I've been taking photos with an SLR since 1993 when I got a used Olympus OM-2 and a couple of Tokina zoom lenses as a present. Since then I've been upgrading my gear almost constantly. I hope I've been improving my technique too. I've also changed from print film (transferred to PhotoCD for digital copies) to slides (professionaly scanned for digital) to the current crop of digital SLR bodies. I've put a number of galleries of my work on the web.
By the time I got rid of the OM setup, it had grown to include an OM-4 body and 5 lenses, most of them Zuiko. I loved the size and feel of those bodies, but I needed an autofocus camera for an upcoming trip to Africa. And, the OM-2 especially, was no longer reliable. So in 2002, I moved to Canon's EOS setup with two bodies again, an Elan 7E and a Rebel 2000. I needed two bodies so I could use two different speeds of film during the rapidly changing light conditions on safari. I still carry two bodies when I need the extra reliability. My bodies were paired with budget Canon lenses, a 28-90mm zoom, a 100-300mm zoom and the ubiquitous 50mm f/1.8.
Before heading to Tonga, I upgraded again, finally biting the digital bullet. I bought the original Digital Rebel and its 18-55mm kit lens. Before my second trip to Africa, another serious round of upgrades was necessary: A second digital body (20D), a long telephoto for wildlife (400mm f/5.6L), a short, fast telephoto for gorillas and chimps (100mm f/2), a better standard zoom (28-105mm f/3.5-4.5), and a teleconverter. When I got back from Africa, I sold of the Digital Rebel since it was getting frustrating to use compared to the 20D. In 2010, I swapped the 20D for a 40D.
A third safari, this time to South Africa and Botswana, prompted another round of upgrades, this time to the camera bodies. A 5D MkII for the great low light performance and a 7D as a high-speed, crop camera.
Today my setup consists of:
My underwater setup is much simpler. I initially used a Canon A620 point and shoot in a Canon underwater housing. I hacked the firmware to write out RAW files which makes correcting the white balance of the underwater shots easier at the expense of a bit more noise (until I learn how to remove it). I lost this camera and housing during my trip to the Bahamas in March 2008. In 2009 I replaced it with a Canon G10 and underwater housing. The G10 supports RAW shooting without any hacks, which simplifies the post-processing. In 2010, I added an external strobe, the Inon D2000. It's triggered optically by the built-in flash of the G10. A second strobe followed as did incremental upgrades to the G12 and finally G15.
Photographs from my digital cameras are post-processed with Adobe
Photoshop Lightroom. Sometimes the image is re-cropped and the exposure
adjusted. Noise reduction on high
ISO images is also applied. The
oldest photos (1990s) are from film negatives and were scanned onto
Kodak PhotoCD while the later images (2000-2004) were digitized from
slide film by a professional lab. In all cases the resolution is reduced
for easy viewing on the web.