The 2017 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries, and we’ll be catching up with our final category winners from the 2016 competition during this year’s event. In this instalment, we talk to the winner of the 2016 Creative category, David Steer, about what he’s been working on since his win last year.
D-Photo: What made you decide to enter the 2016 D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition?
David Steer: I think it was the second time I’ve entered. Many of us at the Dunedin Photographic Society give it a go. Anything that is free to enter with prizes is worth a go.
What was it like to have such a positive outcome in winning your category of the competition?
Incredible. I was shocked and elated to make the final three, and when a friend emailed me a photo of the Creative results page while I was at work I couldn’t stop smiling.
Can you tell us the story behind your winning image?
The image was made from duplicating, flipping, and using the twirl filter in Photoshop. The original image was the ceiling of the Kuala Lumpur International Terminal. My wife was good enough to queue at the check-in while I spent half an hour taking photos.
What gear did you use to capture your image? Are you using the same gear now or have you changed your preferred equipment?
I used my first DSLR, the Sony SLT-A57 and DT 16–105mm f/3.5–5.6 lens. I loved my Sony, but wanted to be more portable, so changed to micro four-thirds. I’m using a GX8 at the moment, but still use an E-M10 as the long-exposure settings are so good and the stabilization [is] brilliant.
What projects are you currently working on at the moment? Can you provide a bit of an explanation about what inspired you to work on this or these?
I nearly always have my camera with me, just in case an opportunity arises, and I like to take photos at lunchtime. I’ve started using Instagram recently, forcing myself to use colour more, posting fairly regularly, and not being overly precious about what I post. I took part in the 24 Hour Project at the start of April — it was a lot of fun, and I’ll be giving it another try next year.
What inspired you to pick up a camera for the first time, and how long have you been shooting?
I got a non-point-and-shoot just under four years ago (the camera I took the winning photo with). I’d just moved to the Otago Peninsula, and photography was a way to get out and about, enjoy the scenery, and do some exercise. Joining the Dunedin Photographic Society in 2014 has really helped me to learn more about photography and develop a bit.
What would you say to someone considering entering the competition, but who are a little hesitant in clicking the ‘submit’ button?
Give it a go — and [since] entries are unlimited again this year make sure you enter one last image, it was the one that got picked for me.