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All my images are recorded onto raw files and are often under-exposed by one stop. This is done to ensure that sufficient detail is recorded in the highlight areas with one eye looking towards the production of the prints. If the shadow areas become a little dark they can easily be adjusted in the computer but detail not recorded in the highlights is gone forever. The images are opened in Nikon Capture where some image adjustment is usually made and then exported to Adobe Photoshop for the final production. Before any work on the image is done the final print size is set and the ppi is interpolated to 300, although currently with the Nikon D3 body images are captured at that quality. When the image looks close to being complete a test print of a section is done at correct size and if necessary further adjustments are made. The final test prints are of the whole image and as many as necessary are made until I am happy with the image. Once the work on the print is complete it remains unaltered and the edition is printed. I have always used Epson printers to print my limited edition prints and currently I am using the Epson R2400 printer which uses pigment inks giving the prints archival properties. To ensure that those archival properties are sustained they are currently printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper which is acid free (the presents of acids will have the effect of fading colours over a period of time).
I believe that any visual work of art whether it is abstract, representational or somewhere between the two should be based on the formal elements of line, tone, colour and texture. These elements if clearly defined have the ability to interact with themselves and with each other and create visual interest from passive subtlety through to dynamic excitement. It is this visual interest that will draw the viewer to the work to further study the ideas and the content. My own photography is based upon this principal from the very start of my working process. My eye is attracted to areas that show strong abstract qualities and I begin a process of photographing the area to try and find interesting compositions. It is important for me to capture the composition full frame and not look to cropping the image later in the computer. The reason is that I am emotionally moved to capture the image that I composed within the whole picture frame ( as Cezanne said of his painting if I move a little to the left or right etc.)
Once the image has been downloaded into the computer no reference is made back to the original source. At this point the image begins its own process of evolution, generated by my response to the formal elements within it. As I fine tune these elements certain feelings may evolve and I may adjust such things as tonal values, colour balance and colour saturation to emphasize what is evolving. I believe that the mystery is triggered by what we can see and not by what we can’t.
Emotive feelings are created by the visual interest of the formal elements in the picture, which can trigger parallel or similar experiences in the viewers, who draw on their own experiences that enable them to move beyond surface values. The mystery is conveyed not by what we can’t see but by what we can.
I have always used Nikon equipment starting with the Nikkormat body which I bought in 1972 in Singapore along with a Nikon 50mm 2.8 lens. Since then I have had a series of cameras as newer models came onto the market – Nikon FE, Nikon 801, Nikon F3. Nikon F4, Nikon F5. My first digital body was the Nikon D100 followed by the Nikon D1X, Nikon D2X, Nikon D3. I now currently use the Nikon D3X camera body. I have recently bought a Nikon D800E, which is a 36.5 million pixel camera body, so it records a lot of information on RAW files with each file size being 205 megabites.
I use a wide range of lenses
- Nikkor 10.5mm f2.8 AF DX IF-ED Fisheye
- Nikkor AF-S 17 – 35mm f2.
- PC Micro Nikkor 85mm shift and tilt marcro
- Nikkor AF-S 24 – 120mm f3.5 – 5.6 VR ED
- AF-S Nikkor 70 – 210mm f2.8 VR ED
- AF-S Nikkor 200 – 400mm f4 VR ED
In addition I currently use the converter:-
I use a tripod whenever I can especially when I need to stop down to increase depth of field of field such as when I am working with textural images on tree bark and rock formations. I have several tripods and a variety of heads and like the combination of using Gitzo legs and Manfroto heads.