When I was reading Matthew’s advice to going pro it hit a cord. I remember thinking that editing a photo was cheating, that was until I actually sat down and edited one, needless to say editing is a must and I saw the light.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and when I’m not doing my normal IT 9-5 job, I’m usually out taking photos, working on photos or participating in photography related projects. I was born in Brisbane and I’ve lived there almost all of my life.
What made you get into photography?
As a young boy in the 90s living in Queensland, Australia, I used to like using the old Kodak film camera that my family owned to take family shots and ‘happy snaps’. As far as I can remember, I just liked taking photographs. In 2004, my curiosity in Digital Photography and video began to grow when a work colleague who had a film SLR (I didn’t even know what an ‘SLR’ was then, I was just used to point and shoot cameras) was looking to buy a digital camera, the Fuji FinePix S5500 – a nifty little 4mp camera that did video too. I soon followed suit by Christmas that year and was out and about shooting the local spots of Mt Coot-tha and Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
How did you get started?
Early 2008 I bought my first DSLR, the Canon 400D. I then travelled to South East Asia, and upon returning did my first Seascape shoot at Fingal Heads in New South Wales, Australia. The rocks, the movement of the sea and the sunrise light – wow, this was great, I was hooked.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I love and prefer landscape photography over everything else. I love the cold air in my face and movement of the elements, challenging myself on each shoot – getting that one great shot of a location – and if I fail, coming back again until its right.
I do shoot weddings and portraits and have fun with those too.
What gear are you using?
My standard equipment is the Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40 f/4 L Lens. I also own a Canon 50D camera, and 24-70 2.8 L, 70-200 f/4 L and a Tamron 100-400 lenses. I prefer to use Lee filters and have always used the soft versions in addition to a Lee Big Stopper for those 10-stop long exposures.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
17-40L is my favourite as I use it for most landscape shoots and it hardly ever leaves my camera! 24-70 L is a close second due to its incredible versatility.
How are you marketing yourself?
I have a very basic website which does it’s job for now. However, I plan to update this soon with galleries of places I have visited and sell prints and a book I have contributed to due out around Christmas: Tasmania – A Visual Journey. I’m developing a Facebook presence and trying to work hard on that too. Flickr is fantastic and I have large gallery there from when I first started to where I am now.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
It would have to be this photo taken in Western Australia @ Sugarloaf Rock.
This 3rd photo on the 1st day of the 3 consecutive day shoot I did, came out the best. I can remember getting there as first light was coming in and Nick Rains (this was taken on a workshop) was telling us to get down there and start shooting quick! I had the idea in my mind – twisty silver branches as a foreground and the rock as the centrepiece. I put the camera down with the best branch I could find and got the shot. I love how the Sugarloaf Rock looks small yet massive at the same time (as it is!).
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Get your confidence up and get out there. Everyone started small, nervous and inexperienced (I’m definitely still in this stage!!). Go to some workshops, not only do you learn new things, but you learn confidence too and you can use the feedback to see if you are on the right track for your journey.
Don’t be afraid to process and polish what your camera has captured on your computer. Don’t fall into the trap of “this is what the camera captured so this must be real and if I change the image I’m cheating”. Every wonder why often an image on camera often looks worse than what you saw? Your eyes see much much more so why not try to recreate that as best you can?