I'm not convinced many people come here and even fewer stop to read anything to be honest, but being as you seem to be an exception dear reader, here's some answers to questions you may or may not be wondering.
Did your name change?
Yes, it did! This used to be john.tuckey.photography, it's now john.oshea.photography
I Hear You Hate Photoshop - Whats The Deal?
Actually, I don't hate photoshop or the digital workflow. I'll do exposure correction, levels, dodge and burn, and i'll remove obvious blemishes digitally like everyone else. But that's it, and it's a 10 minute rule. At 10 minutes I accept the image just isn't right, write it off and plan to shoot another instead.
I've got two reasons for this. Firstly, I suffer with blepharitis - an eye condition which is largely brought on by looking at screens for too long. My eyes stop blinking, dry up and then it hurts. A lot. For days. Pavlov and his dogs couldn't have made a better incentive for me to minimise time in digital post.
The second reason is that I'm actually against most of what photoshop is used (or abused) for these days anyway. What I see too often is overcooking where it wasn't needed. Too many plasticised faces and liquified bodies where every pore has been cloned out, or the clarity has been ramped up so every pore is a lunar crater - it's just not my bag. Don't get me wrong, I see some artists producing astounding visual art using photoshop, and I applaud them. But for me, that's not photography, that's something else that uses photography as a raw material.
Instead, I try to put my energy into getting it right at the point where I take the shot. If I got it right, then I don't have to spend more than 10 minutes on it at the computer desk later. It's an old school methodology, but it suits me well and means my post workflow is pretty much the same in digital or film.
For software I have used Lightroom exclusively for many years, first on desktop and now increasingly on iPad. I don't like adobe's subscription model, but the creative cloud link between desktop, iPad, and this site, are keeping me with them for the moment.
I'm In A Shot You Took, I'm Not Happy About You Selling An Image With Me In It.
Well, no has said this yet as it's rare I shoot street images, and I don't sell stock imagery, and in fact, from late 2020 onwards, the only person I shoot is Xenia! But if this is the case I'm very sorry to hear it and I want you to email me and tell me right away. Include a picture of yourself taken with a phone or webcam so I can see that it really is you in the picture and not a hoax. The reality is that with event or re-enactment images, you guys in the shot are probably the only people who would have bought it anyway. I'm not out to exploit you so if you're that sure you don't want it out on the web, then I don't want it taking up site space either.
Hang on - you only shoot one person now?
What Kind Of Camera Do You Use?
Early on I tried Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Fuji systems before eventually falling in love with Leica's M system rangefinders in film and digital. I learnt on the M and i'd heartily recommend it to anyone. The minimalism of the system will teach you more about photography than any course, and the glass is to die for - even when it's 70 years old! Every now and then I'll freak out about the cost of rangefinder bodies and lenses and try to switch to a 'normal' camera. It never lasts!
Thanks to Jon Canlas's 'Film is not dead' book I also began a love affair with 120 roll film. I do love roll-film, but I don't love that it's impossible (to my knowledge) to buy a new 120 solution - and I've had too many bad experiences with used kit off Ebay! So I'm off 120 for the moment... until I see a Contax 645 at the right price anyway!
These days I still spend by far most time with digital Leicas (particularly the Monochrom), then old film Leicas, bits of 120, and experiments with Large Format and Wet Plate. If I'm shooting film, it's Ilford film.
For lighting I use all sorts - LED sometimes, Fresnels and an old Elinchrom scan light for my studio work - I find you need hot lights for the vintage looks. I also use good old fashioned natural light with an occasional reflector outdoors.
What other Photographers do you admire or follow?
My arts education is college level, and I'm a philistine at heart, but I know what I like when I see it. It should come as no surprise that I love the work of Hurrell, Bull, Man Ray, Lee Miller, Mark Shaw, Edward Quinn, and JeanLoup Sieff.
For more modern 'big' names, I admire Vincent Peters work, also Peter Lindbergh, and for different reasons, Sebastiao Salgado. I admire Leigh Preston FRPS, not just for his work, but for taking a personal interest in mine back when I was just beginning. Thank you Leigh.
But generally I try not to obsess over other photographers work. It's hard enough to pull original ideas out of your head without drowning yourself in other peoples work non stop - I don't use actively use Instagram, 500px, or Flickr for the same reasons.
Can I contact you to ask a question?
Sure, who doesn't like to be flattered! But bear in mind that I sell tuition, so the sad fact is that if I want to keep eating, shooting, and sleeping under a roof, I will post likely suggest you book some of that instead. If you don't want to book a solid day or halfway of tuition, then my best suggestion is to hop along to my Patreon collaboration at https://www.xeniaxo.com where ongoing critique, how-tos, mentoring and support is part of the Patreon tier system.