FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Ecstaticist
-- from ecstaticist - (?)
This photo was taken on a bright morning close to dawn. The light was really bright, but coming from a side angle and still had some of that magic quality about it. This is shot handheld with my Casio. No significant post-processing on this. Just a bit of a crop
-- from ecstaticist - (?)
This is shot from a float plane. I chose it as an example of my post processing. The original was dark and noisy with little contrast. This looks more like what we saw from the plane. Again, shot with my Casio.
1: How long have you been involved in photography?
Since I was 10 years old, so 33 years. I bought old 120 cameras in my early teens and did things like star trails. The large format often produced really nice results. I still have some of those photos. In junior high school I learned the darkroom. I loved spending time with the equipment in the red light. Enlarging and printing was very fun, and that's where I learned SLR photography as well with a Pentax K-1000. I bought my first digital camera in 1995, an Apple QuickTake 150 with 640x480 resolution.
2: Equipment you use?
I use a 2 year-old 5MP Casio EX-P505 digital point and shoot for nearly all my photos. It is very small and I have it with me all the time. It has an exceptional macro function and a good lens. If you visit my profile you can see it with a link to more info about it. I would recommend it to anyone for macro photography. I also use a K-1000 SLR, a Canon Rebel XT and a Sony DSC-H9 (borrowed occasionaly).
3: Mac or PC?
I am a Mac user. I have been in the computing industry for 15 years. I was a PC user for a few years around 2000 out of work-related necessity, but came back to Mac with Titanium PowerBook. I now use a MacBook Pro. I do own two PCs and a Linux machine as well. Some of the comments I have posted on flickr photos have been posted using my BlackBerry, which I have with me all the time as well.
4: What inspires you?
Light and curvature. Great light is the thing that always catches me, and 95 percent of the photos in my stream are natural light. Curvature is fundamental to beauty, and it is nascent in even the most linear abstract image.
5: Preferred subject matter?
Again, anything that exhibits interesting lighting. I have 1200 droplet refractions in a set on my stream. A dew or rain drop catches light and concentrates it somehow, refracting it and changing it. They sparkle and I am drawn like a moth. I also love reflected light, especially on water, which you see in my aerial shots, sunsets, and my Flood creations. Also, light on curves...this is why I do so many flower macros.
6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I need a better, faster camera to do street photography. Anonymous people going about their lives...this fascinates me but I don't have what is required right now to do good photography of that nature i.e. a decent telephoto.
7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
My wife. For example, the other evening I wasn't sure about two versions of Golden Lion I had produced. She picked the better one right away and it was on the Front Page of Explore a few hours later.
8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I have no formal training in PhotoShop, but I am an avid user. Because my camera tops out at ISO 400, the images are quite often noisy...too noisy. I use a PS plugin called Neat Image that my friend Mosippy turned me on to. I works really well to take out noise without altering the image.
I use a lot of PS functions in general to treat my photos. Not always, but quite often. I want my photos to be the way I remember the scene, not the way my camera captured it through its inadequate CCD and arbitrary JPEG compression. I find the debate about post-processing to be overwrought. Film photogs have been post-processing in the darkroom since forever. For me, photography is art, and the opening and closing of the shutter is just the beginning of the process of realizing your artistic intent...no limits.
I also use Flaming Pear plugins for fun, like Flood, Aetherize and Kyoto Color. I use DxO Optics Pro 4 for improving dynamic range when needed. I use Apple's Aperture as my organizing tool, but I plan to switch to LightRoom when I upgrade to CS3.
9: Plans for the future?
I definitely hope to upgrade my equipment. I am waiting for the right time. I really want a swivel, live-view LCD on the camera I buy. The Sony DSC-H9 is incredible in this regard, and it will likely be my next camera. Ultimately I want to be able to shoot RAW so I can really work with the images properly. That will require a significant investment in a DSLR set-up. It is something I have planned to do for some time, but my two-year old is my priority right now and extra money goes to her needs.
Eventually I would like to set up an internet-based framed print business, but most of the works have right now are not high res enough. Luckily the world never runs out of subjects. Lots of time for that.
Mainly I love photography as a way to really see the world rather than just pass it by, so I will continue to carry my camera with me at all times.
10: In one word, describe your photography.