Images taken by Steve and selected by Ann of the Troy Nature Photo Club
I started out playing with a camera after I retired, a hobby intended to help me spend time away from the TV. Then it grew on me, and I no longer even own a TV. I am, however, strictly an untutored amateur, and that doesn’t bother me in the least.
I don’t have a specific photo ‘interest’, like landscapes, or birds, or sports. No specialization, just go out and take photos of whatever catches my eye. Preferably I want the photo to tell a story, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule, and the story can be pretty sketchy. No problem.
Cameras, and favorite lenses & equipment
I started out with a Sony NEX-3n, which is an early model APS-C (crop) sensor mirrorless digital camera. I still own and occasionally use it, even though I moved up to a full-frame Sony A7II digital mirrorless camera.
Early on I became disenchanted with the images produced by the modern camera/lens combination, enhanced by the logic burned into the microchip. The system produced lovely, but to my mind, sterile images. I knew nothing about Lightroom and such at the time. Before I quit, however, I was advised by a wise Australian photographer to buy some of the (then) inexpensive manual lenses left over from the film days. The mirrorless design allowed almost every brand of lens to be used on the camera. These lenses, designed before computers, made by hand, with early glass and coatings (or even uncoated) have optical flaws not corrected by the microchip in the camera that provide their own, unique, character to the image.
With time I decided that I wanted to use those lenses with the cameras they were designed for, and shoot on film. Today, along with the Sony cameras, I often use a pair of Canon rangefinders, an L1 and a P, and a Soviet era FED-2. All three cameras are Leica LTM mount rangefinders, so they can share lenses. My current favorite lenses are a Canon 2.2/50, a Topcon 2.8/50, a Leica Elmar 3.5/35, and a Canon 3.5/100.
Besides cameras and lenses, I don’t really have a lot of other photographic equipment. I am pretty much a hand-held, natural light photographer.
Favorite trails at the Stage Nature Center for photographing
I like the entire Stage campus, but there are three areas that have been most productive for me photographically (there used to be four but unfortunately they are allowing the pond outside the Nature Center building to silt over and disappear).
In no particular order these are the footbridge at the extreme eastern end of the Maple Sugar Loop, The field at the intersection of the Blackbird Loop and the Bluebird Trail, and the highest point of the Blackbird Loop.