Our travel photographers – Steve Brookwell

Steve Brookwell

If you’re reading this blog it’s a fair bet you suffer from some form of wanderlust. It’s also likely you got it by looking at travel photos, whether in old National Geographics, friends’ holiday snaps or by surfing the web. Travel is an especially evocative genre of photography – it brings back memories, transports you to far off lands and inspires you to seek new adventures.

Over the coming year we’ll be showcasing some of the extraordinary photographers who work here at Virgin Atlantic. With so many opportunities to see the world it’s no surprise many of our people get serious about snapping their trips.

First up is Steve Brookwell.

Tell us about your job
I’m an IT Engineering Systems Trainer.  I train anyone who has anything to do with handling our aircraft anywhere in the world. That’s all Virgin Atlantic and contract engineering staff at our offices and airports.

How long have you worked here and what was your route to your current role?
I’ve been at Virgin Atlantic for 15 years. I started off in IT for two years before I moved into the specialist Engineering role where I helped with the introduction of Ultramain, our IT system that records and plans everything to do with aircraft maintenance.

Your photos are extraordinary. How long have you been into photography and what are your top tips for someone just learning?
I have always been into photography since I was a teenager, but only really learnt how to use a camera as designed since the digital era. The digital cameras today are so impressive compared to the old print film and negatives. I have taught myself Photoshop over the last several years, using tutorials which can all be found on YouTube!

Learning is a case of going out there, taking loads of shots, bringing them home, then seeing what works and what doesn’t on the computer.

What plans have you got for 2017?
Hopefully, to visit some bucket list destinations, Rio de Janeiro, Iceland for the Northern Lights, and hopefully to hold a photo exhibition or present to an audience about my images (if anyone is interested!)

Any new years (photography) resolutions?
To travel more!

Steve had an incredible year of travel photography in 2016. He has put together the following page to showcase his year.

Life's a journey, not a destination

To see more of Steve’s pictures you can visit his 500px site here 

Photography competitions – a source of inspiration

Hopefully some of Steve’s snaps will have inspired you to get out and take your own photos or develop your travel photography skills. For inspiration it’s really worth looking at some of the great photo competitions that run every year. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

The two big travel prizes are the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Competition and the The Travel Photographer of the Year awards. The latter was founded by professional photographer Chris Coe and his wife Karen in 2003 to show that travel photography is much more than holiday snaps and pretty postcards.

If panoramic photos or the growing category of VR and 360 photos are your thing then the Epson International Pano Awards are for you.

UK Landscape Photographer of the Year and USA Landscape Photographer of the Year  were started by leading landscape photographer Charlie Waite and showcase the very best of the genre.

Probably the biggest and best is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Out of the thousands of entries, this years winner used a £300 GoPro camera proving that being in the right place at the right time is just as important as expensive equipment.

Travel, photography and food. That’s the triumvirate right there. For those who like to snap their snacks the Pink Lady food Photographer of the Year is for you. https://www.pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com/

The Sony World Photography Exhibition is a huge multi category competition which makes for an eclectic mix and with many differenct categories including individual countries. The 2018 competition starts in June. www.worldphoto.org

Travelling out of this world? The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year showcases the very best photographs pointed into the night sky. http://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/astronomy-photographer-gallery/2016-winners

It is well known that the best camera is the one you have with you. With the latest mobile phones come extraordinary photography capabilities and some of the best pictures we see are taken on mobiles. These are recognised in the http://mobilephotoawards.com/ and the iphone photography awards http://mobilephotoawards.com/

About Dave Gunner

Dave is the co-editor of Ruby, the Virgin Atlantic Blog. He has worked at Virgin Atlantic for over two decades. In that time he has amassed some truly epic memories but never lost his fascination with the airline world. Dave's on a mission to bring you some great insights into our people, planes and planet.
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