovenia - it’s a beautiful country.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Doing and learning about photography.

What talent would you most like to have?

This seems a popular choice, but speaking foreign languages. Because English is widely spoken around the world, we Brits are so lazy when it comes to languages. Wherever we go, we just expect everyone to speak English.

From Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Yes
What is your least favorite word? Tax
What turns you on? Anything that is challenging and difficult to do.
What turns you off? Dishonesty.
What sound or noise do you love? A few possible answers here… one sound I do like is waves breaking over rocks.
What sound or noise do you hate? Personalised mobile phone ring tones.
What is your favorite curse word? Errr… go with bugger
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? Well a professional photographer would be too much of a cliché answer. I’d choose an investigator with the National Transport Safety Board, you know someone like Greg Feith. I think it plays to the part of me that likes challenges. What makes you think I watch too many of those disaster programmes on National Geographic..?
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Anything to do with call centers and customer services, I’d have to deal with people like me.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Follow me, there are some folks here you haven’t seen for a while.”

*Note: If you would like to participate in the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with your blog's URL and he will send you a profile to fill out. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting.