|Message from Gordon W
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My love of photography began in 1950 at age 4, when my photographer father started me shooting and developing photos before I could read or write. In retirement, having tired of cities and the rat race, I enjoy most of all photographing the beauty and tranquility of nature, although I'll photograph anything that catches my eye.
For further biographical data on my photographic history, click here.
For a brief personal biography, click here.
For why I donít post larger images, click here.
Tip - for a larger view of my images use the Zoom In and Out commands of your browser.
This wonít, of course, increase resolution but will make the photos easier to see.
Guest Comments - I highly value comments from guests to PBase, however, regrettably I have to disable guest commenting periodically due to high volumes of spam. Spammers have once again ruined a good thing.
Primary DSLR - 18MP Canon EOS 60D
Secondary DSLR - 15MP Canon EOS Rebel T1i (500D)
Backup DSLR - 10MP Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)
Convenience camera - 12MP Panasonic Lumix FZ200 Superzoom
Secondary convenience camera - 16MP Fujifilm HS50 EXR Superzoom
Pocket camera - 18MP Panasonic Lumix ZS40 (TZ60) Pocket Superzoom
Secondary pocket cameras - 12MP Canon PowerShot S100, 16MP Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (resides more or less permanently on the 60D)
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens (resides more or less permanently on the T1i (500D))
Tamron-F AF Tele-converter 1.4X C-AF1 MC4 (used with the T1i/100-400mm camera/lens combo)
Canon 250-D 58mm dual-element close-up lens (used on the HS50 for macro)
Canon 500-D 58mm dual-element close-up lens (used on the HS50 for macro)
Canon 500-D 72mm dual-element close-up lens (used on the 100-400mm lens for macro)
The 60D/18-200mm combo and the HS50 are my everyday and most used cameras
The T1i/100-400mm/TC combo is mainly for wildlife and macro, but used much less since getting the HS50
Assorted Thoughts - I shoot only RAW format. I will never buy another camera that doesnít shoot RAW. My experience with JPEGs is they are far too limited for my processing practices.
My latest camera purchase (October 2014) was a Panasonic FZ200 superzoom that I bought for its better low light capabilities (as it has a constant f2.8 aperture through its entire zoom range of 25-600mm) and better image quality than my Fuji HS50 superzoom that suffered minor damage when I fell with it a year ago.
In March 2014, I bought a Panasonic ZS40 (TZ60) pocket superzoom as a convenience camera, one that just about does it all but at a small sacrifice in image quality and ISO sensitivity. It takes three of my other cameras & lenses to match the focal length range of either superzoom, so for day-to-day shooting I now just take either the ZS40 or HS50, which is a whole lot more convenient than lugging around three cameras/lenses.
Since I dislike swapping DSLR lenses because it causes missed shots and allows dust to get on the sensor, I rarely swap lenses, especially in uncontrolled environments, preferring instead to carry both DSLR/lens combos on those occasions when I want the best image quality and feel I might need both lenses.
I rarely leave home without a camera. For those times when I go out not expecting to shoot photographs, I take the ZS40 because you just never now when a photo op will present itself and a less than optimum photo of that situation is better than no photo. For those rare times when Iíll be in situations that put a camera at risk (such as being in a boat where the likelihood of the camera getting wet is high), I use my expendable camera, the F550.
Although the majority of my photographic equipment is Canon, I actually have no brand loyalty and buy what I feel at the time of purchase is the best gear for the money to meet my requirements and budget. I got started with Canon DSLRs in 2004 because at that time Canon DSLRs were the best bang for the buck. My opinion now is that Nikon DSLRs might be better, but not by so much Iím going to the bother and expense of changing DSLR systems.
There are definitely better (and worse) DSLR lenses than the ones I use, but the two listed above serve my purpose, which is a compromise between convenience, expense, flexibility, and performance. Being retired with an aging body, I no longer find carrying a camera bag full of gear to be a pleasant experience. So, when I want the best image quality I can get, I just carry one of the DSLR/lens combos, or at most both combos, but no longer lug around a heavy camera bag. In fact, for taking a daily photo for my Photo-a-Day gallery I typically just use one of the superzooms and live with what it gives me. My main goal with photography in retirement is to have fun, not strive for perfection. Had to do that for too many years in the rat race.
I have always found tripods cumbersome to use and a nuisance to carry any distance, so thanks to all my gear being image stabilized and the higher ISO capabilities being usable in modern cameras, I now rarely need to shoot from a tripod. The tripod is kept in the car, which is always nearby, but the tripod only gets used when long exposures absolutely require it, like night photography.
Since I dislike the harsh unnatural light produced by flash units, it is very rare for me to use flash to illuminate a shot. The only exception would be for fill light, but even then Iíll generally use a reflector of some kind during the shot or if needed, fill in shadows during post processing rather than use flash lighting. To me, thereís no quicker way to turn what could have been a photograph into a snapshot than to use flash. I have seen photos illuminated with flash that I liked, but they involved multiple flash units spaced around the scene and that requires far more bother and expense than I care to put into photography and are unnecessary for the kind of photography I now shoot in retirement. To each their own.