Opening letters...

They're all made up, but they should give you an idea of the sort of thing we want to know. By all means attach one of your favourite pictures -- one that you think shows your photography at its best -- to your e-mail. A chat on the phone might be even more useful, but at least we have a start... When you've read the sample letters and had a think about what you want to say, go back to the main Extras page (or use the 'back' button).


Although I took up photography twenty years ago -- I'm nearly 40 -- there was a long gap when I did nothing, and it was only a couple of years ago I became interested again. I bought a Nikon D70 but soon changed to a Nikon D200 because I wanted something that could use my older Nikon lenses and still give me metering.

Like most amateurs I shoot a bit of everything but I'm mainly interested in landscapes and flowers. What interests me mostly is the use of pure colour, and how to get good compositions. There are some of my pictures on -- Tom




I'm 19 and I've been really interested in photography since I was 16. I decided not to study photography at university because it's a hopelessly overcrowded profession and I thought I'd do better with a degree in a more traditional subject so I'm studying Chinese with a view to becoming a translator. That will allow me to travel and take pictures, which is what I really wanted to do. That's why my parents bought me this course...

I'm not much interested in equipment. I mostly use an old Nikkormat because I like the look that film gives, and I shoot quite a lot of black and white. If I could afford one I might want a Leica M8 but that is a long way in the future. Mostly, I photograph people and street scenes; I really like the old photo magazines, not just Life and Picture Post but even the Sunday Times colour supplements from the 1960s. -- Susan


After more than 50 years of taking pictures as an amateur, I know I'll never be a professional, and besides, I'm not sure that I'd want to do anything for money now: I like being retired.

You'd think that after 50 years I'd know more than you do, and maybe I do, but there are still some areas where I want to know more, such as black and white printing. I still have a proper, old-fashioned darkroom, and I spend as much time in it as I can. Yes, $485 is a lot of money -- it probably seems more to you and me than to younger people -- but I can just about afford it and I'm hoping you'll persuade me it was worth it.

Portraiture is my favourite, but recently I've been doing more and more still lifes. I use mostly an old Mamiya RB67 but I also have a Linhof 4x5 inch monorail. -- Fred




I have an incredibly busy job in IT and photography is my main means of relaxation. I have a ridiculous amount of kit, both digital and silver, but I tend to favour the film as a change from sitting in front of the computer screen. I have very little time to spend on photography and what I'm looking for is a way to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can, and perhaps try to get a bit more direction in what I shoot.

Last month I was in Lhasa -- one advantage of the job is that it's well-paid -- and I shot over 500 pictures, almost all digital using my M8. The trouble is, I can't decide which pictures are the best to show other people, so I need advice on selecting and possibly on cropping and general image manipulation. Because I have so little time, the two-year duration seems like a good idea to me. -- Tony


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© 2007 Roger W. Hicks