1) How long have you been taking photos
I got my first camera when I was 8, and one day people started looking at my photos and asking if they were really taken by a kid! I started using a manual SLR camera, an Old Olympus of my Mother’s, in high school, and put to use her collection of lenses until I went away to college and she said I had to leave it behind. So I bought a Canon Rebel and headed off to explore the world, and personally kept the film processing store in my college town in business :). 10 years later, it’s a good thing I usually use digital these days because I take SO many pictures I’d be broke developing them all.
2)Why do you take photos
Photography helps me focus my view of the world, what I call selective seeing – there is so much visual information everywhere you go that it can sometimes be overwhelming, so I take just a piece of it with me. My favorite kinds of photos are abstractions, more about composition and color than subject matter – I am drawn to things with lines and curves, shadows, textures, geometry, etc. I especially love the excitement of noticing something wonderful in unexpected places, finding beauty in the mundane and the places most people would find ugly – rusty metal, peeling paint, gritty textures, etc. I look up, I look down, I point my camera through the holes of fences – I am always on the hunt for hidden treasure.
3) What’s your favourite camera
It depends on what I am shooting and where I am. I always carry my Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ50 with me wherever I go because it fits in my purse. It is the closest thing I’ve found to a ‘pocket-sized’ SLR. I love that it has a manually turning lens, and that the one lens covers a huge range (from macro to 400mm) so it’s great for places where I can’t bring everything I have. My Canon EOS 50D is what I call “the beast” because it is pretty heavy and has a giant lens, but it takes marvelous photos in all light conditions. Lastly, I absolutely love my Lomography fisheye camera – it’s a simple plastic camera that takes film and has no adjustments, so it’s always a surprise when I get the pictures developed to see what I got. There is no way to frame your shot like in an SLR, but because it’s a fisheye you’re pretty much guaranteed that if it’s in front of you, it’s in the picture! I love shooting geometric subjects with this one, and as close as possible to distort the shapes and lines. Often I’ll take a picture of the same subject with this camera and one of my others and juxtapose them.
4) Favourite Location?
I don’t have a favorite location as much as a favorite kind of location – I love urban exploration and abandoned structures (urban or rural) most. I am drawn to shadows and textures, reflections and distortions, windows and doorways, alleys and fences, anything with layers. I often drive around to find new places to explore, and sometimes I stop in the middle of the sidewalk and cause a pedestrian collision because I see something down an alley… and then I’ll follow it to see where it goes…
5) Favourite Lens?
Again it depends on what I’m shooting – sometimes I want a wide angle, other times a deep zoom – but I always like a lens that has good ability to show depth of field.