Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mike Stacey

Velvet Sea
This was taken in the middle of winter about 30 minutes before sunrise. It was raining lightly which meant wiping the filter and camera every few minutes or so. The tripod was straddled across a pointed rock (you can see the front of the rock in the photo) and I could barely see anything in the ground glass with so little light. Aperture and speed settings were made with the use of a headlamp and required clambering precariously out in front of the camera to see the aperture ring at the front. I had to shine the headlamp on the foreground rock to focus the camera. A few light readings putting the sky in zone 7 and then trip the shutter and wait...4 minutes later close the shutter. When the tranny came back from processing a few days later I was very surprised to see that it had all worked out perfectly!

Until Then
None of the epic involved with Velvet Sea here. Went to the spot the previous day and scoped this compositon with a small anglefinder and tried to imagine where the first light would be etc. Came back next day, set up and tripped the shutter for another long exposure of around 3.5 minutes. The clouds are blurred due to their swift movement that day and the colour of the water and reflections provide the feel that I'm usually looking for. This is a local spot and funnily enough I've never photographed it so my next series will be taken there.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
I first began taking photographs seriously when I was about 19. It has always been landscape photography simply because I feel a deep connection with the natural world and think that it has much to offer us, in many ways.

2: Equipment you use?

- Horseman large format (4 x 5") camera
- 65mm, 75mm, 90mm, 150mm Nikkor lenses
- Mamiya 7 11 medium format camera
- 43mm and 80mm Mamiya lenses
- Sekonic L-608 light meter
- Fuji Velvia 50ASA and Astia 100F film, sheet and roll
- Manfrotto 055CLB Tripod and Ball Head
- Lowe Photo Trekker camera pack
- plus the usual stuff like headlamp, loupe etc.

3: Mac or PC?

4: What inspires you?
The work of other photographers such as Michael Kenna, Paul Schilliger, Gerard Laurenceau, and of course our very own Leigh Perry and Jeff Grant and... the amazing world we live in.

The magical moments we can experience that are ever so fleeting but stay in our minds forever are a major source of inspiration.

5: Prefered subject matter?
Pre sunrise and post sunset landscapes with water of some kind.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.

No matter how good a photo is, I always think there's things that need improving and things that weren't captured. They're usually vague and intangible things though - like feelings and emotions that may be lacking when I view an image. Some photos have a soul, come don't and it's not always obvious why. That's the art of photography, being able to know beforehand whether an image will have these qualities. Generally I have a vague but fairly reliable idea as to whether a particular shot will be worth it or not in terms of these qualities. Large format photography teaches you to see and while I don't want to preach about it my photographs have improved since I started shooting with one of these beasts. Plus, nothing beats a 4 x 5 inch transparency!

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?

My partner Kim. She provides an objective view and is also a keen photographer. On the odd occassions I speak to my brother David, he provides good advice, having been an artist all his life.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
No formal photography education. My education is in electrical engineering and now computer science in which I'm currently completing a PhD.

9: Plans for the future?
Capture the essence of the natural world in such a way that the viewer is taken beyond their usual frame of reference and glimpses something of the eternal. I shudder at saying things like that beacuse I know it can sound pretty out there but...Images that can be "looked into"... and have a sense of the infinite are what really inspire me. Pre-dawn and post-sunset have the best light (very little) for this where colours are muted and ethereal aspects are easier to see, and expose for.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
PatientandCalculating, that's one word isn't it?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


1: How long have you been involved in photography?

I started getting seriously into photography almost a year ago. Prior to
that, I had a film camera and I would take photos only when I travelled. Once I got a digital SLR, I started taking photos much more regularly.

2: Equipment you use?
I now exclusively use digital cameras. My primary camera is the Canon 20D. I have the following lenses: Canon 17-85mm IS is
my main walk-around lens. I have the Canon 70-210mm lens from
my film camera days. I just recently purchased two lenses: the Canon 50mm f1.8 and the Canon 10-22mm, which I'm very excited about. For Infrared photography, I use an Olympus C2020Z and a Hoya R72 filter. Other filters I use include the following (all are Hoya brand): circular polarizer, ND8 and ND4, and the ND400 filter for long exposure photography. Yikes! That's quite a bit actually.

3: Mac or PC?

> 4: What inspires you?
Looking at other peoples' photos is a major source of inspiration. Without that wouldn't even know what's possible. Songs, movies, things I read as well. Just a line that I read or hear can conjure up a visual that I want to recreate. Also, simply going out with my camera, not knowing what I'll see that day and coming across something that makes me stop and look.

5: Prefered subject matter?
I think I'm still figuring this out as I continue to try different things.
However, a few of the subjects that seem to stand out are scapes of any kind (landscapes, waterscapes, cityscapes), trees
and forests (I went through quite the green phase this past spring and
summer), and conceptual photos.

> 6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera
> that you REALLY want to capture.
I would have to say that I haven't yet taken a really good "decisive moment" photograph. One in which all the elements come together in front of you, you happen to be there at the right time, and you react at just the right moment, and frame it in just the right way.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide
> in?
My boyfriend is also an artist (though not a visual artist), so he is someone I'll express doubts or worries to, and he understands thoroughly. I also read the words of other artists, do yoga, and occasionally just take a break to get some perspective.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie:
> Photoshop
I have no professional training or qualifications in photography or
Photoshop. I am self-taught. I learn well through reading books, looking at other peoples' work, and experimenting. I'm a technical writer by day, so not only can I give instructions, but I can take them too! I guess I have a fairly technical mind, so Photoshop and more technical methods, like HDR, don't phase me.

9: Plans for the future?
To keep taking more photos obviously! I have no current plans to try to turn this into any kind of career. In terms of what I'd like to explore, I'm
really itching to get out there with my new wide-angle lens to discover its possibilities. This winter, as the days get colder, I also plan on snuggling up with some Photoshop books to learn more about photomanipulation, particularly compositing. Other areas I want to explore more include fine art photography and long exposure photography.

10: In one word, describe your photography.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Featured Photographer: Pilou@ttitude

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
Well it's a long history... My grandfather and my father had a store of photograph. I worked a long time with them and I did much black and white because it was free for me;)
And then I left to live my life... travel, childs, wife etc... I returned to the photograph in 1990. I was a salesman for the cameras "Sinar" during 10 years. I met many photographers who work in studio. It was enthralling to see them working with the light. I learned much.

2: Equipment you use?
- My 2 eyes ;-)
- Nikon D50 with zoom Nikkor 80 – 400mm VR f/4,5 – f/5,6 D
- Nikon D70s with zoom Nikkor 18 – 70mm f3,5 – f/22 DX
- Fish Eye Nikkor 10,5mm 2,8G ED
- Flash Nikon SB 800

3: Mac or PC
Mac of course!!!

4: What inspires you?
Beauties of nature. They are really infinite!

5: Preferred subject matter?
Nature, but one day people. They also are "incredible"

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
Earth from space!!!

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
My wife;-)

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop.
I made several formations with Photoshop, I looked further into the chromy well.
I like this soft. I work much with! For me a numerical photograph is a crude of scan which needs to be worked. Gently nevertheless with the curves;-)))

9: Plans for the future?
As I already said, I think that one day I would be ready to make portrait. But I have still many things to learn before... on human of course; -)

10: In one word, describe your photography.
The life is in colors!

We hope you enjoy Pilou@ttitude wonderful photos. It would be great if you could leave a little congratulatory message here for him and I urge you to visit Pilou@ttitude's photostream HERE , you won't be disappointed.
Thank you for being our featured Photographer this week Pilou@ttitude and Congratulations!!!