|Message from andy
Welcome to Lighthawk Photo. Enjoy your tour.
Pbase has become the most prolific way for me to share my journey, although prints are my ultimate goal. I value the community that Pbase creates for photographers and visitors to share and comment in a public forum. I have learned from many of you and enjoy comments given and received. I ask you to share your insights on individual images or galleries. Please comment!
My Photo Story:
I have been fascinated by cameras since an early age, using my own Polaroid Land Camera SX-70 in late sixties which delivered prints in just a minute!. In the mid-seveties I was fortunate to shoot two solid years as a high school yearbook staff photographer, using 35mm SLR and Yashica twin-lens reflex formats. We had enormous battery packs that we lugged around. I learned layout and cropping skills as well as photojournalism.
My first SLR was an Olympus OM-10 for a B&W college course. It was light, semi-automatic and had a fast 24mm 1.8 lens. I gave it plenty of use both outdoors adventure and with international travel. I wore out several fanny packs bringing my camera up daylong rock climbing adventures. Someday I will scan and catalog selections from more than 1000 slides from a period of 1983-1999. Luckily, when I went somewhere important (high altitude climbing in Peru and Mexico, I always shot slide film. Some of the slide film is from the OM-10 body and also a variety of mid-quality point & shoot models (Vivitar, etc.).
I was an early adopter of digital and bought a Sony Mavica in the late nineties which spun 3.5" disks for recording job sites. I read that it's one of the pioneer digital cameras. In 2001 I brought a Olympus 3MP Camedia digital point & shoot on a trek in Nepal, shooting in blizzards and rain, warming my batteries and charging when I could get near the generator. It was a lot of fun, but I missed the control of an SLR body. I have done 8x10 prints, but the jpeg files over very little post-processing headroom.
When Canon broke the $1000 USD barrier in 2003 with the Digital Rebel 6MP, I jumped back into my photography career. The Rebel was light and I took it skiing and backpacking, while learning interior photo skills for my construction business portfolio. I bought a Sigma 12-24mm and a basic tripod, later added a light system (see www.pbase.com/wrightbuilt). I got rid of the kit lens right away.
In 2005 I upgraded to the Canon 20D after my kit was stolen in Belize. Since many of my pursuits require lightweight equipment I purchased the Canon XTI body in 2008. My next upgrade will likely be a 5D for the full sensor and discounted now that the Mark II is out. UPDATE: 2010 I purchased the Canon 7D for 8fps performance. It's a crop sensor, which I still find limiting, but handles my 400 5.6 very well with super quick focus.
**UPDATE July 09** Recently purchased Canon G10 15MP f2.8 and am having a ball with it. It goes everywhere and fits perfectly with my Manfrotto table top tripod with a miniball head. It makes it ridiculously easy to take long exposures with minimal setup. Lot's of fun and quite sporty.
G10 updates: Spring 2010 Canon replaced the lens under warrantyt after I sent it in with two noticeable scratches from the lens covers ( a fairly well documented mfg. flaw ) Summer 2010 this G10 survived a complete immersion in water. I stripped the battery quickly and put it in front of a blow dryer for hours. After waiting overnight I put the battery back in and it works! Amazing.
Sigma 12-24mm (sharp, wide and someday full sensor)
Canon 24mm f2.8 (sold, but light & fast),
50mm f1.8 (sharp as a tack),
85mm f1.8 (excellent compact, sharp & fast),
17-40mm f4L (great for hiking, compact),
24-85mm f3.5-4.5 (pretty darn sharp, light but has good reach),
17-55mm f2.8 IS (excellent low light, versatile) *my favorite
70-200mm f4L IS (compact tele, great color, very sharp, now with image stabilization)
70-300 IS (sold, ok quality, cheap build), constantly locking/unlocking barrel or it is too long ;(
400mm 5.6 excellent birding lens with very quick focus, tracks well with 7D body
1.4 TC, 12mm extension. (12mm tube w/85mm or 70-200mm creates very interesting macros)
In the end, it is the eye of the photographer more than the equipment that makes the shot.
And as a friend observed: "You can't make the shot, if you don't have the camera with you."
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