My name is Suellen Baker. I live and shoot photographs in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Tweed Valley in New South Wales, Australia.
We grow sugarcane and beef cattle on a little farm outside a rural town in northern NSW called Murwillumbah, and it’s here that I spend most of my time wandering the hills taking photos.
In my early twenties, I was a part of an International Youth News gathering film crew, which inspired me to pursue a life behind the lens, even though I was there recording audio.
We travelled the world speaking to the youth about their respective countries to find out what was happening and what were the issues they were facing with their governments, spiritual leaders, and any other topics of interest.
I also had a short work experience with a commercial photography company taking family portraits and baby photos that took me around the rural districts of Queensland. This was a great experience, but not something I could see myself making a career out of.
I mostly like to photograph what is around me, plants, animals, sunsets and sunrises, beaches, and whatever nature has to offer. There is plenty to choose from where I live!
We have close to thirty different species of birds just in our backyard; then you have the butterflies, dragonflies, and all kinds of insects and lizards. It is the subtropics!
Macro photography is probably my favourite genre. Looking at the micro world seems to help me appreciate what is not so easily seen. Earlier this year, one of my macro shots, ‘praying mantis’ was published in the German magazine Digital Photo.
I also enjoy video work, mostly documentary-style storytelling, and music videos. In 2019 my documentary about a friend who hand-built an Australian-designed timber sailboat in his shed, Lone Ranger was selected to screen at the Byron Bay Film Festival.
I love videography. It is such an amazing visual format; there is something really special about using images and a soundtrack to tell stories.
Sony A7s Mark III – my camera of choice for its low-light capabilities.
Sony A7R IV – for its thirty-three megapixel full-frame sensor.
GoPro 7 – for anything underwater.
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5–5.6 GM OSS – this one is big enough for wildlife but small enough to use without a tripod.
Sony 24-240mm FE f/3.5-6.3 – an excellent all-rounder.
Sony 35mm FE f/1.8 – for my video and gimbal work.
Sony 30mm FE f/3.5 – a true 1:1 macro lens for getting up close.
Moza Air Lightweight Handheld Gimbal
Manfrotto 290 Light Aluminium Tripod
Innorel RT85C Carbon Fiber Tripod – super light and robust.
I use Lightroom for most of my editing and Photoshop, sometimes actually rarely because I struggle to find my way around the labyrinth that is Photoshop; however, my interest in learning the program is becoming increasingly desirable due to my curiosity in the experimental editing of my photos.
When I turned fifty, I thought I’d go to Film School and learn more about content creation and surround myself with like-minded people to get inspired.
What I actually learnt is that you don’t necessarily have to go to school to get information or inspiration.
You just need to get out there and do it!
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