Today’s blog is a bit of a different introduction for me, while I am introducing you to a photographer whose work I enjoy, I am also introducing you to a friend. I knew the blog sv-takeiteasy, though I don’t quite remember how our paths crossed, I suspect it was Monochrome Madness, but Chris might tell you different. We soon realised that we both lived in Melbourne and a plan was hatched to meet. I have met many people through my blog, and this has been a wonderful side effect. We met, and then, as you would know from yesterday’s blog, we went out to the wetlands last weekend to take photos. I am sure the first of many trips. I do love what she shows on her blog and it is quite a unique perspective, that many of us will never get to see.
I do enjoy her blog as well, the adventures that her and her partner go on in their boat the takeiteasy, is wonderful. They recently went away for 2 months and it was fantastic following their trip virtually. Chris takes photos everywhere they go, and the photos are great as well. It is like a well rounded package.
I asked Chris where in the world they are, though I think I already told you that.
I am based in Melbourne, Australia. The state of Victoria is a varied, a scenic region of coasts, mountains and dry plains with a temperate climate, which makes it a wonderful place for photography.
But Melbourne is where I work, really. My partner Wade and I escape at every opportunity, typically down the West Coast or on our boat Take It Easy (for those who wonder what SV means at the start of the name, it’s short for Sailing Vessel). We spend a lot of time on board, which gives us a different range of locations: Islands in Bass Strait, Tasmania, Islands in the Tasman Sea… Cruising the coast is where we want to be, which will become our full-time occupation in a couple of years.
Here is their boat, the Take It Easy. I like seeing all the different places they go to. You get a different view of the coastline because, while we can go and visit most places from land, they get to see them from out at sea, and it is often very different. Though, living on it, I don’t know, there just doesn’t seem enough room.
How long have you been taking photos and why do you was the second question.
I got my first SLR about 5 years ago. It coincided with our sailing getting more serious. We were going to amazing places and seeing seascapes and scenery few people have a chance to discover. It was all about taking photos to share our experiences with friends and family. I got more serious in the last two years, really trying to capture some special images of the wilderness we find ourselves in, as well as the ‘holiday’ snaps. But what really got me going a lot more on this photographic adventure has been starting our website 8 months ago. It gave me a focus: seascapes and bird photography. Now I don’t go anywhere without my camera and an increasing collection of lenses. It’s a bit obsessive!
Chris is very keen on photographing birds, which made her the perfect person for me to go and shoot birds with. She had the permit when we went out last week and more importantly the knowledge about the birds. She knew what a lot of them were, and the ones she didn’t, she knew how to find out. I really enjoy looking at her bird photos, and now that I have been out with her, there is a greater appreciation of them.
I love hearing what inspires people, so I asked Chris about her inspirations.
Nature, nature, nature! We get to see such breathtaking places in our sailing. You don’t have to go far to be impressed by stunning landscapes, coast line, the ocean, the wildlife.
Birds have a special appeal. I was introduced to bird watching by two dear friends – Sue and Lorraine, and now I have the added pleasure of being able to “capture” them in my images. They are a challenge though. They are either small, skittish, elusive, or moving way too fast!
And now that I have a macro lens, I am also discovering the secret world of plants and insects – the details you can’t see with the naked eye… It’s fascinating!
My other source of inspiration are the photographers I follow. Leanne Cole for a start, who has been central to the development of my network. There are so many inspiring, creative, talented people. The One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me www.robynsfineart.wordpress.com has done just that too: captivate me and challenge me.
I think surrounding myself with people who are so much more skilled than me has to rub off somehow! :) I learn a lot, it motivates me and keeps stretching me!
She has a macro lens now and it is the beginning of new work for her as well. I am sure we will start seeing lots of images like this. The macro world of the coastlines she and Wade visit. It is a new part of her photography and I am looking forward to seeing what she does with it over the next year or so.
I asked her if there was anything special about the way she worked.
With bird photography, my idea of a great image is one showing the bird doing “something interesting” to display its beautiful plumage and graceful shape. An egret on log just doesn’t do it, but an egret stalking or in flight, now we’re talking – and snapping away madly! It helps to be patient, but if like me you lack a good dose of this, knowing about your subject helps. So I research their habitat, their feeding habits, what they do just before taking flight, etc…
As for seascapes and coastal images, these are a bit of a challenge too as most of them are taken from the moving ‘platform’ that is Take It Easy.
I can imagine a moving platform would be a great challenge, being on the boat she must see some amazing sunsets and sunrises, but a tripod isn’t going to do much good on a moving boat. I think what she gets is fantastic.
I like how there is a variety on her blog as well, her sites reminds me of mine a little, the different things she tries. I like having a go at most sorts of photography when I can and I think Chris might be the same.
I asked her about her gear.
I currently have a Canon 60D, soon to move to a 7D Mark II. I am happy with a cropped sensor and will stick to this. My lenses are:
- Tamron 18-270, a multi-purpose lens which is great for travelling and is my ‘default’ lens.
- Canon EF100-400 L IS for bird photography
- Canon EFS 10-22 USM wide angle for landscapes
- Canon 100 L IS USM macro for botanical work
- I rarely use my tripod, a Gitzo GT2541 and Gitzo Bubble Ball head, although as I am starting to learn about long exposure and astral photography, I will increasingly get it out of the bag!
I had to show one more photo, Bengie, their cat, who goes everywhere with them, she is their cat on a cat. I think it is amazing to see a cat who loves to sail. I’ve also met Bengie and she is a gorgeous one.
This has been an interesting introduction for me, it isn’t often I have met the people I introduce, actually I think this might be the first time. I feel like I have more insight into her photography. Quite interesting. I would like to thank Chris for giving me permission to feature her blog here. I am sure you will all go and visit her site, sv-takeiteasy, and see more of the amazing photos she has. You will see some great images of the Australian coastline, in good weather and bad. Here is a gallery of images that I really liked.