Committee Member Profile – Colin Balfour, Chair
When did you first become interested in photography and how?
I travelled to Italy several times with my family when I was young. It took three days to drive from Scotland and there were lots of opportunities to take both still photos and film of the inspiring scenery. I also wrote to NASA while at school and I received a pack of stunning space photos which nurtured a lifelong interest in both photography and space. I had several 35mm film cameras at university and I also used traditional darkrooms before moving to digital.
What does photography mean to you?
I see photography as travel and escapism. It’s also about contemplation, to be in the moment as well as creativity, thinking about new angles and using filters to enhance the composition.
What do you most like to shoot?
I like shooting all types of landscapes - cities and architecture as well as the great outdoors. Cities offer many possibilities for creativity. I’m lucky to live in Edinburgh which offers year-round opportunities as well as being close to some amazing countryside and coastlines. I undertook a project for Art UK last year to photograph public outdoor sculptures in Edinburgh which was a fascinating exercise in discovering a new subject matter.
How do you approach a shooting? Do you choose the location/subject in advance, or do you drive somewhere and start taking pictures?
I usually plan in advance using apps such as TPE (The Photographer’s Ephemeris) and Nautide to check the light conditions and tides. I’ll also consult any relevant books for details such as recommended viewpoints and the best nearby car park.
Bridge to Nowhere
What is your favourite camera?
I moved from Nikon to Fujifilm a few years ago and I love my X-T3. Fujifilm cameras are very tactile, light and compact. They are really well ergonomically designed and all the controls are quick and easy to use.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished contributing to the By Degrees project and I’ve started photographing for the Close to Home project. I’m also working on a panel for my LRPS. Additionally, I’m helping Howard Klein with the Landscape Exhibition. I managed to secure a great location in central Edinburgh so I’m looking forward to that opening in May.
Header image: Valencia Opera
All images © Colin Balfour