I am an amateur photographer and a student of the natural world around us. I live in North Newport. No such thing as North Newport you say? But of course there is, I live there 🙂
As to why I photograph what I do – I moved back to Australia from the United States in early 2003, and was immediately stunned by the beauty and uniqueness of the flora of this area. Being away from something sometimes seems necessary to appreciate what you already had…
A couple of years later, I bought a scale-focussing film camera with a 25mm lens, and went crazy with the most technically “wrong” shots. Some worked, some were (in retrospect) just… what on earth are you trying to do? I spent hours and hours in the evenings scanning 35mm film, after I realized that I was never going to get what I wanted from the commercial labs.
Fast forward to digital – I bought the first under-$1000 DSLR, a Nikon D40, as soon as it came out. I sold it 3 1/2 years later for over half of what I bought it for new, which is somewhat incredible I think, and speaks to Nikon’s ability to create ground-breaking cameras. I loved that camera, despite its limitations. It taught me how to use RAW files, and never got in the way of what I was trying to learn or do.
I am currently using a Fujifilm S5 Pro – Fuji’s latest and best in a unique and (sadly) discontinued line of cameras – which uses a Nikon D200 body and is fully compatible with the Nikon system. “Ahead of its time” is a phrase that comes to mind; although introduced 4 years ago now, the Fuji S5 Pro still has the highest dynamic range from ISO 100 to 800 of any 35mm format digital camera. For what I shoot, I love it, and I can live with the slowness and the 6 Mega-pixel output (in high-dynamic range mode) for now.
I do my digital post-processing using some software I put together myself – photohack. This is a Unix shell script that mish-mashes together a few really great free programs, like dcraw and ImageMagick. Every now and then I break out my old CS2 version of Photoshop, but frankly I use it only for “corrective” work that requires pixel-level manipulation. While I see great work that makes effective use of Photoshop, it’s just not what I want to do.
My film work has taken a bit of a back seat now that I’ve refined my digital workflow with photohack. I’d love to get back into it, but I think the next step may be to get my own developing setup sorted out. it’s a lot harder than it used to be to get good developing at a good price, so I’m afraid that film is just a little on the back-burner for now.