I am a landscape and ‘abandonscape’ photographer born and raised in upstate, NY. I got into photography in 2008 on a suggestion from a friend. At the time it was just a hobby so I started out with a Sony A200 dslr and a couple of kit lenses. Since 2009 it has been my full time job. I am a traditional landscape photographer by day, but by night I turn into the abandonscape photodude!
For that past 5 years I have been working on a project called “The Art of Decay”. I travel the US (for now) photographing and recording abandoned and historical locations. I have a photo ebook available on itunes that features 10 locations from my project and extensive photo essays up on my website TheArtofDecay.com featuring all of my shoots. My work has been featured on national PBS and in several magazines including f11magazine.com and Nevada Magazine. When I am not on location I am hosting photowalks and workshops in my studio.
Today I still shoot Sony but use a Sony A99V full frame DSLT and an APS crop Sony A77V DSLT as a back up. I also dabble in IR photography and have a self modified Sony A55V DSLT that I replaced the hot-glass filter with a 720nm infrared filter. I originally chose the Sony DSLT camera for it’s superior sensor stability when shooting multiple frames. No mirror shake, live view and GPS were all contributing factors. When I first started with the Sony A99V I was doing a lot of 32bit high dynamic range work. The more I worked with the Sony A99V the more I noticed the incredible dynamic range of the camera and less of a need for multiple exposures. I still do a lot of 32bit work but it’s nice to know in some situations the camera can pull it off in one shot.
I have been a Sigma lenses fan from nearly day one. One of the first lenses from them I owned was a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6. I used the heck out of that thing up until I got a full framed camera. It was retired and replaced with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 which is essential the 10-20 full frame equivalent. It is a much nicer lens though it is a pain that it will not accept any filters without specialized adaptors. I have had a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 for about 4 years and use it in a unique way. I like to shoot what I call macro-panoramas with it. I will find a subject, say an old car. Get about 50ft away and zoom in at 200mm and f/2.8. I will then shoot it like a panorama until I have the whole scene covered. Once it is stitched together you have a super high resolution shot with a massive depth of field. I have a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye that is fun to play with, especially on the IR camera. Of course I have a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 which I like for detail shots, some panorama work, and light painting.
My go-to all-out-favorite lens though is my Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss. 24-70mm at 2.8? Yes please!! This lens was very expensive but worth every penny. In 2013, I drove over 8,000 miles across the US and through the southwest and that lens never left my camera. I would highly recommend it for every landscaper’s bag.
I think in the near future I will be looking at the Sony A7R and definitely more Zeiss glass. Although the A7R does open up a whole new world of lenses…. let me get back to you on that!