From Macclesfield to the Moon: Adventures with a Camera | Punch Technology
We’re delighted to introduce you to David Mottershead; in his own words, a ‘serious hobbyist photographer’, and also the next of our Punch Makers & Breakers.
David is a commercial contract manager from Sutton, Macclesfield, and loves to photograph everything from his local area to the far corners of our solar system. You can see his incredibly varied portfolio via his website here.
We recently spoke to David to learn more about his passion for photography, and the digital process behind his work.
Weekday Contract Manager, Weekend Photographer
David first picked up a camera aged 12, and used to develop his own negatives at home, before moving into digital photography as camera technology evolved. He now finds that photography is the perfect creative outlet from his day job.
He’s happiest with a camera in his hand (or set up on his tripod) and currently uses a Nikon D850 for capturing images of architecture and people, which are some of his favourite subjects to photograph, as well as a Nikon D5 for shooting fast-action images of wildlife, as it’s best at capturing movement and speed.
It was the D5 he used for this brilliant image of an eagle, captured at the Gauntlet Falconry Centre in Knutsford, close to his home.
Around the North-West with a Camera
There are lots of other spots David loves to get out and about to close to his home in the north-west, with National Trust properties a particular favourite. He lives near to the Tudor manor house Little Moreton Hall, which features in several images on his website.
David loves taking his camera to these kinds of places, as he enjoys visiting their ever-changing exhibitions, and it presents him with photography challenges to overcome, allowing him to develop his skills.
With nowhere to set up his tripod, no flash photography allowed in many National Trust properties and dark lighting conditions to protect precious art and textiles, it means David gets the chance to play with his manual camera settings.
Usually, he keeps his editing to a minimum, perhaps only adjusting the exposure of his raw files via Abode Lightroom or DxO PhotoLab, but with the below image shot at Beeston Castle, he always intended to adjust the colouring to black and white.
We love the way that David has created an almost Gothic feel by contrasting the dramatic, moody sky against the ancient bricks of the castle.
Capturing Images Beyond this World
David also has a keen interest in astrophotography, having successfully captured images of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars when the conditions have been right so far. He’d love to get more photos of the galaxy or of a nebula in the future – he just needs to wait for the clouds to be a little kinder first.
One of David’s most striking images is this extraordinarily detailed image of the moon. Although David usually prefers a minimal amount of editing to finish his images off, this one was a little different, and the finished result is stunning, with the moon almost glittering.
David shot this on his Nikon D5, using a Sigma 500mm telephoto lens and his tripod, which he had to carefully tilt backwards, to the point where it was almost falling over in order to get the perfect image. He had to manually adjust the focus, exposure and shutter speed settings too, making it a great test for his photography skills.
The moon itself actually only took up around one-eighth of the image frame, with David having to crop out a lot of the night sky to get his desired finish.
His next astrophotography mission is to capture the moon at every phase in its cycle in order to create a montage. However, David tells us we’ll have to watch this space, as the cloud conditions can never be relied upon!
From Outer Space to the 1940s
It’s not just futuristic photography that interests David, but also everything vintage. A visit to the Cotswolds for a GWSR Heritage weekend provided him with a great opportunity to photograph something a little bit different, like this lady in 1940s dress knitting from a 1940s pattern – it’s certainly not every day that an opportunity to photograph that comes along.
From Steam Power to Nuclear Power…Almost
Talking of steam power, David says using his old PC was like using a machine running on steam power, but likened his Value Plus Photography PC from Punch to a machine running on nuclear power in comparison.
David’s old PC was starting to struggle with software updates, especially with his Nikon D850, so he realised he needed to upgrade to a better, higher spec PC with more processing power, as he can have several hundred images to download and process at a time.
With his PC delivered just three days after ordering, David has been using it to process and preserve his images ever since.
Explore our full range of photography PCs here.
- Corsair 110Q Quiet Case
- Intel Core i5-9400F 2.9Ghz 6 Core CPU with 4.1GHz Turbo
- Gigabyte B365-HD3 ATX Motherboard
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 4GB (10-bit colour)
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory (2x8GB)
- 512GB ADATA SX8200 PRO M.2 NVMe (3500MB/R, 2300MB/W) – 6x faster than SATA SSD
- 4TB Seagate BarraCuda 3.5″ Hard Drive
- Be Quiet Pure Rock Slim CPU Cooler
- Contour 400W High Efficiency ATX PSU
- Gigabyte PCIe Wireless 802.11AC 1733Mbps Dual Band Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 5
- 24x SATA Internal DVDRW with M-Disk Support (ASUS DRW-24D5MT) Black
- Integrated Sound Card On The Motherboard
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit