David Keep has a competitive streak. You only have to look at the number of awards he has won for his amateur photography to realise that.
The only way to win is to enter, and to be as successful as David you need to have a passion not just for taking pictures but also for showing them off.
“I consider myself an image maker not a photographer as I enjoy the processing as much as I do taking the photo. I am totally passionate about all forms of photography and I often spend 40 to 50 hours a week working on my hobby,” he said.
My jaw drops as I compute just how long that actually is, as David, explains that when he stepped back from running a family business full time five years ago he needed something to fill his time.
“My wife was still working and I was wandering around the house looking for something to do to keep myself intellectually challenged,” he said.
His daughter had lent him a camera and bored he decided to read the manual cover to cover and teach himself to use it.
Within months he had won his first competition and now he is considered to be one of the best amateur photographers in the UK and is a member of the Rolls Royce Photographic Society which is officially one of the best in the world having won a bronze medal in the International Federation of Photographic Art’s World Cup in 2018.
“When I was looking for a society that would stretch me and help me improve I needed to look no further that Rolls Royce at Derby.
“I was really lucky that one of the best photographers in the UK Neil Humphries was a member. He became my mentor and has helped me so much. He knows how to squeeze every ounce out of a photograph and I have learnt from him,” said David, who lives in the hamlet of Hardstoft not far from Chesterfield.
David’s own prize-winning portfolio is a diverse collection of high quality images which definitely have a wow factor. Powerful images that stand out from the crowd is what he aims to achieve and that’s exactly what they do as you will see from the pictures on these pages.
“My favourite genre is most definitely underwater photography but I have also taken a lot of sports pictures. With all of the shots it is the planning, knowing the best equipment to use and working hard to get the image that counts,” he says, before adding that it does, sometimes, go completely wrong.
“You can sometimes use a lot of energy and effort on something that doesn’t work out but you have to give yourself permission to fail.
“I have the luxury of not having to take pictures to earn money and can choose to only photograph things that interest me so it really isn’t a problem if it fails. I just move on to my next project.”
Some of those 50 hours a week David gives up to his photography are taken up with lectures about his adventures to other camera clubs and societies and he is gaining a reputation of being one of the most interesting speakers on the circuit.
I have to admit his anecdotes are both amusing and fascinating, and he says that he really enjoys sharing his experiences (failures and successes) and explaining exactly how he achieves the images to other enthusiasts.
“My greatest payback is being invited to these clubs to talk about what I do. I am really proud that others want to know about my photography – I consider it a great compliment,” he said.
If you would like to book David for a lecture you will find full details on his website http://www.davidkeepphotography.co.uk