I take a lot of pictures. In fact, taking pictures is probably the most consistent thing I’ve done for the past 20 years. I’ve realized that the goal of my photography is to document my life (it’s easier than writing), and lately, to explore the alterations of perception that occur by looking through a technological “window”.
I started with simple film cameras, including two waterproof ones, and then have gone through every generation of digital camera. Two that I remember fondly are the Canon S45 and the Panasonic FZ10. Right now I’m using a Nikon D80 DSLR camera. Just upgraded to a Nikon D300, which trumps the D80 handily. It represents a dramatic jump in quality compared to the previous compact cameras that I’ve used. 90% of the time I use the excellent and much sought-after 18-200mm VR zoom lens from Nikon. I also use a 12-24mm Tokina wide zoom, useful for apartment hunting. It makes rooms look bigger.
I have other lens, but they are nowhere near as useful for day-to-day situtations. All are special purpose: 10.5mm fisheye, 35mm tilt/shift, 35mm f2 for low-light, and 30mm f1.4 for even lower light.
I am especially interested in techniques for achieving unusual photographic effects: I have experimented with panoramic stitching, HDR imaging and a number of other retouching techniques, and of course, the special purpose lenses.
In the realm of digital photography, software replaces the darkroom. I find the following packages indispensable:
- Thumbsplus by Cerious Software, for organization
- Photoshop CS2 by Adobe, for general editing
- NeatImage for noise reduction
- PTLens for correcting lens distortion
- PTGui for assembling large panoramas (Example)
- QTPfsGUI for assembling HDR (high dynamic range) images (Example)
- Qimage for very high quality printing
- Fisheye Hemi for natural-looking correction of fisheye images