Stan is a native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his education, from elementary through college, in the Los Angeles area. His love of photography blossomed during a trip to Hawaii in 1990. It was while showing the photographs from this trip that Stan met someone who would mentor him for the next two years, instructing him not only how to get the most out of his camera, but how to get the most out of photography.
Though he has studio experience, Stan usually works outside of the studio. His medium of choice is color slide film for a number of reasons but mainly because, as he says, "it gives honest results". "Digital is great, even indispensable for certain events", he adds, "but film forces you to slow down, to get back to the fundamentals of photography." Occasionally he works with black and white. He appreciates this medium for its haunting beauty and historical connotations. Stan is a fan of natural lighting, using artificial light only when absolutely necessary.
Each of his subjects has its own story to tell, whether it be the emotions expressed in the smile of a child, the history behind a 300-year-old castle, the grace and power displayed by a 25 ton jet, or the beauty of nature itself. The goal of Stan's work is to bring the viewer into the image to experience that story. He achieves this by letting his subjects be themselves and/or studying his subjects before he photographs them.
One of Stan's dreams is to meet a client who will say to him, "We're going to Africa (or Hawaii, Japan, the Caribbean, etc.) to study the area for a month. We want you to follow us around with your camera and document our work."
My equipment currently consists of one Nikon D200 body, one Nikon N90 body, one Canon AE-1 body, one Canon PowerShot A720IS, and one Sony Mavica MVC-FD88 (remember those?) digital camera. On the Nikons, I use Nikon lenses exclusively; an 18-200mm f3.5-6.6G VR zoom, a 24-120mm f3.5-5.6 zoom, an 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF, an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR, and a 2x teleconverter. When the need arises, I use a 105mm f2.5. On the Canon I use a Tamron 28-70mm zoom, a Canon f1.4 50mm, and a Sigma 75-300mm zoom.
For special events, I use the Nikon D200. Its auto-focus capabilities and multiple metering selections ensure I'll be ready for any shot, and that it will be properly exposed. When I'm out at the air show, I'll usually have both the N90 and the D200. The N90 will have the 24-120mm lens attached. Its job is to handle static displays and wide-angle runway shots. The D200 will sport the 80-400mm VR. Depending on my location, that 80-400mm is almost like being a stowaway on certain aircraft; it gets you that close.
I still like shooting film (see Why I Still Shoot Film below) so the N90 is my weapon of choice for travel.
The Canon AE-1 goes on local self-assignment work. Since it is not auto-focus and I use it in Manual mode, it forces me to slow down and concentrate on what I'm doing, what I'm trying to communicate with a particular image. Since each roll has only a finite number of frames, I have to be more discriminating with the shots I do take. On occasion, it goes along as a second camera on certain shoots.
The Canon Powershot is one fun little camera. It delivers surprisingly high-quality results for a camera of its size. Plus it will shoot video. For grab shots when I'm not carrying my workhorse kit, it is perfect. It has more than earned its place in my arsenal.
In addition to the hardware, I believe that a good photographer's equipment should include plenty of industry-related reading material. Subscribing to several photography magazines including Popular Photography & Imaging, Shutterbug, Digital Photo (formerly PC Photo), and Photo District News, and checking out online newsletters and blogs keep me abreast of what's happening in photography. There is also my ever-growing library of photography books to which I often refer. Three books that have been extremely helpful are The Professional Photographer's Guide to Shooting & Selling Nature & Wildlife Photos, Shooting & Selling Your Photos, and Techniques of Natural Light Photography, all by Jim Zuckerman. Stock Photography: The Complete Guide by Anne and Carl Purcell has plenty of valuable information, as does the ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography. To locate markets to sell my work, I refer to Photographer's Market first.
Call me 'old school', but I still prefer film. Film gets you back to basics. You have to really think about composition, lighting, your subject, etc., and how all those factors will be affected by the film type and speed you have selected. The advent of digital cameras has rendered film a lost art.
With digital, your work is limited to the technology available at the time you purchased your camera. For example, say you purchased a 3-megapixel camera a few years back. The highest-quality photograph you can ever make with that camera is 3 megapixels.
With film, no matter when you took the photo or purchased the camera, the image can be scanned using the latest technology available today or tomorrow. For example, say you took a photograph back in 1990 with a camera you bought in 1980. You could have had it scanned a few years back as a 3-megapixel image. Today you can have that same original slide scanned again, but at 45 megapixels. When technology improves tomorrow, well, you get the idea.
Digital is essential for events and journalism where a fast turn-around is paramount. There's nothing like shooting an event and handing an in-camera-edited memory card to your client right there. Or being able to edit them on-site via a laptop and burning a CD/DVD for your client. Better still, being able to post those edited images directly on the Internet. You cannot do that with film. Nor can you get hundreds or thousands of shots on one roll of film like you can with one memory card.
What's the bottom line? I'll shoot digital for events and assignments. When I'm shooting for myself I'll shoot film. Oh, and one more thing; film will outlast each and every hard drive you'll ever buy.