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Obsession and jealousy fuel a passion for photography

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Category: Photographers

The work of a young photographer - Marty Bell may be in his teens but he certainly knows how to take a picture.

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Hanging out at parties with girls is something most teenage boys dream of but for Marty Bell it's a reality. He can regularly be found on ePHOTOzine and he recently won one of our competitions.

Were you always creative or is taking photographs something you have discovered recently?
"I was hopeless at any kind of art before I discovered photography, I remember failing to even trace a picture in high school. It was a very new and exciting thing for me to feel creative."
 
How did you learn photography? Was it something you picked-up and enjoyed straight away?
"I learnt it through trawling through the many pages of information about photography on the internet. Almost anything you could possibly need to know is out there. Chatting with other photographers online and trading techniques is invaluable. I started enjoying photography from the moment I received my first camera, then started enjoying it twice as much when I began learning how to edit my images."
 
How have you progressed so quickly?
"Possibly through a combination of obsession and jealousy. Since I started I've been up until all hours reading about anything photography. My mind is constantly thinking about photography and the sentence 'would that make a good image?' has looped around in my head for the last two years. Seeing work of other photographers that is better than mine greatly motivates me to try and be as good, and to discover what sets their images above mine, whether it be lighting, the way they've processed the image or the camera they've used etc."
 
Do you have a particular genre you work in?
"I don't really feel I stick to any type of photography too much, although I normally find myself taking pictures of girls or at parties. I can't imagine a better hobby for any teenage boy!"
 
Do you want photography to become your full-time career?
"I'd love to think that would be possible, and if I was offered the chance I'd take it without question."
 
Can you describe your style? Is it something you consciously choose to do?
"The way I edit my images has remained almost the same for the last year and I try not to change it too much, so hopefully there is a sense of consistency throughout the pictures. I'm unsure if the way I compose my images or what I take pictures of creates a certain style, but if it does I don't do it consciously!"
 
What makes a perfect photograph for you?
"Anything taken by Tim Walker. An image with a completely original concept that nobody has ever seen before and that anyone can interpret and appreciate. I don't feel I've captured anything like that yet, hopefully soon though!"
 
Do you do any post-production work?
"I do quite a lot of post production work but the shot has to be set up correctly in camera, and any lighting must be done properly at the time. Never think that you'll fix it in Photoshop later, get it right there and then."
 
How do you decide what to take a picture of?
"As I mentioned earlier, the sentence 'would that make a good image?' is constantly looping around my head and whenever I see a good location or am inspired by something I write a note on my mobile, and work on the idea later to try and make it into something wicked."
 
Where do you go to take your photographs?
"With models I love abandoned houses and buildings the most, although I'm trying not to over-use them. If I don't have a location in mind before hand I'll take them to an area I haven't been to too often and find places to use. I find it hard using somewhere I know as I don't seem to appreciate things I see every day. My non-portrait images have been taken in places that have caught my eye and I've either shot at that moment or went back to with my camera. They are almost all in Scotland. Hopefully the places I go and the subjects of my pictures will become much more interesting when I get the chance to travel."
 
Have you got a favourite image you have taken?
"My personal favourite is always changing, I think right now it's my shot 'Yesterdays'. The location is probably the best one I've used and it was my first shoot relying fully on getting the lighting right, considering it was pitch dark in the house. I think the contrast between Rona and her surroundings works well here."
 
What equipment can you not be without?
"I love my Canon 17-40mm f/4L, although I try not to rely on my gear too much. If worst came to worst I think I could get by with a Canon EOS 350D. It's easy to blame your equipment if you aren't improving. "No photographer is as good as the simplest camera," Edward Steichen."
 
Any final tips/words?
"Get obsessed and keep photography on your mind. Know your camera inside out so you're controlling it rather than it controlling you. Learn Photoshop. Try everything. "Give it all you got for at least 5 years and then decide if you got what it takes." ~ Carl De Keyzer."
  
Visit Marty Bell's website for more details.


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