So, hello, I’m Richard Olpin, a 40-something chap from a sleepy little town called Dursley in Gloucestershire, England. Yes that’s the same Dursley as in ‘the Dursleys’ from Harry Potter, probably it’s only real claim to fame.
That was then…
Many moons ago I graduated in computer science and found myself working for nearly 13 years as a general dogsbody (ok, I was technically a software engineer but also did everything from writing technical documentation and running training courses through to building the company website) in the rather interesting field of industrial automation (what most people would probably call ‘robots’). That did have some interesting perks, including a fair bit of travel to the four corners of the globe but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as my schoolboy dreams of becoming a ‘computer programmer’ and so a few years ago I had something of an epiphany and following a near-death experience and an ‘interesting’ parting of the ways with my former employers I decided that the only path which would really work for me would be to follow my heart and be my own boss. So, that’s what I did, taking a fairly dramatic turn from the industrial rat-race, I decided to see if I could make a go of turning my long-term hobby as a martial artist into a professional teaching career, so I re-launched my little local martial arts club as a pofessional Martial Arts school. That’s still going well and I’ve no intention of giving up any time soon but over the years it rather spiralled into a multi-faceted teaching career!
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, inspired in part by my father Keith who was an excellent photographer, semi professional for years shooting everything from sports events, portraits, weddings and acting as the official publicity photographer for my Mum’s local dramatic society. As a young lad I’d often accompany him, assisting at weddings and messing around in the darkroom at home. I was rolling my own film when I was 10, and developing & printing my own photos in the darkroom at home before I left primary school. As I grew up I got into other things such as music and the martial arts which meant I didn’t do any serious photography for years other than odd snaps with my compact.
Anyway, having given up on the ‘rat race’ I found myself with rather more time on my hands and as my Martial Arts had become my day job, I decided to get back into my photography again so a few years ago I took the plunge and bought myself a nice digital SLR. The results are the currently a work-in-progress, but it’s been a pretty serious persuit for the past few years now and over the past year or so I’ve been involved in loads of interesting photography projects, mainly concentrating on writing the first of a series of books and running my photography training courses.
In April 2011 I was awarded a Licentiate distinction from the Royal Photographic Society (more on that here) and I’m now also looking into some other qualifications including the Royal Society’s ARPS and maybe also the BIPP too.
This site is an ongoing work-in-progress and there’s a lot I want to add to it, but for now you’ll find some info about what I’m up to photography-wise and to provide some tip and information which others may find interesting, along with a selection of my photos which I hope may be of interest to others. I’m always happy to network with other photographers and very much enjoy getting out there to share photographic projects etc. I would encourage you to drop by my forum and get involved in some of the discussions. You might feel inspired to join in with some of our little projects too!
The ‘L’ (for Licentiate) is the first level of distinction awarded by the society which is primarily an appraisal of the photographers technical command of their art and shows they have achieved a high standard of competence in a variety of photographic techniques.