In the fourth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we are featuring Scott Birnie (@no1son).
Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?
I am a graphic, web and UI designer and based in a shared office space in beautiful Emsworth. I originally come from Aberdeen, Scotland and moved “dan saff” in the year 2000. We moved to Havant in 2006 as my wife is originally from here. All her family is here and my own family moved near the area too.
I work in Emsworth and commute (on bike mostly) to the office from Havant.
Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
I only tend to use my iPhone 6 for Instagram shots as it is quick, easy and always in my pocket ready to capture that perfect pic. I also run some of the shots through various camera and visuals apps. My favourite and pretty much go to app is called Sanpseed. I then run it through some favoured processes and what I like to think gives me a certain style to my shots. For some of the more abstract shots on my Instagram feed i have used other apps like Fragment and Layout (Instagram’s native one).
Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?
I went to Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and photography has always been something I have done through the course and since. I have an honours (2.1) degree in Design and Craft so like to think I have some kind of eye for it! I have always enjoyed taking photographs and experimenting with effects, composition, dynamic shots etc. I like seeing what others have done and covered in terms of subject matter and like to try out my own too.
I feel confident that my shots must be at least a little good and hit the mark as I have been featured in your awesome Strong Island calendar (2015), had one of my shots on a Redbull promotional billboard advertisement and won some random competitions to have my favourite shot printed 🙂
Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
A bit of both really. I like taking some shots just to record and document, I also like to take some just because it captures a moment (sorry very cliche) and other times I like to take them to experiment with shape, form and composition.
I love a sunset and sky shots, as you can tell from my feed! So I guess that is for me. But others appreciate my shots when I do post them and a lot of people have asked from framed copies of them. I really do need to try and get onto selling some of my shots. No excuse really as i have all the tools required to do so.
Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?
I love Emsworth and Langstone harbours and coastal routes. So of my best and favourite shots have been created simply by pointing and shooting these areas. I have also had quite a few good shots up at Staunton Country Park where I take kids sometimes. The natural surroundings and historic buildings provide a lot of opportunities.
I also like Chichester (where I have worked in the past too) Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays too. I do need to get out a little more to these areas and take some time out of the office to refresh the batteries and the creative mind by going “walk about”.
Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to check out?
Mike Kus is superb. I used to share an office space / floor with him and think his work is awesome. He definitely has a certain style that has lead to him taking shots for some top clients and getting some nice pay in the process! He has been on instagram since the beginning and with how many followers he has he obviously does something right!
I also follow Dan Rubin, who is a veteran of instagram.