While I’ve been taking and processing my own photographs since art school days in the ‘70s, I do not think of myself as a photographer, rather as a photographic artist – that is I have always used my images as raw material for creative compositions.
I have never got too hung up about high spec equipment or getting too technical with the perfect shot. For me the magic happens later – in the old days, it was in the darkroom and screen-printing studio, now in Photoshop on my Mac.
My photographic and mixed-media work explores ‘landscape’ in relation to human culture and heritage. I am interested in envisioning a spiritual perspective on landscape, and in illustrating the complex impact of history and culture on a contemporary sense of ‘place’.
As well as photographed textures of the natural and urban landscape, and people in different environments, sources for my work include mythological, historical and religious texts, documents, and literature.
My shot kit is as basic as can be – it is super portable and easy to maintain. My fine art practise means that I don’t have income coming from my photography to justify upgrading to the latest and greatest equipment, but that suits me fine.
Pentax K-5II – I have used Pentax SLR cameras since art school days, and this is my most recent of many that I have loved. The Pentax DSLR range is great value for a quality camera and works with my legacy K-mount lenses.
Sony RX100 IV – When travelling and walking many kilometres a day, and when I would like to be more discreet for street photos, I prefer to pack a good compact. This Sony fits the bill for me – it shoots RAW as well as having an adjustable viewing screen and a viewfinder.
Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 – The pancake 40mm lens is light, portable and razor-sharp. While I have many legacy Pentax lenses from my decades with the brand, as well as the kit zoom that I got with the camera, I now rarely use anything other than this compact and effective prime lens.
I shoot using available light, even at night, only occasionally using the built-in flash as fill-in for backlit situations.
No special bags or straps. I have a generic backpack purchased in Tokyo that’s my walking bag and which easily accommodates my tiny kit.
Manfrotto tripod or a Gorilla Pod for travelling.
Hardware & Software
Sorting and basic editing – Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw.
Complex adjustment, compositing and creating – Adobe Photoshop
Layouts and drafts for multi-piece assemblages – Adobe InDesign
Don’t get hung up on kit. A recent development in mobile and retro photography (eg. Lomography) show that it’s not the gear that makes you creative. On the contrary, exploring limitations can be one of the most creative things to do.
belindaallen.com.au | @bforbelle
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Thrilled to be included here! My small kit is so simple, as I’ve never been one to get hung up on technical paraphernalia. I hope it is an inspiration to other similarly tech phobic art photographers!
Thanks for reminding us that good photographers can keep it simple!