Monday, August 23, 2010


Flaming Drop
Flaming Drop by mj.foto
The photo above is perhaps the most challenging of all macro shots I've taken to date. Not that it's super technical, but because it was super windy when I composed it. I had to create a makeshift barrier made of foam boards to accomplish this shot.

Star Trails -- Chasing Perseid
Perseid: Star Trails, Lake Ann by mj.foto
This photo was taken at Lake Ann, near Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker in the Cascades. It took a lot of effort to be able to take this photo -- all the effort certainly gives this more meaning (to me).

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

I bought my first point-and-shoot camera roughly 5 years ago and have slowly progressed since. I've always been interested in photography, but I haven't had much time to devote to it until very recently.

2: Equipment you use?

I have a few in my arsenal. For those of you who have checked my stream and looked through the EXIF info, you should already know. I have two Nikon DSLR bodies (D700 and D300s) and a few decent Nikkor lenses including a telephoto zoom (70-200mm f/2.8G VR), macro (105mm f/2.8G VR), standard (50mm f/1.4G), and a standard zoom lens (24-85mm f/2.8-4). Looking to get a wide angle zoom lens and a film camera in the very near future.

3: Mac or PC?

Mac and PC (Windows and Linux/Unix). I run Linux for my file server/RAID array. I first tried OSX on a PC hardware and learned the ins-and-outs of the OS and its file system before I bought my first Mac. I also run Windows and a few Windows centric application.

There is no point on being a (Mac) fan boy! Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses.

4: What inspires you?

There are plenty of things that inspire me and I can't possibly write all of them, but I can list a few:

Family and Friends
Flickr -- I take a lot of inspiration from other people's work. They certainly help me grow.

5: Preferred subject matter?

Anything under the sun. I love to travel and photography came along handy. I prefer to take photos that are technically challenging. For example: bees in flight, tiny droplets, landscape with dynamic lighting. Shooting photos that are technically hard engages me and helps me focus. I also like to shoot candid moments.

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

The Northern Lights, a bullet in flight (I've already caught spent shells in flight), and a bald eagle swooping in to catch a salmon. I've plenty of ideas and just haven't executed them yet.

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

I check with my kid brother who is also into photography.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

I don't have any technical training related to photography -- I'm self taught. Books and online articles have helped me a lot. Flickr has been an instrumental tool. EXIF info -- I love checking EXIF info -- on photos I've looked through has given me a good guideline for shooting different scenarios.

9: Plans for the future?

I plan to do more hikes to take landscape photos. I also plan to delve into high-speed photography and studio-type portraits including lighting.

10: In one word, describe your photography.


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