I started photography when I was 16 years old, over 23 years ago. Ever since my father let me use his Kodak Rangefinder camera; I was hooked. I then purchased a Canon T70 when my father's camera was stolen out the car one day (my fault!) Whilst I was not a incessant photographer at the time, I was aspirational and experimented a lot. I never really learned the art well enough to call myself a photographer. I did take a quite a lot of pictures and the T70 was a wonderful camera that gave me some wonderful results. However, due to the rising costs of film and developing the film I wound down my photographic activities and only got the camera out on special occasions. My enthusiasm for photography was reignited by Peter Sanders ([link]). In the mid-90s I got to know him through some mutual friends. Like most people, as soon as I saw his photography I was inspired and enthused. I immediately offered to set up a website for him and set up a web presence on a free server, because having your own hosting and domain name back then was prohibitively expensive. Since being involved with and befriending Peter Sanders my passion for photography was reignited. Unfortunately, it wasn't until the turn of the new millenium that I could buy a decent enough digital camera to explore and learn the art and technicalities of photography.
Around 2000, digital cameras came along and were affordable, I purchased a Fujifilm F6800 point and shoot (PS), Digital SLRs were still out of my price range and were, at that time, not good enough to replace film cameras (it's debateable whether they still are!)
The F6800 enabled me to experiment as it had manual aperture and shutter settings and managed to get some fairly good images. I have always been good at composition and this camera enabled me to further that and properly learn the technical aspects of photography starting with exposure and the relationship between shutter, aperture and ISO. I upgraded to a Fujifilm F610 when my F6800 stopped working. Both cameras were excellent but limited and left me wanting a D-SLR as I wanted to explore and experiment further with my photography.
Whilst still expensive, my first D-SLR was the Nikon D70s, I didn't go for the equivalent Canon because the reviews just edged the D70s and also I preferred the feel of the D70s (and Peter Sanders shot on Nikon!). I used this camera a lot, I was so enthused by it that I carried it everywhere. I experimented further and learned the camera inside and out and became comfortable with photography and referring to myself as a photographer. For a couple of years it did the job. Alot of my early stuff on my Flickr page ([[link]) were shot on this camera. But when you know something as well as I knew the D70s, you are often left frustrated with its limitations. Firstly, the screen was too small, images that looked sharp and in focus on the screen quite often were not when you got them on your computer. Its low light, high ISO performance rendered too much noise on the photograph and its viewfinder noticeably framed the subject slightly incorrectly. The sensor was also prone to dust. Other than that this was a wonderful camera and gave me some wonderful shots.I still have it as a second camera.
I recently upgraded to a Nikon D300s and this shooter is on a whole new level, absolutely love it. My next upgrade will have to be to a full frame (FX) sensor Nikon!
I am really into HDR post processing, as you can see from some of my images. I use a combination of Photoshop Elements and Photomatix Pro to get the result that you see.
My kit includes:
Nikon SB-600 flash head
Nikon 18-70mm kit lens - this is an excellent general purpos lens.
Nikon 50mm f1.4 - you get crisp, sharp images with this lens.
Sigma 70-300mm telephoto lens
Tamron 10-20mm wide angle lens.
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