A photo of the photographer,
Why another website?
This website presents the special features of one of the worlds
most diverse countries, Australia and especially the features of the
bushland with its flora and fauna.
Who is the photographer?
Don McNicol lives with his family in Sydney. Originally from
country Victoria, he has a unique prospective on the diversity of
his country and loves to share it with others.
What equipment is used to take the
Don uses a variety of cameras, depending on the subject.
His favorite camera is his new Canon EOS-5D Mk II, a 21Megapixal camera.
He also uses a Canon 20D. Film cameras
owned and used include the Nikon F2 Photomic (pictured right) with a
complete range of lenses including the famous 55mm micro-nikor lens
(his first serious camera), a Hasselblad CM500 and a Mamiya RB67
(the hasselblad and the Mamiya are both large format film cameras).
How do you take your Panoramas?
"I either use a special fisheye lens and crop the photo to the
needed dimension or I sometimes take a longer shot at 35mm and crop
it. Because the mega pixels are reasonably high, you can do
that without losing definition. Some people, like Ken Duncan,
my favourite photographer at the moment, have a special camera just
for doing panoramas. They cost about $60,000 and can't be used
for anything else, so I'll stick to creative ways of creating
You sometimes call your
photographs "Fine Art Photographs", why?
"Fine art photos are defined as photos that have been manipulated in
some way by a computer. Filters are added and colours changed
to make a photo appear different from the original. You can
see from some of my photos that they have what looks like a crayon
or painted background. Sometimes backgrounds are changed and a
subject can be placed in a totally different background. This
process is know as fine art photography."
Do you use a computer to edit all
"No not all of them. Most film camera photos are natural and
more time needs to be taken on site to make sure that you have the
desired light and shadows to achieve the best result. Most
famous photographers these days use computers to enhance their
photos, though, especially if they use digital cameras. For
instance, I take most of my shots in what is known as RAW format.
You need a computer to "finish" the taking of the photo.
taking a photo in RAW format means that none of the editing is done
by the camera. The camera merely takes the digital information
and stores it in memory for me to edit it later on a computer."
"I use Photoshop CS with the RAW plugin. I can change things
like light and colour temperature, saturation of all or individual
colours, exposure and white light balance. All this is usually
done by a camera as the photo is taken. If this is done then
it leaves little room for you to move later without depleting the
quality of the end result."
It is far better to research a site before taking photos so that you
know when the best lighting is. It is beeter to take the photo
naturally than to manipulate it later.
Some of your photos seem to be
higher definition than your camera can take?
"I have had to take photos for billboards that are 2 stories high
and twice as long! To get an image that will not pixilate
(lose definition), I sometimes use a trick that a lot of digital
photographers used when digital cameras were only 1 mega pixel!
If you have a camera that is only 5 or 6 mega pixel, you can still
make a photo that ends up 22 mega pixel or higher."
"The method used is to take a series of shots, overlapping each shot
and later on stitch them together with a special program. For
instance, to take a photo of Sydney Harbour to make a 22 mega pixel
photo, mount your 4 mega pixel camera on a tripod and commence to
take a photo as far left and high of your view as possible.
Move your camera horizontally until you have an overlap of the last
photo of 20%. Take another photo. Do the same again
moving your camera to the right and take a third photo."
Now move your camera back to the first position and vertically move
your camera down so as to overlap the first shot by 20%. Now
take three more photos from left to right. that means you have
six shots. Now stitch them together in a stitching program and
you have a photograph that is approximately 22 mega pixels.
It's as simple as that! Satellite imaging use this technique
all the time to get giga and tera pixels. They take thousands
of shots and join them together. Take a look at the
GlobelExplorer site for instance."