PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA'S No.1 for ARTS, CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Created Local Instagram @WhatSheSeeks

In the thirty-fifth edition of our special features celebrating our favourite south coast based Instagram users, I catch up with Lisa Wilson (@WhatSheSeeks).

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Lisa Wilson, and I am originally from Portsmouth but have spent the last 20 years or so travelling and working abroad. I love exploring and going on an adventure! I’ve worked 10 ski seasons across the alps and cannot get enough of mountain life. It has brought me much closer to the raw nature this wonderful planet provides us.

Can you tell me more about your photographic experience; is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby that you’ve developed?
I have always loved to take photos during my travels and have received many compliments from friends. It wasn’t until the first lockdown in March last year that I decided to invest some time in learning the craft a little closer. I found myself in a situation where I had more time on my hands due to travel hospitality being ground to a halt and losing my job. I wanted to use my time productively but also get in touch with my creative side as I felt it would help me get through a challenging period in my life.

I decided to explore my hometown of Portsmouth a little more and try out some different camera techniques. I have learnt most of what I know up to the present day from YouTube and generally getting out and about. I have also had some support from photographer friends who have a fair few year of experience under their belts.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
Up until last May I used my trusted Samsung smartphone for all of my photography. It hasn’t done such a bad job and over the years I have captured some great shots of the alps, a trip to the Maldives in 2019 and also some beautiful nature photography. I decided to treat myself and purchased a Sony Alpha 6400 which is a little powerhouse when it comes to mirrorless cameras. I researched it very closely and decided on this camera as it is small, compact and the perfect travel companion. I also wanted a camera that I could grow into as a photographer. The collection of images on my Instagram are from my Sony Alpha and smartphone. I think it’s hard to work out which ones are which!

Exploring the theme of local, the south coast has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph?
Growing up in a city I have always longed for more nature around me as I feel it plays an important role in our health and wellbeing. I have been very, lucky to have lived in some wonderful places during my travels but there is nothing better than a coastal sunset and fresh sea air to replenish the soul. I love Portsmouth’s sunsets, especially taking a wander to Eastney Beach where it tends to be a little quieter. Whilst I love to photograph landscapes, I am also venturing into ethereal photography with a focus on close up shots of flowers and fauna. I want to represent the simple beauty that can be found in the most unusual of places.

Growing up in a city I have always longed for more nature around me as I feel it plays an important role in our health and wellbeing. I have been very, lucky to have lived in some wonderful places during my travels but there is nothing better than a coastal sunset and fresh sea air to replenish the soul.

For you what makes a good photograph stand out?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific thing but here goes! In my opinion a photograph of something simple but made it look beautiful through creative composition means the photographer has had to work harder for their shot. I see so many images on Instagram of stunning locations but a capture of a simple roadside flower or a fleeting moment of a dog playing freely in the sea is so much more special to me.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
I would say I take photographs for myself but also to bring positivity into people lives and represent how wonderful the world is through my eyes. Being creative through photography has helped me immensely through the past year so if my work can give someone else a welcome lift then that is a fantastic achievement in my opinion.

Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
I follow a number of photographers who each have their own unique style. My favourite landscape photographer is Nigel Danson, his work is incredible, and I love his weekly YouTube videos. As I am moving into nature photography, I have been enjoying the work of Jo Stephen, a photographer that has an amazing style combining nature with ethereal effects. The work of Karin van Mierlo from Photography Playground has also resonated with me. One of the subjects she focuses on using is using gratitude and mindfulness in Photography.

If you would like to get involved or know of a photographer that you think should be on our radar then please drop me an email at stu@strongisland.co.


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