1. How long have you been taking photos?
I have been shooting for 35 years give or take a few years off to help recharge my passion. I think the first camera bug bit when my sister asked me to take candid wedding photos at her wedding 35 years ago ( I was 11 years old). I was using a small little 35 mm film camera and when the photos were developed even the photographer said I had a better eye for framing than he had. I eventually went to school for design and photographer was a major part of it. I loved every second of it except for my teacher telling I was doing everything wrong (according to her). I just wanted to be as good as Ansel Adams, and Alfred Stieglitz.
2. Why do you take photos?
I love capturing images that the mind see’s but most people’s eye’s miss every day. I love the fluidity in nature and I want to capture it. Many people feel that photography is not art, it doesn’t take time or skill that a painter has but I disagree. I know so many photographers that know everything about their camera, lighting, lenses etc. but can’t see what is pleasing to the human eye. There is a skill to frame and build a beautiful photograph and trust me I have spent hours laying on my stomach soaking wet trying to capture and build that perfect photo. Now I am lucky enough to see my work in galleries and magazines, so I can watch the viewer’s expressions as they see what I was trying to capture. Any emotion is wonderful, as I have stirred something inside them.
3. What’s your favourite camera?
This is a tough question, as my dream camera is a Hasselblad V system 503CW and a while away. My main camera is a Canon 5D MK III which I truly love. It is my workhorse that takes everything I give it and then some. If I had to choose only one, it would be this camera. Then for those days when I feel a need to capture the world “Old School” I use my Leica Digilux 2 in B/W which I have dropped so many times it would make you cry.
4. Favourite location?
Another tough question as it is pretty evenly split between the back streets of Toronto and the woods of Northern Ontario. I honestly feel to become a better photographer, it really doesn’t matter where you shoot, as long as you shoot. I have learned so much from shooting with fellow photographers as we all have such different styles and such different eyes for subjects. I see so much more now because of these experiences, it really doesn’t matter where I shoot, just happy to be able to shoot.
5. Favourite lens?
It is a tie: One is my Canon EF 24-105 lens, a multipurpose lens that can honestly do almost anything. The other is my Leica 28-90 DC Vario – Summicron lens which is a thing of beauty. Yes Canon’s have better brains inside but nothing is as beautiful as a Leica lens.
Visit more of Rob’s work : http://www.robmacneil.com