Welcome to the website of Northern Ireland based amateur photographer Paul Evans.
Here you will find many photographs taken in recent, or in some cases not so recent years, but all taken by myself either in my adopted home, or on my many travels around the World. The format is simple – photos go into Galleries and articles about photography in general go on to Pages. And of course any queries, comments, questions or enquiries about commercial use of anything here can be routed through the Contact page.
Apart from conventional photography, I specialise in astrophotography – taking photographs of the Night Sky, the Sun, Moon, Planets, Galaxies, Comets, Auroras, Noctilucent Clouds and many other subjects. This stems from my belief that photography should be a 360 degree, 24 hours a day activity!
Aurora Borealis taken from Ballygalley in Northern Ireland 1st March 2011
I started off in photography using my Father’s Exa 1A SLR in 1971 on a trip to Switzerland where I worked my way through 2 rolls of Fuji slide film. These have recently been scanned and have come out remarkably well, with some camera shake being the only failing with some of the shots. A succession of cameras then followed – a Kodak Instamatic 33, followed by a Russian Cosmic 35 and an Iloca IIL rangefinder. Then for a good few years I lost interest until the mid 1980s when I started travelling with work and bought a Pentax PC35AF-M – a fixed lens autofocus compact camera that took very good pictures. However it was a bit limited in terms of control and had a fixed lens, so in 1989 I bought a Minolta X-300 SLR with a neat Vivitar 28-70mm zoom. It was to be the first of many Minoltas!
Rheinfall, Switzerland, August 1971 – one of my first photographs taken with an Exa camera on Fuji slide film
This system was expanded with addition of a flashgun (they weren’t built-in then!), the 70-210mm partner to the standard zoom, a fisheye, 24 and 17mm wide-angles, 300 and 400mm telephotos, a mirror lens and a second body, this being the superior X-500. Many good photos were taken with this setup, until it was all stolen one day. However, the X-500 has since been replaced (Ebay, £20 🙂 and is used as my monochrome film camera – I occasionally develop this myself which is a lot of fun!
Minolta X-500 – in some ways a better camera than the more expensive X-700!
The robbery seemed a good opportunity to move up to the by now well established world of autofocus. Unfortunately when Minolta brought out the 7000, the first fully autofocus SLR in 1985, they changed the lens mount so it was completely incompatible with all their old lenses. Even if a converter could be made so the lenses would fit, they’d still never focus to infinity. Having had the MD lenses and bodies stolen actually gave me the opportunity to start over and I bought a Minolta 500Si body (good camera) and a Sigma 28-200mm zoom (not so good lens).
Again, I added many lenses, and a Minolta 9000 body, and ditched the 28-200mm. In fact, the Sigma was part of a trade-in which together with a lot of money bought me my first digital camera, a Kodak DC210. This boasted a grand total of 1 million pixels, cost £700 in 1997, and took pictures that were less good than modern phone cameras. But being able to take instant pictures in 1997 was such a novelty!
I kept going with film for a few more years, buying a Minolta Dynax 800Si – a fantastic camera, probably among the top 10 best film cameras ever made! In 2003 I decided that digital cameras had moved on rather a lot since I bought the Kodak, so I bought a Minolta Dimage F100. This took much better pictures – comparable with print film – and although 4 million pixels doesn’t sound like much these days, actually it’s just about enough provided you don’t want to crop images.
Amazing Solar Pillar, 14th May 2005 – shot with the Dimage F100
Not long after this, 2005 to be precise, Digital SLRs had become good enough and cheap enough that I took the plunge and bought a Konica Minolta Dynax 5D. 6 million pixels and it took all his existing lenses. Photography would never be the same!
I pursued the Minolta / Sony route for several years buying the fabulous A700, but after a while came to the conclusion that something smaller would be better. Whilst I had, for a few years, always had a more portable camera to augment the DSLR, I noted that technology was moving on and it was possible to buy a camera that maintained the quality of the DSLR and astonishingly brought even more flexibility to the game. So with the purchase of a Lumix G2 I was into the world of the Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens camera. Another revolution in photography. The world of Micro Four-Thirds deserves an article of its own and will shortly have one!
Night time tour of New York – 42nd Street, Sept 2011, shot with the Lumix FZ38