These online photo albums contain most of the photographs that I have taken over the past few years. I've been a photography buff for years, starting out with traditional B&W work using 35mm and an old Pax rangefinder, and developing my darkroom skills along with my shooting skills. About 10 years ago I got my first SLR, a Canon EOS 10s, and shot happily with that for many years. All of the pictures in the earliest albums here came from that system, mostly in conjunction with an old Canon EF35-135/4-5.6 zoom (now mostly obsolete, but a technological marvel for a consumer zoom in its day). I shot mostly Kodak Royal Gold negative film for color work, and Kodak TMax for black & white, replaced in recent years by Kodak T400CN.
In early 2001 I started testing the waters of digital with a Canon S100 Digital Elph. I was amazed at how much digital had matured since its early days, and I was swept away by the thrill of instant feedback and the freedom offered by being able to take as many pictures as I wanted without having to pay to process them all. But I was still frustrated--like most point-and-shoots, the S100 offered little creative control, suffered from very sluggish shutter response, and did not produce the quality of image I had grown used to with film and my SLR.
My salvation came late in 2001 when I acquired a Canon D30 digital SLR, which took most of the recent photos in these albums. Coupled with a new EF28-135/3.5-5.6IS lens, 420EX flash, and a slew of digital accessories, I finally had a digital system that offered the creative control, instant response, and high image quality I had been so desiring, all while preserving the benefits of digital. I discovered an unexpected benefit in that D30 images, unlike those from the S100, have enough latitude to tolerate, and indeed benefit from, extensive digital post-processing; with the D30, my old interests in darkroom work, long abandoned due to lack of space and equipment, have been reincarnated digitally in the form of Photoshop. My love affair with this camera has not ended, despite the fact that it's already obsolete(!). It still continues to take pictures that astound me with their color and smoothness, and the ability to take more pictures and get feedback sooner has vastly improved my photographic skills and given me incentive to push them further. And with the inception of high-quality digital print services like epixel.com (my favorite), I can now produce wall-sized prints with better quality, better control, and at lower cost than I used to with film.
Update 6/2003: I've updated my kit to include a new Sigma 15-30/3.5-4.5 EX DG super wide angle lens, and now I've finally got my wide angles back (due to the reduced size of the CMOS sensor relative to a 35mm film frame, lenses on the D30 have an effective focal length of 1.6x their rated value). The D30 is still going strong, and with the recent addition of the astounding Capture One DSLR LE to my postprocessing toolbox, it's like a new camera. Capture One is far and away the best solution to digital workflow and postprocessing that I've found; it's custom RAW development curves take the already-dynamic D30 images and add a new level of depth and realism, along with an even more film-like look.
I hope you enjoy perusing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!
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