"What kind of camera do you use?"

Whatever happens to be in my hand while I'm pressing the shutter button! Truth is, I don't believe that equipment makes all the much difference when it comes to the content of a photograph. For sure, the features offered by a particular camera will impact the range of conditions within which it can be used, and, especially in professional situations, quality and reliability are important considerations when it comes to selecting equipment. When all this is factored in, however, it remains my philosophy that great photographs are discovered by the eye, processed by the soul, and captured in the heart!


Having said this, however, I know it is valid you ask the question, and important that I answer. Before taking up residence in the digital world, I used Petris, Wittnauers, Argus C3s, Nikkormats/Nikon Fs/FE's/FMs, Mamiya 645s and SLRs, a Leica M3, Nikon rangefinders, and a variety of pocketable 35mm "point and shoots" (the Olympus Stylus was always my favorite).  At one time I kept a Nikonos II under the seat of my car as a “kick around” camera!  I still enjoy taking out my 1954 Nikon S2 rangefinder, much to the dismay of any collectors I encounter. Now, I use the following equipment:


FUJI X-T1

After 42 years, my Nikons have been retired from use, now in storage only until my new camera has been properly vetted for wedding photography!  I’m finding the X-T1 brings me full circle to my photographic roots.  Since it can use virtually any lens ever attached to a 35mm camera, I’m now excited to have acquired the finest collection of lenses I’ve ever owned.  Manual focus, “match needle” metering, and a sensor which produces results that remind me of classic Fuji film, it’s a return to the challenge of mastering the mechanical basics of photography!


As for lenses:

12mm f/2.0 Rokinon wide-angle (18mm equivalent), one of the sharpest lenses in the world; 28mm Zuiko f/2.0 (42mm equivalent); Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, 90mm f/2.5 Tamron SP macro (135mm equivalent), one of the sharpest macro lenses ever made; 200mm f/4.0 Zuiko (300mm equivalent); and, Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 (“The Beast,” 450mm equivalent)!  All in “brand-new” condition, I purchased this entire lot of classic manual focus lenses for not much more than the cost of a single of modern lens.  For quick work, such as weddings or fast-moving kids, I’ve recently added a very nick Fuji 18-50mm autofocus/vibration-stabilized zoom.


"What program do you use to process/work on your images?"

Photoshop CS6, of course (runs great on a MacBook Air), and PhotoMatix Pro for dynamic range manipulation.


"What printer do you use?"

The Canon Pro 9000 Mark II ... it's unbelievable!


"Do you have a philosophy of photography?"

Yea ... "See the picture, take the picture! " Mostly, I think it is the photographer's job to work hard at finding the picture, then work even harder at staying out of the way of it being captured!


"Can you offer technical advice that you think will help me improve my pictures?""

Move ... move ... move! All great photographers dance with the light. Hold the camera steady. Focus on what's important, then compose to tell a most important story. Rule of Thirds ... Rule of Thirds!!! Any fool can look through the center of the viewfinder, photographers are always aware of everything that is going on at the edges of the frame! Don't just see what you see, see the picture, too. Pre-visualize, be your own audience. Study pictures, including your own..


"If you had to pick a single person, what photographer has most inspired or influenced you?"

Oh, my ... a tough question. Of course, I will avoid trying to list every single photographer who has ever had an image published in National Geographic. That would leave me with ... hmmmmmmmm ... Henri ... Robert ... Margaret ... Ansel ... Alfred ... Paul ... Eugene ... gosh, a seemingly endless list, but, from the beginning, I would have to give credit to my father for bringing me to the magic of the latent image and teaching me the mysteries of the darkroom.


"If only one of your images survived a terrible disaster, which would it be that you would want to survive?"

Don't know, but whichever it was it would be graced with the smiling faces of my little girls.

 

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