This week we’re getting to know community member, Steven Kersting.

Steven has been involved with photography as a hobbyist and professional for almost 40 years. You can find his work in a few places: The Photography Academy, Flickr and his business making wildlife photography accessories.

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How did you get started in photography?

“When I was about 12, I got ahold of my Dad’s old rangefinder; then about 7th or 8th grade I took my first photography class in school. That was over 40 years ago now.

“I think a lot of people get started by getting hand-me-down equipment and I think that’s great. I know I’ve given more than a few old cameras away.”

What was your first camera?

“My first SLR was a used Nikon FM.  That is the specific camera I wanted because it was built like a tank and it would still work after the battery froze in the cold. I’ve always been a nature/wildlife photographer at heart, so those kinds of things matter to me.

“I’ve done most kinds of photography over the years, and I’ve been shooting with Nikon’s SLR’s the entire time (with a few strays mixed in).”

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

“I don’t really get inspiration from any of the big names; it’s the opposite really. I get inspired by the up-and-comers on forums and sites like the Photofocus Community. The ones who are really putting time and effort into their photography. These are the photographers who inspire me to get off my butt and put some effort into my own photography, but not often enough.

“I’m also inspired by those who are trying to do something a bit different, even if I don’t always like it. Often, I’m surprised and pleased with what they create. They inspire me to try to see things differently again, even after 40+ years there are still new things to learn and explore.”

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

“The light and the background. If those elements are not good (and I can’t find a solution) then I don’t usually bother taking the picture.”

Join Steven and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Steven, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.