Where are you born and when?
I was born in London, UK in 1950
Where do you live?
I currently live in Medway, Kent, UK
When and how do you start your path in photography?
My earliest distinct memory of photography was watching my first contact sheet develop in the school camera club darkroom; a magical moment. Since then my enthusiasm has varied as other aspects of life made demands on my time. My current incarnation as a digital photographer and retoucher began after I took early retirement from my career as an IT consultant.
Who were the three photographers that inspired you at the beginning and who are the three ones that inspire you now?
Please add links to the pages where the images are shown.
I was never consciously influenced by any particular photographers because I never set out to be a photographer. I just took pictures. Others with a deeper appreciation of the art may be able to discern influences of which I’m unaware.
Did you go to a school or are you a self-taught?
I’m mostly self-taught, with a minimal amount of structured training. I’ve always been an avid reader and so books and magazines provided most of my early information and inspiration. Latterly, the internet has provided a wealth of information to navigate the digital world of post-processing.
Do you make photography as a living?
Photography is strictly a hobby for me, I prefer it that way as it means I don’t have to put a price on my time. I can spend as long as it takes to get an image the way I want it. Also, I can experiment freely, without worrying about ’wasting’ time.
What do you like in photography, what is your motivation?
I aim to create images of beauty. Sometimes that means capturing the beauty before me. Other times it may be creating beauty, inspired by what I saw and modified by my vision of what could be.
What do you want to express or arouse in those who watch your images?
I hope to express the beauty that I see for others to share, whether that be through a literal recording of life or an artistic interpretation of it. Occasionally even a complete invention by means of composites and software manipulation.
What are your preferred moment(s) in the creation process?
I love it when I can share the image on the back of the camera with a model and they are as enthusiastic as I am.
At the other end of the process, it’s great when I can look at an edited image on the computer screen and say to myself “Yes, that’s what I was after”.
What equipment and/or techniques do you use?
It is not a matter of brands/lenses, it is mostly about analog/digital, preferred light (natural/flash), how much post-production, etc.
In the studio, I work exclusively with a full-frame DSLR and studio strobes. When I go walkabout, I may use the same DSLR or I may take my M43 mirrorless rig, depending on the purpose of the shoot. I rarely use any artificial lighting when outdoors.
I regard post-processing as an integral part of the photographic process and I enjoy that stage as much as the capture. When the mood takes me I enjoy creating multilayered, multi-image composites which are as much digital artistry as pure photography.
How and why your work as changed since you started?
For most of my photographic journey I concentrated on recording the world around me. If I wanted something more deliberate then I would create still life sets. I neither had the funds nor the confidence to work with models in studios. About seven years ago that changed when I was invited to join a small syndicate within my local camera club. We would hire a model and a studio, sharing the cost, and we learned from each other about studio photography. I was hooked, and I’m now co-owner of a small studio. The other owners are also enthusiasts and the whole setup is run on a very small budget but it works, and it has transformed photography for me.
What do you think about the fact that nowadays photography is mostly enjoyed on the Internet?
I think it’s a mixed blessing. It’s great that it allows sharing of images on a scale that was unimaginable before the internet. I think it also means that images have been devalued and attention spans are very short. I try to ensure that my best images are printed to give them a sense of persistence.
Why did you decide to join the nudeartzine project?
I liked the idea of creating a collection of quality images and giving them a physical existence.
What are your plans in the future?
and hopefully, keep improving.
On what page our readers can find more of your work?
I believe my best work can be found at https://modelsociety.com/Photographer/Dave-Belsham/photos
A larger, less curated selection of my work can be found at https://www.flickr.com/people/dmbelsham/