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As well as being an author of fiction, Nigel Cooper is also a photojournalist.
Nigel first got into photography when he was 10 years old. Back then he was a budding ornithologist and spent many hours photographing birds. He was 16 years old when he bought his first proper 35mm SLR camera – a Fujica STX-1n – which he soon grew out of when he discovered the optical limitations of its screw-in lenses. After much research (magazines and asking Fleet Street press photographers what they used, as there was no internet back then) he bought a Nikon FM2, and later an F3, so he could benefit from the superb optical quality of Nikon’s lenses. His Nikon F3 and Nikkor 300mm F2.8 lens was a combo he loved working with, especially while sitting along the touchlines at Highbury and White Heart Lane with the other photographers shooting football matches for two north London newspapers.
For studio and commercial work Nigel favoured a Hasselblad 500cm medium format camera. Although he preferred the 6x7 format of the Mamiya RB and RZ67 Pro cameras, he felt that the Carl Zeiss Planar T star lenses on a Hassleblad produced sharper images. The fact that Victor Hasselblad was born on the same day (8th March) as Nigel – be it 60 years earlier – made his medium format camera choice a little easier.
Nigel devoured many books on photography and photographic techniques and studied at a college in north London. He has a natural eye for a good picture, especially with regard to composition and angle. He always said there are three vital ingredients that make up a good photograph: subject matter, lighting and composition, anything above and beyond this is down to individual creativity.
In his late teens and early twenties Nigel covered several news stories for local papers where he not only wrote up the stories, but shot the accompanying photographs too. With a partner he also ran a large photographic studio in north London specialising in commercial and advertising photography. Later Nigel founded a magazine which he edited and ran for six years before selling it to become a full-time author of fiction.
Nigel has had many years' experience as a writer of technical articles, tutorials, stories, reviews, news pieces and journalism, not only for his own magazine, but also for many other well-known publications, magazines and newspapers. He has a unique writing style and ‘voice’ that educates, informs and entertains. His writing has been described as vivid and cinematic.
As the years rolled along so did technology and over the course of a few short years film was all but dead in the water as digital took over. Today Nigel still shoots with Nikon cameras, only digital full-frame DSLR pro single digit series.
His areas of photographic expertise are: news, investigative journalism, sport, commercial, corporate and portraiture.
Note about photographs: I was a photographer long before the word ‘digital’ was ever associated with photography hence I like to get the image as perfect as it possibly can be during the shooting stage: subject matter, composition, lighting and exposure for example. If I want a beautiful warm yellow/orange hue I will wait until the ‘magic hour’ (about an hour before the sun goes down) before shooting any given outdoor shot, rather than drag the hue slider around in postproduction. Likewise, I will compose the shot to perfection (typically using a tripod) rather than crop in post. I’ll also take the time to remove a stray discarded crisp packet from the foreground of a shot, rather than airbrush it out later. This way my postproduction processing of my RAW images require little by way of processing (just like the old days with chemical developing and printing). I try to think like some of my favourite photographers of yesteryear: Bob Carlos Clarke, Ansel Adams, Terence Donovan and David Bailey, by striving to achieve a great shot to start with.
Example photographs coming soon