"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:

Sony A7ii

I managed to put out-of-service my Fuji X-T1, and since the cost of repair was almost the value of the camera itself I decided to move on to a new toy!  I wanted the Fuji X-T2, but its price coupled with the fact that it didn’t offer in-camera image stabilization brought me to a decision to move over to the Sony A7ii.  Having 24mp, in-camera stabilization (effectively at least 3-stops), and being comfortable in both my hands and to my eye, it was a logical choice.  Mostly, it allows me to continue using “legacy” (read that “old”) lenses.  I now possess a more extensive collection of Nikon glass than I ever did when they were being produced for use on classic SLR film cameras such as my still much missed Nikon F3HP and the many versions of Nikon FMs and FM2s that I owned.

As for my lenses:

By being very patient and discriminating, shopping on eBay I have managed to acquire a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 (in its day I couldn’t afford to even look at one of these superb zooms), a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, a Micro Nikkor 50mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 200mm f/4, and an absolutely pristine Nikkor 300mm f/4.5.  I also changed its mount so I can continue to use my tack-sharp Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Macro!  Compared to the Fuji system, the “weak” spot in this collection is the 20mm.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous lens, but having said that I must also admit that it doesn’t hold a candle to the Rokinon 12mm I was using on the Fuji (Firon 20mm f/1.8 for Milky Way photography, that’s my dream).

"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.  Having little respect for the Adobe company, I am also slowly learning Affinity Photo as a possible replacement for PS CS6.

"What printer do you use?"

The Canon Pro 9000 Mark II ... but nowadays hardly ever.  The industry has caught up with desktop printing to the point that it makes more sense (and $$) to send out my print work.

"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.


©2018 - Patrick L. Groleau

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