|Message from Hugh Vincent
I took up photography as a "serious" hobby shortly before retirement.
I enjoy the process of taking a photo. You gain more enjoyment from the lighting and surroundings when you try to take good photos. I also get a buzz when other people enjoy my photos.
I take most of my photos as a bi-product of some other activity - travel, family, bush walking and local outings. Due to security concerns, I don't load family portraits onto public web-sites. I have added sport and wildflower photography to my interests. I usually have limited time to take each photo and usually work with sub-optimal lighting. However, I also try to take more artistic photos for photographic club competitions.
I found that completing photography courses and taking part in Photographic club activities helped to improve my results.
"Favourite" galleries contain my better images that have some artistic merit, interesting subject or other added value. My other images are records of our travels or other events.
My images have file names starting with "DSC" or are panoramic stitches. My wife's image file names start with "CIMG". She uses a Casio Exilim EXZ-757 - a small point-and-shoot pocket digital camera in automatic mode. She gets some beautiful shots with it. However, lack of a view finder and no vibration reduction mode makes it difficult to avoid camera shake in some situations. The limitations of the cheaper lens also shows up in some photos.
I like Nikon cameras. For many years we had a basic compact Nikon film camera that worked well and was extremely reliable. My first digital camera was a Nikon Coolpix 995 in 2001 (The 995 had a lens that could swivel relative to its body). Digital cameras were expensive then and it was the best I could afford. The 995 was stolen overseas and the insurer replaced it with the similar Coolpix 4500. I used a Nikon D70s SLR from early 2006 - August 2009. I am now using the amazing Nikon D600 SLR. However good photographs come from the skill, effort and enthusiasm of the photographer rather than fancy camera gear.
I now nearly always shoot in Nikon RAW format rather than *.JPEG as this format has superior contrast tolerance and leaves more scope for editing image files. Also JPEG processing discards image data so that it can be compressed. I compress and convert my images to *.JPEG format prior to uploading them onto PBase, so the web images loose some detail compared with my prints.
I use Adobe Photoshop LightRoom for cataloging, sorting and retrieving, most of my image editing and creating slideshows and files for the web. This is a fairly easy program to learn and is a boon for a keen photographer. I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite (CS) for more complex editing tasks, when it is necessary work with layers and stitching image files together in panoramas. Photoshop CS is a very powerful program but harder to learn and much more expensive than LightRoom. A cheaper and simpler alternative Photoshop CS is Photoshop Elements. So I would recommend it if you don't want to commit to Photoshop CS. These Adobe products are the industry standard for professional and keen amateur photographers so it is easy to find mentors, suitable training courses and text books on the subject.
I hope that you enjoy viewing at my images.