Tim Ashby-Peckham is a 24-year-old photographer living in Auckland. He's passionate about space and nature, which is very evident in his stunning photographs of New Zealand. Inspired by natural wonders, Tim consistently takes and shares photos, inspiring thousands of artists around the world every day.
In this interview, Tim talks about his creative beginnings, Excio, the advice he'd give to beginners, and much more.
Please enjoy his fantastic work!
How did you get into photography?
I've been into photography at various capacities since I was about 13 years old, but it didn't really take off until a few things happened. Firstly getting DSLR camera a few years ago really helped me expand as a photographer. Also the other thing was not long after getting my camera, a photo I took and posted online got considerable attention. According to analytics it was viewed over 1.4m times. This really made me realise the potential that photography had, how far your photo could reach out into the world. And this drove me to keep taking photos as often as I can, a drive that lasts until this day.
You take incredible nighttime photos of New Zealand. What does a typical nighttime shoot in your world look like?
I need my tripod, my camera and about 30 layers of clothing. It's deathly cold out at night in the New Zealand winter and clear nights (which are essential for astrophotography) have a tendency for being extra cold. There is a whole lot less of what is essential to photography at night, light. So this means photos take a lot longer to capture. It's an opportunity to watch the meteors, learn the constellations or just enjoy the tranquillity and calm that is more present at night, while you are harvesting light from beyond the solar system. You recently joined our Excio community. What do you like most about it?
Excio gives your work the opportunity to be enjoyed for more than just a moment. There are plenty of platforms out there for photographers and artists to display their work on but usually people only see something you've made for a second or two before you scroll on down the stream. With Excio's format, if someone likes something you created then it gets the opportunity to be appreciated to its full extent, for more than just a moment. I think this is great because that is the very reason we create photographs and art, for it to be enjoyed.
What advice would you give to those who want to become photographers but aren't sure where to start?
My advice for people looking to get into photography is, if you can afford it, look at getting a DSLR camera. DSLRs expand your capabilities as a photographer greatly. And if you're worried about which kind to get don't worry about it too much, just get what's in your price range. Even entry level or second hand DSLRs are good in my opinion.
Also, it's okay if you can only afford something more basic than a DSLR because I do believe in the saying "The best camera is the one you have". Once you have a camera then just go outside and start shooting anything you think is interesting. Get familiar with your camera and how it works. If you're unsure about something then look it up, there is a lot of useful information online these days. My next bit of advice would be to set up a social media account, like Facebook, Instagram, and of course Excio itself. This gives you an outlet for the photographs you take, with no cost to you, and also helps you gage how well you are doing based off the response you'll get from the public. My final piece of advice for people looking to get into photography would be to have a look at what local magazines and photography competitions are available and try enter or submit something. It gives you something to work towards, themes you can work to and it means you'll be making sure your photos are top quality. It's a great way to grow and improve your photographs. How do you deal with creative obstacles?
I find that even though I might not be completely certain of what I want to create, just getting out there and starting will usually lead to something good or even better than I originally had in mind in some cases. When the components of your photograph are put before you, you'll be surprised at what new ideas come forth.