Dean Dampney

I’m a Documentary Photographer through and through with wedding work being my means of ‘making a living’.

I live in a really small coastal village on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Here I’m joined by my gorgeous wife, three boys, Albe our hound and a bunch of chooks.

Even though I love my work and photography, I love my family much more, so I try to invest my energy accordingly.

I also enjoy surfing, amongst other passions, and this too is a driving force for me. Balancing all this abundance requires wisdom and it’s something I’m continually driven to expand on. I feel so grateful to be able to live this life with all the great things that it’s made up of.

Professionally, my roots are as in Street Photography. I still point my camera towards everything I see, often from the hip, or extended away from my eye, I try to use my camera as an extension of my vision, or if nothing else an experiment in serendipity.

Nothing interests me more than people and that’s what I focus my attention on. Using Fujifilm gear has allowed me to remain low key and often under the radar of my unsuspecting subjects.

I believe firmly in the interaction of our energy fields. Whether it’s the simple mirror of an anxious photographer to subject, or conversely the ghost-like infiltration of the photographer who’s in flow and perfectly calm. This translates in theory to shooting portraits too.

Without delving too deep into the philosophy or the metaphysics of it all, I uphold the notion that we are loving wondrous beings that if given the opportunity and space to shine, our pure essence emanates from within.

With the introduction of a camera and the dynamic of the photographer’s presence, this is usually hindered but I believe it can be positively reinforced.

My goal is to shoot wide and close as often as possible, with the most open-hearted and zen like presence as possible! I use my wide-angle zooms as my primary lens of choice, switching between my 15-30mm F4 and my 24-85mm F2.8.

On my other hip sits my second body, usually with a 50mm 1.2 prime although I’ll mix that up a bit too. I like the benefit of fast primes in low light but I also enjoy the aesthetic of using a shallow depth of field.

Although I have quite a few items in my Shotkit, typically I’m moving freely, simply with my hip belt, two cameras and accompanying lenses hooked on to the sides. I also have two pouches on this belt that carry an extra prime lens and a flash if I really need it.

At home, I work on a 27” iMac with 5K Retina Screen. Essentially, I process everything through Lightroom and currently I’m using a personalised variation and combination of DVLOP presets.

I give my images everything I can while still keeping things in balance, so that I spend as little time sitting on my bum as I possibly can.

I’ve been with Fujifilm since they launched the X-Series in the Professional Photographer’s market. My first was their X100s. I’ve found Fujifilm has lived up to my expectations.

I’m really rough with my gear, so having equipment that I can knock around, shoot in the rain, and even occasionally drop, is a real positive for me.

Several factors that I love about the Fujifilm cameras are their robustness, size and the fact that the image quality is second to none.

Because I usually hang two cameras off my holster belt, I’m as free as I can be to move through crowds whether it be standing room only at the reception or a mosh pit on the dance floor. It also keeps the weight off my back and shoulders which I really appreciate.

In black jeans and a tee, my presentation is professional but low key and it suggests to people that I’m relatively unthreatening. The truth is, there’s often a number of guests with their DSLR’s that are packing more gear than I am.

Shooting personal work is still a big driving force for me, and that’s also reflected in my gear.

I’m lucky enough to have been around for a good stint in the film days and still shoot the odd frame on my Pentax 67 (not pictured). However, what I’ve found to be a game changer is simply replacing my old Nikon FM2 with my Fujifilm XT20.

I use the Fujifilm 18-55mm 2.8-F4 lens with that to cover 95% of the shooting I do in my own time. Both the body and the lens are really small for what they do, and I take that combination everywhere. If I shoot with another lens it’s my Fujifilm 18mm F2 pancake lens (equivalent 27mm) as it’s even smaller.

Besides Fuji gear being small, strong, and the image quality being second to none, I’m also a big fan of the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). It means that I can preview a dynamic digitally rendered image in real time, equivalent to what my actual image will appear to be if I was to take the photograph.

I shoot in Aperture Priority, meaning I can guage whether I need to pull or push my exposure on the fly, depending on what I’m seeing through the viewfinder.

It also means that with my personal work I can have my viewfinder rendering my RAW file capture in black and white, which is how I treat all my personal work anyway. So again, what I see is what I get. I’m also a big fan of the in-camera Fujifilm presets.

There’s a couple of extra lenses that are a part of my kit that I only pull out from time to time. These live in my camera bag, usually in the car, when I’m shooting weddings.

Among these are the 35mm and 85mm equivalent. I’ll grab them only if I’m really hard up for available light as they’re both really fast lenses. Like all my primes, they’re also super sharp.

Cameras
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Camera Body
Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Camera Body
Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Camera Body

Lenses
XF18mmF2 R 
Fujifilm
XF23mmF1.4 R
Fujifilm
XF35mmF1.4 R
Fujifilm
XF56mmF1.2 R
Fujifilm
XF90mmF2 R LM WR 
Fujifilm
XF10-24mmF4 R OIS 
Fujifilm
XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR 
Fujifilm
XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

Other Gear
Nissin i40 Speedlight
Spider Camera Holster System
Thinktank Retrospective 5 Shoulder Bag
iMac Retina 5K 27”

www.southcoastwedding.com.au | www.rollingthroughwindows.com | @cloudFacephotography

Inside Dean’s camera bag:

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2 Comments

  1. Dean Dampney on May 2, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks so much guys for showcasing my kit and my approach. I really appreciate it!

  2. Jared Lindsay on April 30, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Stoked to finally see Dean on here as he is one of my personal faves in the entire world of photography.

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