This evening we had a captivating talk from professional photographer Hugh Hastings, who started out at 16 working in a photographic studio in London where, as he said, he “learnt a bit of everything”. He started out taking photographs of cars with a 5 x 4 view camera, which allowed the lens to tilt & shift to keep the whole car in focus. The first camera he bought himself was a 35mm Ilford Sportsman from Dixons.
In his career, he’s worked on “What’s on in London” and since 1978 been working with Chelsea Football Club, taking many behind the scenes and match photography.
Due to carrying heavy photo equipment over many years, Hugh’s had to have a total of 6 hip operations. As a consequence he’s embraced the far smaller and lighter Panasonic 4/3 rd’s equipment and has become one of their brand ambassadors.
During his last hospital stay he created a photo record of all the staff involved in his care using the Panasonic equipment, which he allowed the NHS to use as a poster. He’s also been working on a series of local street portraits using the Leica medium format system, another company for whom he’s a brand ambassador.
Hugh uses Lightroom, together with a couple of NIK plugins for Photoshop. He said you need to make your images memorable and different from the rest.
Another area of photography he covers is architectural work, where he liaises with architects, landlords and property owners to obtain the most flattering property and interior images. Often these need to be early in the morning or in the evening to get the best balance of inside and outside lighting.
After a tea break where Hugh allowed us to try his cameras, he told us that he’s currently working on a project based on photographic tours of the Atlas Mountains. Photographers will stay with locals in their remote villages in return for practical help, such as putting in solar panels on a school roof. This will be working with Leica and further details will soon be on www.worldcamera.org.
Hugh’s other photographic passion is marine photography; he’s been able to capture some incredible action images of the J Class yachts that were in Cornwall recently.
Further details are on his website http://www.hughhastings.co.uk
By Ian Williams