We are so excited to introduce Tim to the AOV community. He has shared helpful insight into the world of becoming a successful photographer. All photos of his are using the new Lightroom presets he created.
My name is Tim Sprake-Jones and I’m a photographer from Cape Town, South Africa.
How did you get into photography?
When I was young my Grandad would let me take apart his cameras to see how they worked, I wanted to know how a photograph was made, that’s my earliest memory of wanting to do something creative. I wanted to take photos of the South African wildlife like he did, so he bought me an old Canon film camera. I was self-taught until I started college, where I studied photography and film. After spending some time shooting wedding photography I realised this is what I wanted to do with my life, and haven’t turned back ever since.
What motivates you to get out and shoot?
I’m a very creative person and I like to imagine a shot in my head before I go out and make it a reality. When I was first starting out I was inspired by my favourite photographers, and I hope to be able to inspire others to do the same.
What is your favorite thing about photography?
I have a huge love of the outdoors and taking photos is a great excuse to go outside and climb a mountain or go sit next to a lake. I like having the control to create the scene in my own style, to tell a story with one image, to evoke emotion and thought. Photography is subjective and everyone has their own story to tell.
What is your favorite recent image and what went into capturing it?
My favorite recent image would be of the Aurora Australis, taken from Lake Moke in New Zealand. It was a camping trip with a friend of mine who is an astrophotographer, we went to shoot the Milky Way and the Southern Lights were a complete surprise. They danced behind the mountain peaks on the horizon for an hour before they faded; it was a special moment that I was able to capture because I was in the right place at the right time. It’s not my best image technically, but the memory behind it will stay with me forever.
Do you have any advice for shooting and editing that you would like to share with the AOV community?
When shooting, most people these days shoot digitally and it’s easy to become trigger happy. It’s hard to function creatively when you have to sift through hundreds of average photos. Try to avoid this by checking the exposure, focus and composition of each shot and you’ll be left with a few great photos instead.
When editing, it can take a while to get used to it while you play around with different techniques. I’d recommend finding 5-10 photographers who visually inspire you, take one photo from each of them and see if you can achieve a similar look when editing your photos, don’t copy them but create your own style.
What gear do you use?
Why did you create this set of presets?
I created these presets for people struggling to find the right look or style for their photographs. I’ve been there, and I know how hard it is to capture the right look from scratch every single time. It’s taken me years to get to the point where I know what look will work for my photographs.
What do we get with your preset pack?
Dusty – gives a desaturated, washed out yet warm look. Perfect for those moody shots of yours.
Escape – makes your shots clean and cold, maintaining skin tones and hues.
Glacial – produces a chilled out look to your captures with some 35mm film grain, great for portraits.
Strike – create a visually striking image with a certain punch to it, blacks are black and whites are white.
Traits – my favourite preset. It will enhance any portrait of yours and make it look like you shot it on film and developed it yourself. I spent a lot of time on this one and I’m sure you’ll like it, too.