Through the pandemic we will all have got used to discovering new things through online content. We discover new skills, ideas and sometimes new photographers. I am often surprised by the diversity of practice I find and the differences in motivations I see in the work of others. And occasionally to my delight I find these in unexpected places; in this case an on-line conference on a topic that was completely separate from photography.
With one of her images and in her own words I would like to introduce you to Ila Hinduja-Francis.
"My name is Ila and I am 12 years old. I have been interested in photography for just over a year now. I was lucky enough to be given a camera as a present last year and it was one of the best presents I have received.
Photography soon became one of my main hobbies. During lockdown I was very nervous about going out, and preferred to stay indoors. I am lucky to live near the countryside though, and as the weather improved we used to go for long evening walks when the roads were quieter and I always took my camera with me. One reason I starting wanting to go out was to take photographs. I always used to try and time our walks so that the sun was setting, so that I could get the right lighting for my photos. I mostly enjoy taking photos of mini-creatures, especially slugs and snails, but also enjoy taking photos of landscapes, and especially those sunsets. Recently I have put some of my landscape photography to good use; I have been selling photo cards for a local autism charity in Macclesfield and have raised nearly £100 for them.
When I was younger I used to suffer from selective mutism at school, and although I talk more now, I suppose you could say I am a little reserved. I am shy around people and also not so keen about being in front of the camera. I am definitely not a fan of selfies. Some people say that you can hide behind a lens, but I love seeing the world through a lens, constructing my photographs and analysing scenery and the natural world. The whole process of taking one photograph can take a very long time, but it is extremely satisfying when you press that ‘click’ button and get the lighting and detail just right.
Everything I know about photography so far I have taught myself. I still have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to shutter speeds, apertures and lighting. I would love to join a photography group, either in person or online, when I am old enough, but until then I will continue observing the nature around me through my camera lens."
It is my privilege as RPS President to welcome people like Ila to the world of Photography.