Hello, my name is Ebony Finck and I am an Australian photographer. I use the medium to navigate through life and to connect with the people and places that are of greatest importance to me.
It’s photography’s ability to communicate human experience and emotion that I am most drawn to, and it’s this honesty and fragility that is central to both my personal and commercial projects.
Recently I had a revelation that photography is my teacher. Often, I’ll create images with little conscious thought, driven more by an intuition. It’s when I sit with the images and begin to analyze the frames that the ideas and emotions begin to reflect back at me, informing me of my position and my relationship to the subject matter.
In 2015 I graduated from Photography Studies College with an Advanced Diploma, and alongside this education I began assisting for as many talented commercial photographers as I could find. I would work in their offices doing administration or running the dry cleaning and making coffees. I worked my way up to retouching shoots and eventually assisting on sets and learning how to use their equipment. I learnt very quickly that it wasn’t the gear that made these individuals exceptional; it was their dedication to their craft and their unique eye.
I keep my gear as simple as possible. As I’m often speaking to my subject whilst shooting and working quickly, I don’t want to be thinking about my gear at all. It needs to work and to feel like an extension of me. That’s why it’s so important to find equipment that feels right in your hand, rather than stressing out about the brand. In saying this, I’m a Canon girl. I run a Canon 5D Mark III and I have a backup Canon 6D which is fabulous for its price.
My main focus is portraiture, so I’m exclusively running prime lenses, with the exception of my 2017 Brumby series, which demanded a zoom lens as I was chasing wild horses through national parks. The prime lenses I own are fast and absolutely dreamy for portraiture. They are not cheap, but these guys will be with me for life. 95% of the time I’m shooting with the Canon 50mm f/1.2L or the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Series, which is my workhorse and feels amazing as it allows me to be physically close to my subject matter, which fosters intimacy. I also use a Canon 85mm f/1.2L.
If I am shooting a wedding I will run two bodies and wear a shoulder bag, so I can alternate quickly between the primes. Plus I’m carrying a Yongnuo YN560 IV Speedlite, iPhone SE and a Belkin battery pack, multiple SanDisk cards and some sunnies.
For studio shoots, I’m tethering with an Apple 15”MacBook Pro and a small Wacom Intuos tablet, and I back it all up on my trusted WD Element portable hard drives. I’ll use any studio lights I can get my hands on but prefer my Elinchrom Rotalux Deep OctaBox 100cm/39”soft box. In my home studio I have larger versions of the Mac, tablet and hard drives which are less portable (not shown).
Travel excites me, and I no longer lug around a massive DSLR (I have tried), so I carry a Fujifilm x100s and I have this camera in my handbag every day. My recent addition is the even smaller Ricoh GR II (not featured as I shot my gear with it). I’ve only had this camera for a few weeks and it’s my first ever Ricoh – but I’m in love – again, and it feels good. The Ricoh has a very simple layout and the files are fab.
Inside Ebony’s camera bag:
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