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The Photographer

I first started taking pictures because of computers. Many years ago I designed a Christmas Card on my old Apple II GS. The only problem was getting this screen creation on to paper. Ink jet printers were not yet available and the image produced by color dot matrix printers was not good enough for what I needed. The idea of taking a picture of the screen came to me. I mentioned it to Max, my brother-in-law who does photography professionally. He gave me ideas on shutter speed and things like that. My father had an old Canon EF camera which my brother had given him. He did not use it because it was totally manual. Set the aperture, set the shutter speed (up to 1/1000 of a second) then turn the focusing ring. After each shot, pull the lever to advance the film. It did have a built in light meter to guide your exposure settings. It was perfect for what I wanted to do. The screen shots came out well. That started my famous custom made Christmas Cards, which I still design and send out each year.

Screen shots were a nice start, but I fell in love with the camera and wanted to do more. I bought a couple of lenses for it and started taking shots of soccer games (my other passion). During a game at McIntosh HS I was standing next to a photographer from a local newspaper. I got really jealous. Every time the action got close, I would take one shot then drop the camera to wind the film. He just kept shooting! I wanted to be able to do that.

I'm not sure what year it was, but I was in Melbourne, FL for a tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. One morning I stepped out on the balcony and saw that someone had written "Lightning Soccer" (our club) in the sand. I went back in for my EF to get a picture. When I tried to set the aperture, I noticed that the light meter was not responding. I ended up making a good guess for the exposure, but now I had to either repair or replace the camera. I remembered the newspaper photographer.

I bought a Canon Rebel X. A whopping 1 frame per second, but I was happy. I had Auto everything! Since action pictures are what I do mostly, the Rebel was not good enough for too long. The succession has been to the A2E (bought in '97) then to the EOS 3 ('99). I finally had a real camera! Auto everything with 6 frames per second to boot!

In 2002 I started to get the digital bug. I bought a D60. Camera-wise it was not as good as the EOS 3, but it was digital. 2004 saw the introduction of the 1D Mark II. I got on the list and ordered one two months before they came out. I dropped it at a game once. It cost a pretty penny to repair and I also had to replace the 100-400 L lens. I had a press pass to a US Men's National team game and needed a camera in a hurry. I rented a 20D. I liked it. I ended up buying one to use while the 1D was being repaired. The 2007 introduction of the 1D Mark III by Canon got to me. I was able to order one on the first day that Ritz/Wolf Camera was taking orders. I got mine in their first wave.

I have since also bought a couple of point and shoots, first the PowerShot SD1000 and more recently the PowerShot SD1200 IS. Of course the quality isn't near ID's, but there are times when I want to walk around with a camera, but don't want to lug a big one along. These are tiny, fit right in my pocket and produce a pretty good picture.

My latest acquisition is a Canon 1D Mark IV. I had stopped paying attention to the latest and greatest. Totally by coincidence I saw that Canon had announced the 1D Mark IV. That's nice, I thought, but I don't have the money to even worry about it. In early December 09 I came into a small sum of money and decided to pre-order one. The cameras started shipping at the end of the month, but that was for the people who had pre-ordered on the first day - in October. By late March I was still waiting and I decided that the money I had set aside could be put to several other good uses. If my camera did not come by the end of the month, I would cancel the order. On March 31st during the day I opened up my order and clicked on the "Cancel Order" button. It took me to another screen where i had to click on the item and then click on another button to actually cancel it. I thought about it and then decided to wait for the next day when the month was truly over.

Much to my surprise, at about 9:30 that night I got an email saying "Your Order Has Shipped". Huh? Needless to say I had the Mark IV the next day. To help offset the cost I have sold my 1D Mark II.

If I'm going on a serious (or even semi-serious) shoot I use the Mk III & Mk IV. I still have the EOS 3 but really don't use it any more. Most of the other cameras have been sold to friends dirt cheap. My current lenses are 300 f2.8 L IS USM (my weapon of choice), 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L IS USM (stays out on loan most of the time), 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM, 24-70 f2.8 L USM, 24-105 f4 IS USM, 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, 15 f2.8 Fisheye and 50 f1.4 USM. All Canons. Processing is done with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Adobe Lightroom 2 (come on Adobe and release LR3 already!) on a MacIntosh computer.

The web site is set up using Adobe Dreamweaver. The pictures are done in Flash directly from Lightroom. I don't have an iPhone and won't get an iPad until they can handle Flash.

 


All images on this site are original creations and are the intellectual property of Photos by McD/Bryan McDermott. It is prohibited to copy or reproduce any of these images in any form without the written consent of the photographer.