These two photos illustrate two quite different photographic genres. More specifically, bird photographers, depend on the use of ultra-fast super-telephotos (in this case a 600mm f4 lens and using Bird Eye Technology to capture birds who fly at about 50mph in a dive + 30 frames/second burst rates on a Sony A1 body. The kind of bird photography exemplified in the shot of an osprey carrying a dying red mullet (notice the grim drop of water coming out of the fish's mouth) is quintessentially all about speed. In contrast, in architecture photography, one hopes that buildings don't move very fast, if at all (if they do, we're usually in big trouble!). The second shot of the Tarantula-like shadow cast by the light on the ceiling of a medieval alcove opposite the main church of the Tuscan town of San Gimignano (whose building codes were last updated in 1602!) is all about contemplation. The use of tripod mounted cameras and sometimes highly specialized tilt shift lenses, and relying on sometimes extremely long exposures are all mandatory in this particular genre.. If memory serves me correctly, this particular exposure was around 1minute and 30 seconds. In addition, framing has to be exact to the millimeter in some cases, and the use apertures like f11 or even smaller (particularly on view cameras) are the norm in this kind of photography. The technical skills required to become proficient in these two quite different genres clearly lie at opposite poles of the photographic spectrum. And that is exactly why I enjoy both disciplines so much. Finally, operating on the principle that flattery will always get you everywhere, I would like to suggest that not only is Ian a master photographer of landscapes (I know, I've been on two of his workshops), but he is maybe just as good (or perhaps even better) as a workshop leader?
top of page
bottom of page