My earliest experiences with photography occurred when I was about 8 years old.

I would watch my late father take light readings with a hand held meter before dialing in the estimated exposure settings into his 35mm SLR, then gently wind the film onto the next frame and start the process all over again.

It was that very same light meter and camera that fired my passion for photography. I would spend hours walking around my neighborhood taking photographs of landscapes, waterscapes, sunsets, you name it, even the family dog, bless him, had his fair share of the limelight.

Looking back, the results were less than perfect and often disappointing although at the time, they were all masterpieces if only to me at least.

It was some 10 years later when I finally purchased my own brand new 35mm SLR. A Nikon F301, this camera was technically more advanced by comparison to my fathers. Features such as automatic film advance @ 2.5fps, DX film recognition and a built in light meter.

Armed with my shiny new kit I enrolled myself on a photography course at my local college and it was here in a darkened, smelly room on a damp Tuesday evening that magic was made.

As a photographer I have to say that, seeing your very first print appear before you in the developing tray is by far one of the most satisfying aspects of photography and makes standing around in that dark smelly room so worth while.

There was to be a 15 year absence from photography as other aspects of my life took precedence, only the occasional opportunity would arise, usually a birthday celebration which resulted in nothing more than snap shots of family and certainly didn’t stretch my creativity by any means.

It would be a further 8 years later that I moved into the digital arena with the purchase of a Canon EOS450D complete with a standard 18-55mm kit lens. Over the years I slowly added to my arsenal with more lenses, flashes and of course, a  tripod.

In addition to going digital I have familiarised myself with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, both of which are truly essential pieces of software. Oddly enough, my time spent in that dark and smelly room all those years ago have served me well as many of the features found in Photoshop perform the same duties as they do in a conventional darkroom.

When all is said and done, the one key element I have gained throughout all this is; You don’t need the latest, greatest camera equipment available on the market today, having the best camera will not necessarily make you a good photographer. You, on the other hand, will.

Having a sound understanding of light and the effects it has on your subject at different times of the day and year, the use of shutter speeds and aperture settings for creative purposes and the ability to re-train your eye to compose your shot and to see a potential photograph like a pro.

All the images on my site have been taken with the same entry level Canon EOS450D which cost me £550 (UK) back in 2005.

Thank you for visiting my website, I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy photographing it.

Ric Parkin, born 1969, Sheffield, England.