Meet a photographer: Nick Haigh

Nick Haigh in a shutter click 

Nick Haigh. Born on 21-Jan-1975 and lives in the UK.

Main camera: Canon 5D MkII.
Main lens: Canon 17-40mm L & 85mm.
Post-processing software: Photoshop CS3.
Favorite lighting: Canon Speedlite with Softbox.
Favorite time to make photographs: Night time or with moody weather.
Favorite season to make photographs: Autumn.
Favorite music while making photographs: it’s usually R&B but my own choice would be Trance.
Your dream equipment: A Hasselblad H4D (£12,000 Camera) but more realistically I am very happy with my camera so dream lenses would be Canon 24-70mm L, Canon 70-200mm L.
Favorite photographer: I have many but one photographer that inspires me is Rarindra Prakarsa.
Favorite quote related to photography: ”There is 3 key things for good photography: the camera, lighting and… Photoshop.” – Tyra Banks

Nick Haigh, the photographer

Why photography? What do you hope to achieve?
This all happened by accident, I was given a point & shoot camera as a present to take snaps while on holiday and also of family and friends etc I was on holiday in Paris at the end of 2006 and it was night time, I tried to take a photo of the Louvre but the camera required to be supported due to it being very dark, I placed the camera on a stone pillar and set the camera on timer, when I looked at the screen at what I had taken I was truly amazed, I had taken a perfect night time shot of the Louvre, this was the moment where photos where no longer snaps but more of an art form and I was hooked. I love experimenting with different techniques and styles, i’ve come along way since 2006 but I am still learning and gaining more experience.

Louvre, Paris

Which of your photographs do you consider had an impact on someone’s life? How did you feel about it?

A while back, a guy named Mike emailed me to say how much he liked one of my images and asked if he could have a copy; he said it was for a tattoo which he has been meaning to get but hadn’t found the right design until he saw my image.

He said he didn’t want the whole image, just the angel! I agreed and sent him the angel statue, didn’t really think much of it at the time. I then stumbled upon his email again a few months later and decided to email him as I was curious to see what had happened!.

I was amazed and deeply touched at the response I received;

Mike did get the tattoo and sent me a photo of what he had done, this has got to be one of the most rewarding things that has come out of my photography and probably ever will, that my work has reached out and touched someone in such a way, I feel deeply honoured and it’s this that has made me feel, that what I do is all worth while.

I thank you Mike for sharing this not only with me but letting me share it with others.

This is his story…

This story is about my journey to finding Nick’s picture and ultimately, getting my tattoo. I’ll start by saying that throughout my life I have suffered severe anxiety and depression. About two years ago, I was at my lowest point ever. I was in a thankless job, and dealing with the sickness, and eventual death of my father. I had always suffered through my depression alone, hiding it within. But this time was different. I started out hiding my depression because I didn’t know how to explain how bad it was to my wife. The fear of losing the best thing to ever happen to me was excruciating. Once I did reveal what I was going through, I came to realize that the beautiful love of my life, was perhaps sent to me for a reason. We have spent a wonderful 12 years together (8 years married), but I would have never thought that she would save my life the way she did. Supporting and never questioning what I had to do to get myself through this tough time. I am not a religious person, but I have no doubt that she was sent my way for a reason. I now have the faith that no matter what happens in the future, I will have power and the unconditional support of my “guardian angel.”

This brings me to Nick’s photo. I always loved tattoos, but my anxiety prevented me from getting one. After this event in my life, I knew that the only approval that mattered, was my wife’s, and because of that she would be the focus of my first tattoo. I decided that a angel would be most appropriate, as that is exactly what she is to me. It would be symbolic of what she had become to me, and something that I could look to for strength, if ever the need arose.

Angel tattoo

I started searching for a reference for my tattoo. I looked at a seemingly endless number of books and websites before I decided that I wanted a stone cemetery angel. To me, it seemed the perfect representation of the epitome of protection. I had spent approximately six months looking, before I stumbled upon Nick’s Flickr page, and saw his beautiful photo of the stone angel, titled, “Sacred Prayer“. I told my wife that I had found the perfect picture. Later that evening, when I sat down to show her, I then stumbled upon the photo, “Untitled Remix”, and both our jaws dropped. It was as though Nick had customized the photo just for me. I couldn’t imagine how, but it was if he had read my mind. In a million years, I couldn’t have come up with a better depiction of what I wanted. I‘m sure Nick would never had imagined what a impact his photo could have, but I will be forever grateful that he took this picture, and even more grateful that he was willing to give me license to use it.

When I’m in need of strength and look at my tattoo, I will always remember that I married the most beautiful and supportive woman in the world. But I will also never forget that Nick took the time to email me back months later. Not only did he email me to inquire about the resulting tattoo, but also asked for me to share my story behind it. A great photographer, and obviously, a special person also. You should be proud of what you do Nick, and I will be forever thankful and inspired.

Sincerely,
Mike Robitaille

P.S. I will also like to thank Richard Morrissette (Ventura Blvd Tattoo Studio, Ottawa Canada), for the incredible tattoo.

Which of your photographs do you consider is the strongest cityscape photo? Why?

Canary wharf clocks

It has become one of my signature shots. It has been used for my own website promotion, it has been used by my company for backdrops being blown up to 3 meters x 7 meters and more recently I donated the photo printed onto canvas and it was auctioned, money raised would go to Chance UK (Chance UK provides mentoring programmes for children aged 5-11 years with behavioural difficulties, I am proud to say that the canvas raised £350 on the night.

What style attracts you most? Why?
HDR initially attracted me to photography and still does but I think the style that I love most is IR (Infrared). The effect gives a surreal other world feel to photos, deep blue skies with pure white greenery.

How far do you go with post processing?
As far as I can, I see taking the photo is only half the process, so I love the post processing just as much as being out there taking the photos.

What motivates you to grab the camera and go make a photograph?
All kinds of elements I think, such as the weather, looking through other peoples photos (online), discussing ideas with others etc…

Describe your feelings during a photoshoot:
I used to get quite nervous, especially when dealing with models, talking to them, directing them etc but now with experience not so much, I now get totally immersed in only the subject and immediate surroundings.

How do you go about making a difference between photography for work and photography for pleasure?
Photography for work is very different to doing it for pleasure as your working on behalf of a client, it’s their vision you have to take into account not the vision you would normally go with, you can suggest ideas etc but it’s their product and their ideas you have to capture, which is sometimes hard, so photography for myself will have many different styles, techniques and more experimenting while having fun with it.

3 tips / advice to other photographers:

  1. Read camera manuals, search the internet for tips.
  2. Pick up your camera, go out there and start taking photos, experiment, try things.
  3. Join photography sites such as flickr.com, browse other photos and don’t be afraid of asking the pro’s questions on how to do things.

Publications:

  1. Out of the Dark & into the Light by Nick Haigh published by Blurb Books 2009
  2. Total Retail Magazine (Front Cover – February 2009)
  3. Practical Photography Magazine – Issue Showcase (June 2009)
  4. Retail Design Magazine (December 2010)
  5. Perspectiva Exterior Magazine Architecture (Article)
  6. London Calling Greeting Cards (distrubuted in Cards Galore, Waterstones & WH Smiths)

How can we stay updated with your work?
Website: http://www.nickhaigh.net
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/nickhaigh
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Nick_Haigh

ritakml picks 5 photos

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