Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Focus On: soundslikerain


When we find a passion for photography, we often wonder if that passion was out there just waiting for us to find it. I'd like to introduce you to Kay Hulbert of soundslikerain, of Somerset, England. Here's her story of how she found a voice through photography, and a mighty sweet one it is! I interviewed Kay this past weekend, and we had a great conversation.

Ann Wilkinson: You mention in your profile you are a self-taught photographer. You've come a long way in a very short time -- you've got a great eye. Many photographers struggle to achieve that and are never successful, even after a lifetime of photo-taking. To what do you attribute this way of seeing through the lens?

Kay: Well, at school art was always my favourite subject. It was the only one I really paid attention to! I've studied it from GCSE to A Level and then finished with a Foundation course in art and design, but unfortunately it never covered photography. I always loved painting and drawing and used to receive some lovely compliments on my work from my friends and tutors.

I became interested in photography completely by chance and soon discovered how much I enjoyed being behind the lens. I've bought stacks of books and magazines, and while I've found plenty of hints and tips, I've only ever glanced through. I've always ended up just finding things out for myself; I think it's more fun that way. I've never really read my camera manual properly! I much prefer to just go for it and see what happens rather than sticking to boring rules and spending hours reading how-to books.

AW: Your art background was a wonderful foundation for your photography. Has it replaced painting and drawing, or is it an adjunct to your talents?

Kay: Photography has definitely replaced the painting and drawing. I love the fact that I can go out and find an image rather than trying to make one up in my head. I did enjoy experimenting with different media, especially in college, but not half as much as I love taking photos.

And as much as I found interest in trying different aspects of art every day in college, by the time my course came to an end, I felt I had experienced enough of college. You are very restricted as to what you can do and often find yourself creating something your tutor would like rather than what you really want to do. That's pretty much why I never wanted to go to university; I was tired of being an art student and wanted to get out into the real world!

AW: If you WERE to go back to school, do you think you'd take courses in photography?

Kay: I could never go back to college full time, but I have thought in future I may possibly take up an evening class in photography. I would love to be part of a group of people who were as nerdy about the subject as I was! It would be interesting to be given projects to do as well, and I'm sure it would inspire me to create more.

The Counterpoint

AW: Are your photo sessions planned? Do you carry your camera everywhere and just take photos the instant you see something?

Kay: I wouldn't say I really plan them, but I do try to go out with the intent of taking photographs. I'm just never sure where I'll end up. My camera is very heavy, so I couldn't take it everywhere without it getting damaged!

AW: If you could travel anywhere in the world to take pictures, where would that place by and why would you choose that destination?

Kay: I would love to go back to Venice with my Nikon D50 and about 100 memory cards, so I could photograph it all. It's such a beautiful place; you feel like you're in a dream all the time you're there. Possibly the most amazing moment I've had so far was riding in a gondola!

AW: Do you tend to take pictures when you are with someone, a fellow photographer perhaps, or do you prefer to be in your own company?

Kay: I started out taking photos with a friend, but after awhile he lost interest, so I carried on alone. I find it uncomfortable taking photos with people around me now, since I like to stay in one place for hours capturing every angle and view. If I'm with someone all I'm wondering about is if they're bored or not! My favourite companion was my old dog, Spark. He used to find some great places to photograph and often ended up in the pictures himself!

Evening Glow

AW: You live in an amazing place. Were you born in Somerset? Can you walk to the ocean from your home, and are you a scrumpy cider drinker? Please tell us a bit more about your part of the world.

Kay: I wasn't actually born in Somerset. I come all the way from Coventry, but my family moved here when I was two, so I may as well have been! I am very lucky to live where I do; it's a mere five-minute walk to my local beach. I live out in the sticks a bit, although we're only a few miles away from the nearest town it's always very peaceful and quiet. The village I live next to, Blue Anchor, gets really busy during the summer months with holidaymakers coming in from all over the country. I prefer it in the winter. Some days you can have the beach all to yourself.

Oh, and sorry to disappoint, but I'm not much of a drinker at all really!

AW: Not disappointed at all. I think if I were offered some scrumpy cider, I wouldn't be much of a drinker, either!

Aquilegia II

Thank you Kay!

A world traveler and self-taught photographer, look for Ann wandering around city streets and tromping through woods and hiking trails with her camera. After owning an international transportation business for many years, Ann has found her creative spirit again through the lens. See more at Ann's shop and her website.


Constellation Photo said...

Fantastic interview! The photos are truly amazing!

Pam said...

Great interview Ann, gorgeous photography - thank you so much for sharing it all with us!


marianne said...

wonderful look at some new photography and all quite beautiful to view!! thanks for sharing these images.. I have bookmarked some new faves!!