You know the trouble with kids of today; they don’t want to do anything except look at facebook on their mobile phones and play mindless games on their computers. Or so the customary grumble goes – usually from old fogeys like me.
But for one Kilmarnock teenager, nothing could be further from the truth. Kilmaurs Photographic Club’s youngest member, 19 year old Carrick Dreghorn, has certainly managed to buck that stereotype of the youth of today and is using his talents to produce stunning images of life around him.
Carrick has been interested in photography for around four years now. And ironically it was the often-maligned modern technology that first got him interested.
States the Ayrshire College student: “I was really brought into the “cult” of photography through social media. The images I was seeing were really interesting to me and I wanted to learn how to create my own images with the same level of skill.”
This is a significantly different take on social media to the one more commonly put forward. In a medium more often ridiculed for images of people’s dinners or endless pouty faced selfies, Carrick was influenced by the legion of sites and groups set up by “real” photographers. These allowed him to compare his own level of ability and at the same time see images taken with skills to aspire to.
Carrick was fortunate in being able to study photography at school. He says of this: “I chose photography because it is something I genuinely enjoy. Other subjects just didn’t interest me and would have been pretty pointless in later life as I want to become a professional in the field once I think I’m ready.”
He adds: “I would enjoy being freelance, but I know that it can be very hard and very competitive to go down that route. One of my goals would be to open a studio in the local area.”
This clear vision of where he wants to take his photography in the future is a characteristic of the very determined young man who describes himself as: “a fairly serious amateur, with the intention of becoming a pro.”
He is equally clear on preferred genres and styles within his photography, saying: “I love monochrome photography. I think it works well in just about everything be it portrait or landscape. It gives the image a kind of timeless feel.”
Carrick currently favours a Nikon D3300 camera. Of this he states: “It’s certainly not the best camera there is, but it is a great entry level DSLR. It does just about everything the more expensive cameras can do at a reasonable quality and a reasonable price.”
Although he has grown up in the digital era, he is more than a little knowledgeable about the film age. But his view is that: “Digital cameras allow for faster and more efficient image taking. You no longer have to worry about how much film you brought with you or putting it through X-ray machines when going abroad. It also gives the photographer a lot more freedom to edit and tweak their photos until they have the desired effect.”
I asked Carrick what his friends thought of his hobby and his response again might surprise those who criticise young people. “They all find my hobby quite interesting and have been nothing but supportive. Many of my friends are artists themselves and view what I do as ‘painting with light’ rather than oils.” Again, a far cry from the typical image of the football and celebrity obsessed young person. He adds that if he had any advice to give them it would be that: “They shouldn’t despair when they go out with their compacts and can’t take images with the same quality as Yousuf Karsh. This hobby takes a while to get used to and can be pretty expensive if you’re serious about it. Once you do get into the groove of it though, it is certainly very rewarding.”
Nor could you accuse him of being a one-trick pony. His other hobbies include walking, gaming and maybe even a bit of cosplay. Carrick explains that last one for us oldies: “That’s dress up for adults – except it’s cool.” There you are. Something I didn’t know so that is one old fogey now well and truly better informed.
Kilmaurs Photographic Club has also had a positive effect on Carrick. “Being a member of the club has taught me a lot about photography.” he says. ”It has also allowed me the chance to speak to and learn from people who have been in the industry since before I was born. It is certainly very important for beginners to have that luxury.”
Carrick also commented with a bit of regret that he has not won anything at the club or at the national level. For many of us oldies in Kilmaurs Photographic Club, we rather feel there is a large need to complete that statement with one word: