Photo © Chris Madden
The Palace Door
Chris Madden UNITED KINGDOM
Born in 1970 my first jobs were in the field of electronics but later I changed career to enter education and become a teacher. This allowed me to travel, live and work abroad in Europe and the Middle-East and it is through these experiences I became interested in photography as a way to document my travels and to capture images that had a profound effect on me. I’m a self-taught amateur photographer that decided a year ago to take the plunge and buy myself what I would call a ‘good’ camera. Knowing nothing I watched various You Tube videos, B & H Event Space presentations and read books by well-known photography authors like Michael Freeman and Bryan Peterson. The first six months were incredibly frustrating trying to get to grips with the technical aspects of a DLSR but when I finally went ‘completely manual’ things started to fall into place.
I take photos predominantly on themes based around architecture, natural geological formations, man-made structures, abstract concepts, night photography and some macro work. To help create my vision I use a Canon 70D with a Sigma 18-35 lens, a Manfrotto tripod and some ND filters. I try to use long exposures to achieve the desired artistic effects I want to create, which are a ‘timeless’ and ‘ethereal’ quality to my work. I try to avoid the obvious viewpoints and prefer instead to capture unusual angles from a unique perspective. All my photographs so far have only been edited and enhanced using Lightroom CC, there is no photoshop edits. I’m avoiding the over use of post processing techniques in order to save time and retain a more natural look.
I’m originally from England but reside in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates due to my work in education. Most of my photography time is split between the UAE and the UK, preferring to do photography from Nov to March in the UAE, during the cooler months of the year, when the light and air is better and then shoot in the summer months in the UK during the school holidays. Both of these destinations provide ample inspirational material. The UAE has cutting edge ‘striking’ modern architecture and sun drenched sands that contrast with Britain’s traditional western architecture and ‘moody’ climate. I honestly believe you can be artistically creative in any environment. When it seems difficult to be inspired you just need to look a little harder or change your perspective.
Since I was a kid I’ve always been fascinated by how the environment looks during the night time, which is why much of my work includes night shots. In the dark I’m always searching for a ‘particular type’ of light that I want in my photographs, as I believe this will be key to developing my own style. I will continue to develop and hone my photographic skills and draw inspiration form other photographers and other areas, not just photography, to improve so that others can enjoy my work.
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