In focus Friday - Lichfield canal restoration

01 December 2017

SIG: Documentary

Margaret entered this great portrait for October's competition which comes from a year-long project and a draft panel of images for an ARPS accreditation.

Hi, Marg. Can you give us a little background about the shot?

For the last year I have been taking photographs of my local canal restoration volunteers in Lichfield which the group use for publicity and marketing purposes. My aim is to get 15 images for submission as an ARPS panel.

What was your plan for the day?

I aimed to get portraits which showed the environment and equipment being used so that you can see that they are clearly at work.

What’s your routine just before heading out with your camera?

Check camera equipment/cards/batteries. Check that I have my high viz jacket, my hard hat, waterproof boots and trousers, wet wipes and lens wipes, a plastic cover for camera if it looks like rain. I pack lunch and water for myself and always buy some cake for the volunteers on way to the site.

While you’re out what makes you press the shutter release?

I'm always on the lookout for a great shot, it usually comes when they have settled down to work and are so used to me being there with my camera. When everything's normal that’s when they do something interesting.

Where can we find more of your work?

You can find me on Flickr:

What do you think photographers don’t do but should?

Take photos of the older members of their family with their ‘best camera and lenses’. One day those images will be the most precious you have.

Which camera has been your all time favourite and why?

I’m lucky enough to have a Canon 5d mark 3 plus the 7d mark 2. Both are brilliant, but I use the 7d a lot more because I find it more versatile - I take quite a lot of wildlife images.

What’s the best purchase you’ve made for less than £100?

A child’s folding stool - cost £5 ish. As a short person, I can stand on it to give me extra height for portraits if necessary. It is also useful to put my camera down on if it’s muddy, and I can sit on it. It’s light to carry and fits in my rucksack. It’s bright red and yellow and gets me some funny looks but I find it utterly invaluable! 

Thanks, Marg. Best of luck with you ARPS panel. Let us know how you get on.