GET TO KNOW ME: MIKE PAUL

Hi, I’m Mike, I’m 34 (35 in April) from the UK.  Originally from Brighton, on the Sussex coast in South East England, I moved to Cardiff in 2006, where I’ve been living ever since.  IT Project Manager by trade, father of 1 (cat), I try my hardest to shoot as much as I can in my spare time.  It can be rather sporadic, as can my train of thought, so be warned…

I first got into photography through Instagram in 2012/2013.  My first picture was 100% horrendous, I didn’t even know a) I’d taken it or b) I’d posted it… what an idiot!  After I finally figured out what I was doing I found my feet a bit more with composition and exposure.  After that, I was completely hooked and wanted to find out all I could about photography.  I have the type of personality where if I’m interested in something, I get completely obsessed with it and can’t shake it off.  

Christmas 2013, I found my Dad’s old Canon AE1 just gathering dust in his closet.  So, like a good samaritan, I managed to coax it down from the top shelf, rescue it and give it a new home.  

I’ve gone through a few cameras in my time; from Lomography toy cameras, to SLR’s like the AE1.  Through point and shoots like the Olympus Trip35 and Contax T2, and now having settled on my trusty Leica M4-P and my 28mm and 50mm lenses.  I predominantly shoot black and white film, I shoot 35mm film exclusively, and I’m very much an Ilford user.  HP5 is my weapon of choice, I just love the latitude if provides, 200-6400, it just seems to handle it all.  

I made the switch to being solely analogue in 2017.   Gone are the days of importing SD cards into the Mac, only to then spend hours in Lightroom or Photoshop tweaking to make it ‘just right’.  Instead, this has now been replaced with hours spent in the darkroom running contact sheets and test prints, dodging and burning to make it ‘just right’.   *shrug of the shoulders*.

I’m just starting to turn the heat up on a couple of projects I’m working on.  One will be a self-published zine, with a working title of “Postcards to you, my wandering mind”, which will feature some of my work from my recent and up coming travels.  Secondly, I’m going on a course in Budapest with Devtankphoto to build on my darkroom techniques, with a view of then opening a community darkroom in Cardiff.  Something I see as a huge gap in this city, and a space which would build on the every growing analogue community.