About Richard J Kyte - Richard J Kyte Photography

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About Me
Firstly, I am not a full-time professional photographer, and I'm  not currently running this site as a full-on business, although some examples of  my work are available for the purchasing of prints and other items.  At the  moment, I am not seeking any professional commissions, but I am not ruling out  the possibility that I could become a full-time photographer in the future.     Although I am willing to consider commissions, I am limited to what I can do  with the resources I have, and I would probably suggest that anyone with a  complex or urgent commission gets in touch with a full-time photographer, as  they are probably in a better position to handle this than I am.   

My experience with photography goes back nearly four decades; I  can't remember exactly when I first took a photograph, but it was probably at  some point in the early 1980s.   Since then I have worked my way through various  cameras, but I would probably say that the first really decent camera I had was  the Minolta Dynax 505si which I purchased in 2000, and used it until 2008, when  I bought my first digital SLR camera : a Sony A200.     This came about as a  result of my father purchasing a Canon DSLR and then handing it to me to  field-test; after a trip to Hidcote Manor Gardens, I was amazed by the results,  and realised that I really had to make the switch from 35mm film myself (ok, I  would have done this sooner or later; it was just a matter of "when" not "if" I  made the change).   In February 2010, I upgraded to a Sony A550 which I used  until May 2018, and which has supplied most of this site's content.   As of May  2018, I am using a Sony A77 (Photograph numbers P0xxxx were taken with the A200;  photograph numbers P5xxxx, P6xxxx or P7xxxx were taken with the A550; P8xxxx  were taken with the A77).

I chose to purchase a Sony DSLR because it was a digital  "descendant" of my Minolta, and I was working to the assumption that a lot of  the equipment I'd amassed with the Minolta would be compatible.   However, only  my 70-300mm lens eventually made the transition; every thing else had to be  replaced, and perhaps if I'd known this, I might have switched to another brand  at this point (possibly Nikon; I had considered a Nikon as an alternative to the  Minolta in 2000, but after reading various reviews I felt the Minolta was a  better choice).    

I have found that a Digital SLR camera really suits my style of  photography, and sometimes I wish the digital photography revolution had  happened 10 years earlier, as I suspect that if it had, I might well be a  full-time professional photographer now (if it had happened 20 or 30 years  earlier, I might well have taken my life down a completely different path than  the one I settled on).   I did things with the A200 that I wouldn't have dreamed  of doing with a film camera, and I've done things with the A550 that I couldn't  have managed with the A200 (I suspect that I will do things with the A77 that I  couldn't manage on the A550).   

Most of my photography knowledge is self-taught.   However, in  late 2011 and early 2012, I undertook a couple of informal photography courses  at my local college, and these opened my eyes to some elements that I had not  previously considered.   I would argue that my work drastically improved from  that point, and the style I currently use evolved from there.  

I have had some work published, a lot of it is in collaboration  with a German historian : Hagan Seehase.   I have also had worked used by the  three principle Evesham local publications : "Evesham Journal", "Evesham  Observer" and the "Vale Magazine", although not always credited.   I don't know  of any other photographer who has managed this (that is not to say that there  aren't any).    I would like to find my work in a national railway magazine, or  in "Dorset Life"; I'm still working on those.  

I am also a great believer in post-production digital  manipulation.   I feel that this gives my photography a more individual touch,  and I don't always find myself in situations where I can afford to take up time  to set a "perfect" shot; sometimes I find it's a case of dealing with the  situation in hand and fixing any issues later on.  Yes, if the situation demands  it, I will work from the original exposure, but sometimes I've found that a bit  work with Paint Shop Pro can turn a "good" photograph into a "great" one.   Besides, at the very least, I would argue that anyone who is remotely serious  about photography should use a photo editor of some sort, if only to embed  information about the photography for future reference.   Good documentation of  photographs is something I believe in strongly.   

I also try to take an interest in whatever it is I'm  photographing.   As I suspect the organisers of "Wartime in the Vale" would  testify, I can be somewhat obsessive about identifying the subjects of my  photographs, and I do try to obtain a basic knowledge of what I am  photographing, as I want to avoid anyone looking at my photographs and thinking  "Great photograph...what is it?".   However, I try not to let ignorance of any  subject (and anyone who has examined the contents of this site in any great  detail will know that there are some areas of knowledge that I am sadly lacking  in) prevent me from photographing something; if I did that, this site would  probably consist purely of photographs of steam locomotives and Jerry the  Chinchilla.   

Finally, although I am not a full-time professional, I do try to  do as professional a job as possible, especially on those occasions where  someone has asked me to take photographs.   Quite what my status is can be  debated, but if the definition of a professional photographer is someone who has  been paid for their work, then I qualify on that count, although the payments  I've received so far are few and far between.   
Richard J. Kyte
May 2018
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