I started PerspectaStudio in 1995 as a freelance, graphics & print design studio while teaching school in Athens, Georgia. After giving the teaching profession a couple of years I wanted to venture into full time design & web work. That led me to open source development, a cool new language called java, linux and programming.
Photography as a hobby became a passion as I discovered the world of digital. Having learned photography early on with my Dad’s Minolta and a trusty 50mm f1.8 lens, I found the cost of film development too much of a drain on my checkbook and rarely made pictures. It wasn’t until I picked up a Fujifilm point and shoot that gave manual control over exposures that I started back making pictures. Being a graphic designer, I found it very helpful to be able to pull from my own cache of photos instead of troll through the stock photography others. This also lent my work a unique, one-off quality. The point and shoot camera didn’t give me the control I wanted and after hanging out with a good friend of mine, our conversations led me to commit to delving into the digital slr market. I found what I was looking for on Ebay.
With my new Canon 20D and Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro lens I was in back. Since, I’ve started collecting 35mm film cameras of all kinds in addition to numerous digital cameras. Over the past 4 years I’ve switched between many cameras and camera systems. Most notable have been the Canon 20D, Canon 5D Mark I, Sigma SD14, Nikon D200, Nikon D90, Nikon D2x, Pentax K7 and am currently shooting with a Canon 1Ds Mark II full frame 35mm digital. My favorites have been the Sigma SD14, Nikon D2x and I have a great appreciation for the 1Ds Mark II.
My Philosophy on Photography: putting it all out there
Having started late in life, I always feel like there’s more I need to learn. “Learning is life” and early on I read everything I could get my hands on journals, reviews, blogs, books, podcasts, etc… I was and still am terribly, most awfully interested in the technical side of photography. Distance from the subject, the exposure balance between the shutter speed and the aperture setting, the perfect depth of field for getting the photo just sharp enough but retaining all that great bokeh it’s most of what I think about. It has driven me to many different camera systems and lenses. However, as the technical drives me to improve, the visual drives me to make more. It’s a constant tweaking, stepping to one side or the other and re-composing, all to acheieve the in-camera capture.
Early on I took 100′s shots sometimes thousands and spent a lot of time going through them in Lightroom, Aperture and Bibble. These days I wait until I know what I’m taking a picture of before I release the shutter. I tend to be more conservative coming home with less than two hundred shots. Not doing this professionally right now probably makes a huge difference in these numbers but I don’t think it would change my conservative nature. I have found the first shot I took is usually the one I keep. So, unless it’s out of focus: that’s it.
Learning to see the way the camera sees is a new experience and takes work. It’s the sweat equity you put into making the photo what it is. Walking, climbing, crawling or laying down to get that shot in the most interesting way. You can get that with any camera and any lens. Conversations with people, getting to know them and capturing that quick shot is rarely something you do in 5 minutes. It’s something you have to work for.
The subject of my photos are family and places from childhood. Memories that I’m trying to hold on to for myself and my children. I hope you enjoy what you see. If you do drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.