Woodsy (a.k.a Steven Woods)
Tell us about yourself. What do you do fulltime? How/why did you get into photography? When?
Firstly I've got to say thankyou to SXC for allowing me a window to share my modest views and thoughts on my love of photography. I suppose personal circumstances drew me into the actual physical taking of pictures where as before I loved to look (and still do) at the work of amateur, semi-pro and pro photographers. Back in February 2006 I had the need for some images for a website and by chance I happened upon SXC. I was amazed at what I found and by looking at the images before me it triggered my ego "I can do this!" I still cringe at my first accepted image (I know you'll look at it now so please be kind) but it set me on the road to where I am now. It was taken with an ordinary point & shoot but I've moved on since then and I'd like to think that my ability has improved as well. After completing thirty years in the security services I now have more time to devote to photography and boy do I drive my family wild with it!
You have a lot of business and outdoor-recreation images. What is it about these subjects that is appealing to you?
If the weather's fine (I live in England so that's once very two weeks) I try to take the opportunity of outdoor 'action' shots. I love to get my 'models' relaxed and happy to perform and I think that that shows through in most of those type of shots in my gallery. I have ideas in my head before we set out but sometimes (and this is why I love photography) something else happens or somebody does something unexpected and wham! You've got it in the can. The excitement of viewing an image like that on screen later has been felt by every one of you reading this article. When the weather's not so good I take studio shots. I usually research what's already on offer on SXC, look at the most downloaded shot to try and capture the secret and then set about the task. I'm often amazed at how popular one of my images can be and yet sometimes it's hard to figure out exactly why, I know this is something other SXCers often ponder upon.
I like 'business type' shots, I know they're always in demand and the right shot will generate a lot of downloads and that gives me a big lift. Having said that I'm quite pleased with the reasonable broad range of subjects in my gallery.
What inspires you?
No Matter what you do there will always be critics and we all know about beauty in the eye of the beholder etc... When I get negative feedback on an image I refuse to get defensive. As a photographer you 'give birth' to your image and you can become very protective about it but I use criticism to improve myself. My inspiration is drawn from the many fantastic images that I see on SXC. To study the technique, lighting, composition used by some of the 'top' names is awe inspiring and I never tire of this. Also to get a comment on one of your own images from one of these can also make your day! I ignore the image ratings, you can beat yourself up over these un-necessarily, downloads are a far better indication of a photo's worth a sort of pat on the back and a 'nice image that we needed' feeling.
Where do you seeing your photography going next?
When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. In my world I want to make it happen. I'm not sure that I have the right ability as yet for SXP but that's my next step. I kinda get blown away by what I see over there but that's the challenge it's just knowing when that moment arrives. Like most SXCers my images have been used all over the world in different types of media and I find that just fantastic - I want more!
In what ways has SXC been valuable to you?
Am I alone in the practice of studying my images for improvement? Does anybody else look at their gallery and think to themselves "I wish I could re-take that again" I'll bet I'm not, but that in itself is an indication that we are learning every time the shutter closes and that is exactly what SXC has done for me. I have contacts all over the world now, friends with one common thread - SXC and for that I'm truly grateful.
To close I would just like to thanks all my models and friends who have helped in making my images recognisable, Jack, Ben, Abbie, Vicky, Molly and Karl, and a big thankyou to the Admins, your rejections were right every time and made the approvals that much sweeter. Keep rockin' SXC and thank you for this opportunity.
current sxc favourites
tips & tricks
» Automate your life with Actions by Sarej
Short tutorial about how to use and create Actions in Photoshop.
» Create Custom Brushes for a Unique Texture
Custom brushes in Photoshop are easy to create, can be extremely useful and they are a terrific tool for personalizing your work. graphics.com »
» DIY - lens warming device by robgr85
Learn how to build your own lens-warming device to prevent condensation.
thanks for reading!
» New additions
» Highest rated
» Most commented
» Most downloaded
top 20 users*
*by total downloads