I’m an Australian AIPP Master Photographer who specialises in photographing landscape, travel and the interaction of architecture within the landscape. I could be described as a purist or traditional photographer as I shoot single exposure images in both medium format film and digital, and prefer very minimal post production editing to achieve the required result.
I typically shoot off the stability of a tripod with totally manually operated film and digital medium format cameras. The vast majority of my work is long exposures ranging from 1 second to 10 hours, so the artistry can be generated with movement and light during the exposure and not created in post production. Although I do shoot colour as well, I tend to prefer the final output in black and white because for me it’s more emotive.
In a modern world where seemingly anything goes in photography, I prefer to call myself a photographer and not a digital artist, although I do dabble in a little creative editing very occasionally. I admire most genres of photography regardless of field or post production techniques but the photographers I most admire and gain inspiration from are the old-school film photographers. A personal favourite of mine is Michael Kenna, both for his technique and mindset.
For almost five years now I’ve used an Alpa technical camera working in combination with a Phase One digital back and Rodenstock or Schneider large format lenses as my main kit. This setup allows for the tilt/shift/rise/fall/swing movements so vital in landscape and architectural photography (guide), as well as producing the best possible image quality available.
The Alpa camera body also has the unique ability to attach a film back, so this gives me shooting options, and is adaptable and modular for my requirements.
The Phase One digital back also can be used in conjunction with many different camera bodies from SLRs to technical cameras. The beauty of this system for me is it slows down the shooting process and involves the photographer more in the actual taking of the photo. This is slow photography, and the complete lack of automation here requires a pre-shot routine of adjustments and involves calculating the exposure settings in your head or with a light meter, manually adjusting focus, aperture and movements, and finally manually cocking and releasing the copal shutter to take the photo.
There are of course advantages and disadvantages to such camera systems, but to me as a landscape photographer, slowing down the process and thinking about every single shot as opposed to machine gunning shots indiscriminately has been an important part of me evolving and improving as a photographer.
The following list is my main kit, although I do own other cameras including a Fotoman 6×17 panoramic film camera, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Canon 5D Mark II and numerous lenses, filters and accessories.
– Alpa 12 STC technical camera + Phase One IQ260 medium format digital back or Linhof Super Rollex 6×9 medium format film back.
Rodenstock/Alpa HR Alpagon 23mm f/5.6 LB lens
Rodenstock/Alpa HR Alpagon 40mm f/4.0 SB 17 lens + 0-5 degree Alpa tilt-swing adapter
Rodenstock/Alpa HR Alpagon 70mm f/5.6 SB 17 lens + 0-5 degree Alpa tilt-swing adapter
Schneider/Alpa Apo-Helvetar 120mm f/5.6 SB34 Aspheric lens
Gitzo GT3532L / GT3541 Systematic Tripods
Alpa/Linhof 3D Micro Levelling Head