The sophomore guest on Ask A Photographer is none other than Mr Green Senior himself, Craig Green. Ever since I was a child - and even before - my father has been the family videographer, capturing our holidays, sporting endeavours and family events.
He's always encouraged my own photographic pursuits, gifting me my first digital camera (the 2MP Kodak Easyshare) in the early 2000's and later a more serious digital camera to take on our travels, the 7MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8. Since then, I've continued to borrow gear from him, be it tripods, lenses or jumpers - thanks Pa!
In this interview, I turn the spotlight over to him, picking his brain for his own approach to photography.
Let's get started!
MG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your photography?
CG: I'm from Berry, on the South Coast of NSW, living on a little 5 acre property with my wife Sarah, 5 horses, 3 chickens, a dog and there could be a cat around here somewhere.
I used to be the family videographer. Any family event, I'd be there, shooting all the action, and then spend hours trying to edit on a "you beaut" VHS recorder.
I then purchased my first DSLR in 2010 and it totally changed how I viewed shooting. I don’t think the video cam has been out of it's bag since!
MG: What are your favourite styles to shoot?
CG: I seem to be drawn to the water with my photography, which I find a bit strange having been born and bred in the country. I think it's the challenge of capturing a well balanced, long exposure of the water flow that draws me there.
I've done a few family portrait shoots as well and really enjoy them. I'm always curious to find out what will make the kids laugh and smile in front of mom and dad!
MG: If you could re-visit any location to photograph again, where would you go?
CG: I love the Aussie outback - I've been out to Uluru on 3 occasions, the last time in 2011.
I had my DSLR with me then but still didn't really understand much about photography. There is something about that red sandy dirt and deep blue skies which lends itself to capturing a great image. I'm to keen to see if my further understanding of photography will get me some keepers for the pool room!
MG: You recently switched from Canon to Sony. How have you found the change?
Not so much the actual switch to Sony, just the decision process - it only took about 18 months to switch! Once I had decided to make the transition, I then had to choose which Sony - I kept waiting for 'the next Sony'. I went long and purchased the A7Rll and haven't looked back. I'm now taking pics I wouldn't have even thought about with my old Canons. Really impressed with the Sony!
MG: If you're traveling to a new location, what processes do you take to plan your shot, before and in the moment?
CG: I think planning your shots is a big part of having a successful shoot! As I keep telling my family, people don't plan to fail …. they fail to plan!
Google Maps is a great place to get an overview of new locations. Weather apps let you know the likelihood of clouds, rain and sun, as well as the timing of sunrise/sunset.
On arrival, I'll spend time walking around, looking for points of interest as potential focal points for the images. I'll also keep an eye on the weather and the clouds - a sudden burst of light can be a great opportunity to shoot. Often while shooting a sunset/sunrise, we get caught facing the one direction - it pays to pause and look around to see where the light might be highlighting something behind you as well.
MG: What's one aspect of your photography you would like to work on?
CG: I do tend to go for that "big image." The single landscape shot that tries to capture the entire countryside, the waterfall, the awesome looking tree, the rainbow with the Unicorns flying off into the sunset!
I've seen awesome pics of particular segments of a scene, "micro-landscapes". I'm keen to work on those, I just need to break every potential landscape down into its components and see which of those would make for a good micro-landscape.
MG: When you create your images, where do you draw inspiration from?
CG: Although being new to Instagram, I have to say I'm a big fan of the service. It conveniently showcases some of the best photographers and locations. It's easy to search - and research - via the hashtags, and draw inspiration from the big accounts. I still like scrolling through online photography magazines as well.
MG: Lastly, what's your favourite book or film?
CG: Book? I like my sci-fi, and the Dune series I find awesome. I've read the trilogy a few times and am still trying to catch up on the prequels. My all time favourite film would have to be Blade Runner - really looking forward to the sequel later this year. Although my copy of the 2010 Rugby League Grand Final comes in at a very close second!