For the first time in RAW’s history an interviewee has stated that his favourite lens is a tilt shift?? Personally never played with one but obviously it works really well in the mountains. Jack take’s amazing photos of mountains that’s why he is the “Mountain Photographer” his blog has been on my reading list for awhile now so it’s great to see what he has to say.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Ouray, Colorado, in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. This is the perfect playground for my passions of backpacking, snowboarding, and mountain photography.
What made you get into photography?
I was a fine art printmaking major in college at CU Boulder, mainly focussed on intaglio printmaking. While I loved the creative process involved with intaglio, after college I no longer had access to a print studio and all the vast amount of equipment needed to continue printmaking. Around that same time I was getting more serious about landscape photography, and since I was shooting digital at the time all I needed was my computer and my camera, so most of my creative energy shifted to photography.
How did you get started?
I got into backpacking in the mountains when I was in college in Boulder, Colorado. I started carrying a digital camera with me on backpack trips and enjoyed shooting some of the scenes I saw when I was out there. This was in the late ’90s when digital cameras were first becoming popular, and my camera then was only 2mp! But, I think if it weren’t for digital I probably would not have gotten into photography at all, since I didn’t have the money or desire to deal with film then. It’s so much easier to learn with digital.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly shoot mountain landscapes. I mostly go for the grand scenes… I’ll always love those the most!
What gear are you using?
I’m currently using a Canon 5DII with Canon 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses, a Contax/Zeiss 35-70mm, and a Canon 70-200mm. When I go on longer backpack trips, I usually leave the 70-200mm behind to save weight.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Definitely the Canon 24mm TS-E lens. The tilt/shift movements open up a whole ‘nother level of optical control. In fact that was the whole reason I switched to the Canon system was for those new tilt/shift lenses. Before that I was shooting a large format 4×5 field camera, so I was used to having the lens movements. The Canon with the tilt/shift lenses and live view manual focussing feels like a modern day digital equivalent of the field camera and dark cloth.
How are you marketing yourself?
Mainly through my own gallery website and blog. About 99% of my business is generated through my website.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This was taken on a rare calm winter night in February on the summit of Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in Colorado. I watched the sunset from the summit then spent three hours up there in the moonlight. Magical!
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Keep your day job! Well, that sounds harsh but I do think it is very difficult nowadays to earn a decent living as a “pro”. I think the best strategy is to find a job or career that offers a lot of flexibility and time off, so you can pursue your photography at your own pace without the pressure of needing your photos to pay the bills. Being your own boss is the ideal situation if you can swing it.