I have been taking photos since roughly 1966, so I've seen a fair amount of evolution (dare I say progress?) in photo technology over the years. I remember my very first SLR camera, a Mamiya/Sekor with an external light metering system. I tried, vainly to get closeup bird photos with a cheap Steinheil 200mm. lens, and later graduated to a stop-down Schneider 360mm. tele. Ah, those were the days!
I have stuck with Nikon equipment since 1968. Now that Nikon is selling VR versions of the supertelephoto lenses I can stop musing about possibly switching to Canon :). Since I am not getting any younger, I splurged recently and acquired a couple of large, heavy telephotos, including a Nikon 600 f4. Carrying it into the field along with tripod and gimbal head has become part of my workout routine. Heavy!
I also use my D500 and D850 DSLR's with a fun variety of older lenses. A while back I acquired, amazingly cheaply, Nikon 500mm. f4P and 600mm. f5.6 superteles. These are manual focus lenses, but frankly, I have lived most of my life without relying on autofocus, and I consider AF to be a luxury, not a necessity, even for bird photography. Sometimes I even use these old lenses!
Recently I have begun to use mirrorless cameras, including full frame Nikon (Z7) and also micro four-thirds (Panasonic and Olympus). Mirrorless is definitely the future of photography, and even though the introductory models put out by Nikon are, strictly speaking, not as capable as the best DSLR's, I use mirrorless a lot anyway. The M43 gear is also welcome because it's advantageous (and increasingly so) to keep the weight and bulk of one's photographic gear down for overseas travel. I have been fortunate enough to take some far-flung trips in recent times, and I have found that toting (for example) gigantic telephoto lenses on airplanes and in hot, steamy tropical environments is kind of challenging. The M43 gear is smaller and lighter and yet still produces excellent results.
For family photos and such, I use shorter lenses, of course, and I also have a few tiny digicams (my favorite is the Nikon Coolpix P7800), one of which I frequently carry in a pocket. Of course, if I have no camera at all with me I can always use my iPhone, which, while quite limited in its capabilities, is better than no camera at all.
I'm forever trying to learn how to use Photoshop properly, mostly using the old trial and error approach. Sometimes I struggle, and wonder whether an old dog indeed can learn new tricks. I'll keep trying.
I confess that part of what I enjoy is the playing with toys aspect of photography, i.e.,over the years I have accumulated a bunch of old lenses, tripods, cameras, etc., and I like to fool around with them. I love trying to coax good photos out of cheap equipment even in cases where I own something that is by most measures more elaborate.
I enjoy seeing others’ photos here in Flickr. I try to learn from what other people do well, or even not so well. Now the negative stuff: I won’t follow people who don’t bother to label their photos, and I am increasingly prone to unfollow people who 1) don’t include any EXIF data with their pictures; or 2) take bird photos but don’t follow me back even after a while (yes, ego is involved here, but I also think it is a matter of courtesy).
- JoinedJanuary 2007
- Occupationcollege instructor, very close to retired
- HometownPalo Alto, California
- Current cityBerkeley, California
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One of the photostream in flickr I enjoy the most. I am always looking for more of Doug's pictures. He is amazing with the camera capturing anything but specially my very favorite "Birds", also very knowlogeable about this subject. It is a priviledge to be his contact and to be able to see his great work at any tim… Read more
One of the photostream in flickr I enjoy the most. I am always looking for more of Doug's pictures. He is amazing with the camera capturing anything but specially my very favorite "Birds", also very knowlogeable about this subject. It is a priviledge to be his contact and to be able to see his great work at any time. Thanks Doug.Read less