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Created Local Instagram Series – @b.enatkins

An image of Gunwharf Quays at dusk. Taken by Ben Atkins

Created Local Instagram Series – @b.enatkins

In the twenty second edition of our special features celebrating our favourite south coast based Instagram users. Today I catch up with Ben Atkins (@b.enatkins).

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m Ben Atkins and I live just outside of Portsmouth in the Havant area. I am 16 years old and I was born in Portsmouth. I went to Oaklands School in Waterlooville and will be attending Chichester College soon. I hugely enjoy photography and it is something I want to pursue in a career.

I love shooting any time of the day or night, as each part of the day has something different to offer; any location could look completely different one minute to the next.

Can you tell me more about your photographic experience; is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby that you’ve developed?
I’ve studied photography at school for two years now, but it has always been something of a hobby to me. I have been inspired by photographers from the age of about 13-14 years old, and used my phone to take photos of the world around me. It was only once I started studying in school that my skills developed. It was my favourite subject by far, and definitely the least boring! I learnt all sorts of things to do with composition, the way early cameras worked, and I learnt how to post process my work well.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
My first (proper) camera was the Canon 100d. I love Canon cameras, I have used Nikon models in the past, but I can’t seem to get to grips with them the same as I can with a Canon. Only recently, I sold my 100d, and bought a 70d. This was a huge upgrade, and I love using my 70d and can’t imagine using any other camera! I am yet to dabble with mirrorless cameras, but I reckon I will in the future. I use this camera paired with a 10-18mm lens, a 18-55mm lens, and a 50 f/1.8 lens. These combos give me flexibility and get me the results I need.

For you what makes the good picture stand out from the average?
For me, a good photo needs to be bright and vibrant to stand out from the average. I myself do take dark moody images but when I do I don’t see them standing out. A bright colourful photo always stands out to people. Another thing is the way the photo is edited. Two people could take the same photo, composed in the exact same way, and so it would come down to how that photo was edited as to whose would stand out from the average.

I love the modern architecture of Portsmouth and London that features heavily in your photography. What is it about these buildings that interests you?
I love the modern architecture that both Portsmouth and London have to offer. I do hope to visit other major cities to photograph theirs too in the future sometime. Architecture interests me because it gives a photo depth. I really like how the lines in the buildings seem to frame the photo in themselves. Also, the sheer scale of some of the buildings simply bewilders me, and the beauty in some of them too just can’t go un-photographed!

Architecture interests me because it gives a photo depth. I really like how the lines in the buildings seem to frame the photo in themselves. Also, the sheer scale of some of the buildings simply bewilders me, and the beauty in some of them too just can’t go un-photographed!

Exploring the theme of local, the south coast has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph?
I love shooting any time of the day or night, as each part of the day has something different to offer; any location could look completely different one minute to the next. This is what I love about photography. Not only do places change, but the way they look to the human eye changes hundreds of times a day. I wouldn’t say there was any place personal to me that I like to photograph, but I sure do love sunset colours and I tend to feature that (when I can) on my Instagram page quite a lot. Once I buy a drone, I feel as though the whole of the south coast will be available for me to photograph in an entirely new way, as a camera in the sky will give me a new perspective on things.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
Both. I enjoy photography, so of course I do it for myself in that respect. I also enjoy looking at my own work, as I tend to look at it from a 3rd person perspective to see how other people would view it. So I guess maybe I do take photos more for other people, as I definitely enjoy seeing other people’s reactions to my work, whether it be criticism (which means I can learn) or compliments.

Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
There are tonnes of photographers all over Instagram who inspire me to be better than I am, which helps me progress in my work. A couple who I really look up to and I find an inspiration are @bemorephotos and @tobishinobi.

If you would like to get involved or know of a photographer that you think should be on our radar then please drop me an email at [email protected].

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