Interview with Stephen McNally
#1 Please introduce yourself
My name is Stephen McNally, I am 54 years old I live in Newton le Willows Merseyside UK. I am a passionate fine art/landscape photographer using long exposure techniques and minimal compositions in monochrome.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
About 7 years ago I help to run a angling club we needed a web site I volunteered to take the pictures of the different waters to be used on the web site I enjoyed the role. The images I took were not perfect so I started using the internet to study post processing and composition to the existent that I go shooting landscapes and seascapes more then I go fishing.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
I have always had a interest in Art in visiting galleries etc, no photographic training mostly self taught.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
I have been mostly inspired by a photographer that was born and lived about 5 miles away from me in a industrial town like me called Widnes Micheal Kenna. I have most of his books and visited his exhibition his home town arranged on for his 60th birthday last year.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
I use the internet, google earth and maps also the photographer’s emphemeris for sun and moon positions I have tide times and weather apps on my phone. I mainly shoot about a hour before dawn in winter and switch to sunset in the summer as sunrise in the summer months in the UK can be very early and if a couple of hours drive to the location it can be very tiring I will also go and visit a location a few times to get ideas and compositions. I make notes to watch the weather for the right conditions for the shoot e.g., fog if the back ground needs to be obscured.
#6 Which places have been your favourite shooting sites so far and why?
I like shooting seascapes locally to me around the mouth of the River Mersey Liverpool which as sea defences, lighthouse and art instillations which make great compositions. I also like the Peak District National Park for landscapes its undulating rolling landscape as a multitude of compositions for a minimalist photographer especially in winter, forests and mountain ridges.
#7 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I work as a Hairdresser so being in a salon for 40 hours a week I can’t wait to get out doors to do photography and show my clients my pictures when they ask what I have been up to at the weekend and on the odd occasion I go fishing.
#8 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I have a just purchased a film camera Hasselblad 500 I have just started using that camera along with a Chinon CE5 and a Kiev 88 as I intend to do really long exposures on film though the night this winter.