I'm seldom more than a few metres from a camera. Ever since I played with an early Pentax film single lens reflex (SLR) camera at around the age of 15, I fell in love with the concept of 'seeing through the lens' – rather than through a separate viewfinder. I also rather enjoyed the sound the shutter makes on a quality camera! Come to think of it, I still do!
Some of the digital SLR's I've been using…
- Olympus C1400XL (1998).
- Olympus C2500XL (2000).
- Olympus E-20 (2001).
- Fuji S1 Pro (2002).
- Fuji S2 Pro (2003).
- Fuji S3 Pro (2005).
- Fuji S9600 (2007) – okay, okay – I know this isn't really a proper SLR but it is a fantastic camera. It has a 28-200mm (35mm equivalent) non-removable lens and the viewfinder is electornic. But you can connect studio lights, cable release and do most of the other stuff without risking getting dust all over the CCD when you change the lens.
- Pentax K10D (2008) – a thoroughly fantastic camera. Means I can use all my old manual Pentax lenses too!
- These days I usually have a tiny Panasonic Lumix LX1 with its variable aspect ratio and Leica lens, tucked in my shirt pocket.
Professional assignments include…
- Corporate 'mug-shots'.
- Interesting weddings
- Pictures for websites.
In 1998 I ditched my 35mm SLR's and 'went digital'. Prior to this I used to scan directly from 35mm slide or negative using a Kodak RFS 2035 Professional film scanner. The quality was excellent but scanning was a boring, time-consuming process. Since then I have used a variety of digital SLR's and have become a total convert to digital media. I understand the arguments concerning resolution of digital versus film but with digital you can take so many more pictures – and trash the ones you don't like. No one need ever know you've taken a bad photo! Also, because you don't have to worry about 'wasting film' you can photograph things that you normally wouldn't consider if you were doing things the 'old way'.
Please visit http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine to see some of my pictures.
If you're considering the purchase of a digital camera, don't whip out your credit card until you have visited the Digital Photography Review web site. A British site run by Philip & Joanna Askey, these guys really know their stuff and all the reviews are wonderfully detailed. http://www.dpreview.com
If you are still using Micro$haft Windoze (or if you are running CrossoverLinux) and you need software that can cope with hundreds of thousands of digital images – and don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it then check out Thumbs Plus, available from http://www.cerious.com
- Meanwhile Linux users especially thise usng the KDE desktop should consider Gwenview for bulk management. You can bulid it from source and it is available as a package to "apt-get" in Debian and (K)Ubuntu. It is 100% open source, free of charge and available for download from http://gwenview.sourceforge.net/
- And, forget Photoshop but don't forget GIMP – the GNU Image manipulation Program, available for free download from http://www.gimp.org This is a fantastic open source image editor similar to Adobe Photoshop. However there are some big differences too…
- Open Source.
- Free of charge.
- You can give it away freely to your family, friends cusomers, models etc.
- Runs on all modern operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris