Almitra Hill has a unique eye for fabulously quirky compositions and creative light.
It was almost exactly one year ago that we interviewed this Advanced Course graduate, just as she was beginning to explore alternative shooting techniques.
Since then we’ve watched her personal style emerge with delight (and a lot of pride!), so much so that we wanted to catch up with her again and share her fabulous work with the Click Love Grow world…
Almitra: I completed the Enthusiasts Course in July 2014 and the Advanced Course immediately afterwards, in September 2014.
It’s been an interesting year of learning, experimenting and really working on developing my style. I’m still shooting purely personal work but thriving on having the freedom to entertain my curiosities and create images that nurture my artistic soul.
I decided to take on a 52-week project in 2016 with a bunch of other Click Love Grow grads, which has been an incredible growth experience (thanks Toni Laws!!).
I also joined a wonderfully supportive and encouraging photography club, Lane Cove Creative Photography, and am really enjoying the broader influences.
The learning has been exponential! I learn something new every day but there is so much more I want to know.
One of my foibles is to go overly techie on people when they ask questions… but I love the way photography brings together science and art.
I can lose hours trying to wrap my head around the physics of optics, for the express purpose of bending those rules to create an image that speaks to me artistically.
A lot comes back to the great understanding of photographic principles I’ve learnt through Click Love Grow, building my confidence in applying that knowledge, and challenging myself to call upon those skills in different situations.
I work mainly with vintage lenses, which has forced me to learn a lot about manual focusing, and get to know the unique qualities and limitations of each lens I’ve collected.
I also love experimenting with different techniques like shutter painting, multiple exposures and freelensing and the different effects I can create.
On the editing side of things, I’ve been getting to know Lightroom better, working a lot on colours, and starting to dabble in Photoshop for more complex edits like composites.
It sounds really cheesy but it’s been transformative.
Whilst I’d always taken snaps to document travels and events, I’d never seen photography as anything more until I started with Click Love Grow.
Now I have this deep passion, something that excites me and gets my brain ticking, that has introduced me to like-minded people who inspire me and I honestly can’t believe I haven’t discovered it earlier.
It’s been so important as a full-time mum to have something for me, that grounds me, keeps me learning and connected and provides an outlet for my creativity. I’m in deep!
The grads group is seriously amazing!!
It’s such a uniquely supportive place, filled with positivity and shared passion, no matter where you’re at or where you’re going with your photography. It’s fantastic to see others’ growth, interests and styles emerging and all the connections being made.
The fortnightly challenges help keep you shooting and it’s great to see everyone’s different interpretations of the prompts.
Most importantly, I’ve made some dear friends who continually inspire me and push me to believe in myself, even (especially) in my weirdest moments.
I’m beyond grateful for all those relationships.
I find myself drawn to more artistic creations but no one specific subject or genre.
Nature and curios feature often, and sometimes my children, but mostly it’s light itself that drives me to pick up my camera.
Refraction, reflections, the play of light and shadow, flares, movement, textures all catch my eye and provide for interesting elements in my images.
I’ve been working on a series of self portraits this year which has taught me a lot about portraying emotion.
I’m finally ready to start bringing what I’ve learnt from that to how I capture my children’s moments.
I think my work is starting to be recognisably mine so I’d have to say yes I can see my style, but it’s not easy to define in words!
It’s evolving and I think it always will.
I hope my images are unique and intriguing; inviting viewers to linger a while, to drink them in and maybe even find something unexpected.
I’m still using the Pentax K-30 (crop-sensor) that I started out with, even though it’s aperture mechanism failed around a year ago.
At the time I’d just been given a vintage Russian lens (an Helios 44-M 58mm f/2.0) that has a manual aperture ring, which meant I could still shoot, albeit completely manually. I instantly fell in love with that lens!! It was the start of a slippery slope and I use vintage lenses exclusively now.
I’m currently spending most of my time with my MIR-1V 37mm f/2.8 because it’s a little wider but I also love my Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 for its incredible flare and my Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 for its hexagonal bokeh and rich tones.
That said, I’ve got my eye on the new Pentax full-frame, a Sigma Art 24 or 35mm, and pretty much the entire Lensbaby range.
One can dream.
This year I set out to be curious in my photography, complete my 52-week project, actively participate in my club and continue to learn and grow.
I’d say I’ve been true to that.
As for long-term goals, I still don’t have a grand plan but I quite fancy holding an exhibition and have some seeds of ideas for a collaborative project for next year.
Thankyou so much to Almitra for chatting with us!
If you love Almitra’s work and want more, pop over here and check her out!