Exploring Cappadocia with Don McLeod

Tell us a bit about yourself and how your photography journey started. Can you remember the first photo you took?

My background has been mostly in the educational field with time also in the para medical field. Photography has been a long time interest and would you believe started with the old box brownie, as that was all I could afford. While I cannot remember the very first photograph I took, I do remember subjecting the family to my first attempts, and later at secondary school recording many people situations.

I also used photography to stimulate creative work in the classroom. Recently I have been scanning some of those very old photographs for a book my wife and I putting together, at the request of our family. I even scanned an old family 4x5 glass plate negative with excellent results that we estimate was taken around 1915.

How did you learn photography and would you agree that people are always on a learning path?

My learning journey started with the basics, but it taught me what worked, especially from a composition point of view.

The desire to improve on many aspects, shifted me to a new camera namely a medium format Rolleiflex 6x6 This intensified my desire to learn, because of the wonderful results, developing one’s own negatives and printing in my darkroom. From there I learnt from a very good photography friend who worked as a freelance photographer, as well as indirectly from Spencer Digby studios in Wellington.

In later years I have been fortunate to continue learning with close personal, professional photography friends like the late James White. Overall it was a self-learning process. I cannot remember a time when I did not learn something new, as my wife says I am a perfectionist. The aspect of continual learning never changes for any photographer, and never will.

Your Excio profile says you have been a portrait, weddings, press and landscape photographer. Which style do you find most interesting?