Spotlight on Jane Friel

This months featured

photographer is Jane Friel.

We take a time out to ask her a

few questions about her

photographic journey.

Jane served as GCC club secretary for 2 years and remains an active and vibrant member of GCC.

Q1. Tell us a bout yourself and what made you join GCC...

Jane: I did a introduction to digital photography evening class in BIFE in 2011 and joined the camera club in 2012. I've been taking pictures for as long as I can remember - I can't think of a time when I wasn't taking photos. Sending off my film rolls to Spectra and getting the envelope back was fun - usually the hit rate was approx 3-4 per roll! With digital you can hide that rate, though I'm not very good at deleting. My computer is groaning with the amount of unusable pictures (note to self - delete, delete, delete!).

I joined GCC to meet like minded people and learn more about photography, and the Club has been fantastic for that - it's a great club. Photography is my passion and I love it.

Q2. What type of photography do you do most? What do you enjoy most and why?

Jane: I take lots of landscape/nature/sea shots as that is what is easily accessible. Happily I live very near to sea and mountains, so it makes things easy. The type of photography that I enjoy the most is architectural - I can get very excited about a building! And I really like doing abstract shots. I would generally take at least one (more like ten) photos every day (that's probably the reason my computer is over loaded!) and use my phone to take pictures as well.

I'm planning to get my film camera out again and take some shots with that - I found out recently that the film can be processed digitally, so my fingers are itching to get going.

Q3. Among all the images you have taken, do you have a favourite? Why?

Jane: At the moment my favourite image is of the puffins on the Saltee Islands. I went there last year on a trip with the Camera Club and it was an absolutely magical experience for me. I loved the feeling of being on an island - I know I live on one but this was a completely different feeling - and being close to the birds, the sea, the air, the plants. It was a beautiful day and one I'll never forget.

I would love to go back again and even if I didn't have my camera with me (though let's face it, that would be highly unlikely) I would be quite happy to sit and be for the day.

Third Wheel - my all time favourite shot from Saltee trip in 2015.

Q4. How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

Jane: I use the internet for Photoshop tips and I buy lots of magazines and some books. I also do workshops and classes. I want to learn more and get different ideas for shots. By going out to classes, etc you meet people who have different talents, skills and points of view and I learn a lot from these situations. I like to go to exhibitions as well - both photography and art.

Q5. In the field, do you have a preferred shooting mode?

Jane: Aperture is depending on the scene or effect I want to achieve and the shutter speed correlates to that. ISO 400, White Balance is Auto - except for long exposures - which I now set it at 10000 Kelvin following advice from a fellow Camera Club member and this has worked well. Focus is usually Auto unless I'm going for an abstract shot and Image Format is RAW.

Q6. What kind of tools do you use for post processing?

Jane: Photoshop and Nik Software. Still learning to use these tools - it's a daily challenge! I also use Snapseed, which is a fabulous free app for phone and tablet and very easy to use. I only wish there was a version for the computer.

Q7. Whose work has influenced you most in recent times?

Jane: I greatly admire Pawel Pentlinowski's work and the work of Lana Galina at

I met both Pawel and Lana at the BIFE photography course and I think they are the most amazing photographers, with completely different styles.

I also love images by the fashion photographer Norman Parkinson and the large scale images of Andreas Gursky.

Q8. When you go away on holiday, what camera gear do you bring with you? Why?

Jane: I usually take most of my gear - camera (Canon 7D), 24-70mm lens, 50mm lens, tripod, filters, shutter release. I take these things because they cover most eventualities and I do use everything when I'm away.

Q9. Among the photography gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn't bought? Why?

Jane: No. I don't buy a lot of gadgets and buy second hand if I can.

Q10. Finally, What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Jane: I wish I knew how to be more selective about which shots to keep and which to delete. I think this is a skill and one I have yet to learn. I have boxes of prints from film and thousands of photos on file but I could probably delete 80% of them and still have too many....

You can see many more of Jane's photo's over on her Flickr Photostream. Click here to visit Jane's photostream.

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