Peter............    Stephens

Who is Peter Stephens? 

I am a photographer based in Exeter, Devon, specialising in interactive 360 degree photography.

 


Years shooting:

I have been taking photographs since I was a child. I owned an SLR since the age of nine, (if I remember correctly) which was given to me as a birthday present. I have worked as a photographer professionally since 2005.

 


What got you into taking photos?

My father and two of my uncles had SLR cameras and where keen photographers. My uncle Brian Pearce has had many of his images published. I have always been around photography so it was inevitable that I would become a photographer of some sort. When I was at college I spent many hours in the Dark Room (back in the film days) and learnt a huge amount from that. My root into professional photography came when I invested in an iPix camera which was part funded by a client who placed an order for the images before I even had the camera. I then built my business around 360vr photography. Not long after the iPix camera I upgraded to digital SLR cameras to achieve higher quality and went onto producing virtual tours with clients such as Dartmoor National Park and the University of Exeter. My business is now a mixture of interactive photography and commercial still photography, although I enjoy all aspects of the media and have quite a varied portfolio.

 


First photography related memory:

Hard to remember. I think taking photographs of the local wildlife with a film point and shoot camera at my grandparents to find a film of mostly blurry photos of nothing. I must have been six or seven years old.

 


Best photography experience:

Not sure I have a best photography experience really. I enjoyed photographing the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2010 a lot, and I love visiting the properties I photograph; I find that really interesting. I also enjoy the images I’ve taken of trials bike rider Andrei Burton over the last few years, they’re always a challenge.

 


Worst photography experience:

Dropping my Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens and missing it while it was away on repair for a month.

 


Advice for taking a great photo: 

Learn how the aperture in your lens effects your photographs. I can remember the moment when this clicked in my head, it made a huge difference to my photography. Also make sure you understand how shutter speeds and ISO works too. Invest in good quality lenses, I place more importance on this than the camera body. The other big one is don’t be scared to use your camera, takes lots of photos with it and enjoy using it. Share your photos online, with friends and family and take critique on them, learn from others. Flickr is a great place to do this.

 


Three favourite photographers:

There are so many good photographers out there, I couldn’t say I have any particular favourites. I suppose the one that sticks in my mind the most is Ansel Adams, I love his work! Apart from that one of the books I often look through in my office is one by Sante Dorazio, as I love his portraiture. 


 

Photography highlight/achievement:

I enjoy pushing the boundaries of my photography, particularly with 360vr images. The images I’ve produced in small spaces such as cars, a Devon Air Ambulance helicopter and a washing machine stick out as images I’m pleased with. Also the 360vr images I’ve produced with Andrei Burton have come out well and I get good feedback on them. I always enjoy seeing my work published: recently a van had been completely covered with one of my 360 degree photos, which looks awesome!


 

Why do you take photos?

Quite simply because I love it!



Go to Pete’s website for 360 images: www.peterstephens.co.uk

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Top five photos coming soon. For now here are some shots of trials extraordinary Andrei Burton: