Meet the super snapper

PICTURE SPECIAL KEEN photographer Steve Plume has become a familiar face on the Evening Star Letters page, where his pictures often star as the Suffolk Postcard. But who is the man behind the lens?

By Tracey Sparling

KEEN photographer Steve Plume has become a familiar face on the Evening Star Letters page, where his pictures often star as the Suffolk Postcard. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING went to find out who the man behind the lens is.

AT first glance I can't see him.

Steve Plume is cocooned between a conifer and a bamboo, in a hide in his back garden.

Then a lens pokes through the camouflage net to reveal his location, and it doesn't even scare away the birds which he loves to photograph just a few feet away.

The 44-year-old BT product manager often sends his pictures to be considered for publication in the Evening Star, after a friend suggested he take up our invitation for readers to send in their pictures of Suffolk.

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Steve has no formal training, but loves photography as a hobby and tries to get out to take pictures every weekend. His subjects range from birds and wildlife to scenic sites.

“When I go out to walk the dog, I just take my camera. I never go anywhere without it” said Steve, from Gipping Way, Great Blakenham.

“Nothing beats getting out and about. The phone is off, I don't get disturbed. It's my escape.”

Having taken photographs all his adult life using various cameras, he sold off his analogue equipment two years ago and invested in a Nikon digital, single lens reflex camera.

He now loves the immediacy of digital photography. He said: “Wildlife photography is fantastic. There is so much beauty out there and you capture moments which are one-offs - you don't get lots of chances to take the same picture.

“It's a great feeling to get home and see the picture on screen, to find it is as sharp as you'd hoped, and how you wanted it. Now when I get interesting pictures, I just email them to the paper.”

The father-of-two has also become the official photographer of the youth side of Stowmarket Rugby Union Football Club which his son plays for.

He's an RSPB volunteer warden at the Stour Valley reserve, so the subject of birds is close to his heart.

Steve constructed the hide in his garden to be able to take close-up pictures. A pair of sparrowhawks frequent his garden along with wrens and robins, and he was delighted to see a coal tit there recently which all made great pictures.

A picture of Steve appears alongside his photos in the Star, and he laughed: “I am starting to get recognised. Four times recently people have said to me 'aren't you the man in the paper?' which is so embarrassing!”

• Do you take great pictures of Suffolk? For a chance to get them published, send to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk. Please include a picture of yourself too.

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