It has been way too long since I’ve shared someone else’s work. I need to do more of it because while sharing our own work is wonderful, finding others’ work that we enjoy is a lot of the fun in Word Press! So having said that, I’m hoping that you enjoy this interview and images by Mike of Picture Day.
Question: Where are you located?
Mike: I live in Central NY about half way between Syracuse and Albany.
Question: When did you start getting into photography and how did that come about?
Mike: It all started in the summer of 2011. I have always had a camera (point & shoot) but it had only been used to record family vacations, school events, etc. I have also been going to Walt Disney World, almost religiously, since the Spring of 2002. The first trip was for the kids but it became an obsession for me. I had been following numerous Disney photographers online and in the summer of 2011 I decided I wanted to bring home pictures like those I was viewing online.
I started by reading the manual for my Sony DSC-H20 camera. I struggled at first but through a lot of trail and error I was developing an understanding about photography. After a lot of web research I bought Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure. I spent the next 9 months learning what I could do with my camera and exploring exposure, composition, and post-processing. Finally, in March 2012 I felt I had outgrown my little Sony and I purchased a Nikon D5100 and two lenses. Even before I purchased this camera I knew photography was something that would stay with me the rest of my life.
Question: What is your most favorite thing to photograph and why?
Mike: If I was to classify myself as a photographer it would be for landscapes. I can’t pass up a good sunrise or sunset. To be truthful though I love to photograph everything (except people, I am not comfortable photographing people). If you look through my blog or portfolio you will find quite the eclectic mix.
As far as a why? The best answer I can provide is that through photography I now see the world around me differently. I have a hard time driving as I am always examining the scene around me. I always carry my camera and more than once I have stopped on the side of the road to capture an image. Light and color catch my eye and I find myself reaching for the camera to capture it. I feel before finding photography I walked blindly through the world.
Question: What (or who) inspires you to take photos?
Mike: At first I thought this would be an easy question to answer but once I started to coalesce my thoughts I realized my answer is more complicated than I realized. The what portion is fairly easy, light and color, with smaller influences by shapes, reflections, symmetry, details, etc. The who portion is more involved.
Even though it might sound clichÈ I really enjoy Ansel Adams work. I have learned a lot about the use of light and shadow from his images. I also developed my love for B&W images from him. David duChemin for his books and images as well as his Craft & Vison website. My kids gave me his ‘Photographically Speaking’ book for Christmas one year and I have been hooked ever since. From the Craft & Vison site I found Andrew S. Gibson. I have most of his ebooks. From Andrew I fell in love with the square image format. I learned to appreciate and create images using long exposures. Both David and Andrew write about creating images that ‘speak’ to the viewer or evoke emotion. To use the technical knowledge but not to fixate on gear/technique and capture how you feel. The list grows constantly ñ Rick Sammon, Bryan Peterson, Art Wolfe, John Batdorff & Jay Maisel. I could also list dozens of photographers I have found and befriended online who constantly inspire me with their photography.
Question: What camera do you shoot with and what is your most favorite lens?
Mike: In October 2015 during my autumn trip to Walt Disney World I found myself using my Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera over 75% of the time. I found the bulkier Nikon equipment and accessories was wearing on me and the freedom the smaller micro 4/3rds camera provided was very liberating. I enjoyed being able to simply carry my camera and lens via a hand strap. The reduced weight was a relief to my shoulders and neck. And to be totally honest I was enjoying using the camera even more than my Nikon.
When I returned home I made the drastic decision to switch my platform. I sold my Nikon gear and I added the Olympus OM-D E-M1 along with a few more lenses. For the most part I can now fit my normal gear in a small shoulder bag. It makes it even easier to always have my camera with me.
As far as my favorite lens, hands down it has to be the M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8. On the E-M1 that translates to a 24-80mm equivalent focal length. Perfect for my landscapes but still allowing me some reach. This year I added a Vu Filters filter holder with 4 & 10 stop ND filters, a circular polarizer and a 2 stop graduated ND filter. The 10 stop filter allows me to achieve the long exposure water images I enjoy capturing even during my lunch break at work.
Question: Inquiring minds wanna knowÖÖtell us something about your life away from photography.
Mike: Away from photography… hhhmmm? I am a big video game player. I wish I could blame it on my kids but truthfully I am as bad if not worse than they are. And being an adult with the means to support a bad habit I own more gaming equipment than I would care to admit. This year I have tried to cut back but with winter fast approaching I can feel the pull of the controllers… LOL
Question: How can we find you? Insert your blog link here along with any other social media link you wish to share.
Mike: I am a computer and internet geek so I am all over the web. You can find me at:
Portfolio – http://mlcreationsphotography.com
Blog – http://blog.mlcreationsphotography.com
Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rocket2722
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/rocket2722
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/rocket2722
Tumblr – http://tumblr.mlcreationsphotography.com