Monday, August 03, 2009



time for a swim in the fountain

time for a swim in the fountain by moocatmoocat
I'm always trying to capture familiar tourist sites in a new way. A group of kids enjoying a night swim in Swann Fountain gave me the opportunity to get a unique photo. The boy's wonderful body language makes him appear entranced and leads the eye into the photo, and the light on the water ties the whole composition together.

trick of the tail

trick of the tail by moocatmoocat
Since I've been working on improving my action photos, I am really pleased with how this turned out. The timing, exposure, shutter speed and a lot of luck created this scene of a tiger creating water art with her tail.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
When I was younger, I liked to take photos but never had the patience required by film: by the time I got the photos developed, I'd completely forgotten everything about the shot and so never learned anything! About 5 years ago I got my first digital, a p&s Sony w50, and pushed that camera to its limits before finally getting a dSLR

2: Equipment you use?
Sony A700. I like the Sonys because they have the 'steady-shot” vibration reduction built into the body so I don't have to buy VR lenses.. I don't have great hands but always shoot hand-held so this is a big selling point. Also I like the backline of relatively inexpensive but sharp Minolta lenses. The majority of the time I use a Tamron 28-300. For a cheap ultrazoom it is surprisingly sharp and great as an all-day lens. I love my Domke bag–tough, comfortable, and it looks nothing like a camera bag.

3: Mac or PC?
I work with PCs all day so of course that's what I use at home.

4: What inspires you?
Unusual lighting or an uncommon perspective.
If I can capture a commonly photographed scene in a light that makes it distinctive or captivating, or from a perspective that makes it so, I feel I've achieved something.
Rene Lalique's amazing creations inspires me to try to use light with photography the way he was able to do with glass.

5: Preferred subject matter?
My hometown, Philadelphia. I like to show the charming, quirky things about the city–a whimsical architectural detail, the quiet alleys, the parks.
Animals, especially hippos, are wonderful to photograph. It's challenging to try to capture the 'personality' of an animal.
Travel is endlessly inspiring–there are so many wonderful places and scenes! One of the best things about our recent visit to Iran was sharing my photos with other westerners who are unfamiliar with the country its marvelous historical and architectural sites and many wonderful people.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
A charging hippo! But that would have to be with a REALLY long lens!

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
My husband is not a photographer, so he is a very good source of how a non-'photo geek ' reacts to a photo. My friend ChrisinPhilly5448 is my best photo buddy–we often end up taking almost the identical shot without realizing it and then can compare our versions and visions.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
Totally self-taught. I use Corel Paintshop Pro XI–it's less expensive than Photoshop, easy to use and pretty powerful. I think it gives me an edge as I can achieve subtle effects using PSP that most people aren't familiar with–they can't tell when I've processed a photo.

9: Plans for the future
I want to go to South Africa and photograph the wild animals. Visiting Jessica, the wonderful tame hippo, and swimming with her are tops on my list.
I want to get an ultra-telephoto lens too and am trying to decide which one will be best hand-held (Since I like to shoot from different heights and POVs I find a tripod too restrictive.) Maybe the Tamron 200-500.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
No. I can't do this.
Ok, I'll try:

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