Although I owned an SLR for around 6 years, I rarely took it out of full auto mode. In fact, I was at a loss as to what aperture priorty mode was. It was when honeymooning in Australia in 2000 that I came across the Australian photographer Peter Lik. Peter has some truly stunning panoramic images. His book was probably the first book of photographic images I purchased.
During the trip I managed to take some interesting snaps without really understanding the mechanics of it. I entered some of the images in a local flower show competition and much to my surprise won two cups. This spurred me on to replace my old Minolta 700Xi SLR with the Minolta Dynax 7. At around the same time, I joined a local camera club and started to do quite well in the club competitions.
For Christmas 2002, my wife kindly arranged a photographic weekend with Lee Frost (www.photoadventures.co.uk) up in Northumberland, England. This location was particularly appealing, as not only do I originate from the North East, but my family still live there. My plan was to put what I had learnt from Lee to good use in subsequent visits.
The first surprise of the trip was the 5AM start. Anyone who knows me understand that I don't like mornings. I am glad I made the effort. It has taught me that some of the best landscape pictures are taken during morning light. Now everytime I visit the North East I am usually out before sunrise.
That first Lee Frost weekend proved to be a lot more expensive than I had bargained for. I had little appreciation for different cameras, and had only heard about medium format let alone having seen a camera. A couple of people were shooting with Xpan, a camera I had never heard of. Since that visit I bought a secondhand Bronica medium format camera and an Xpan. The only downside was the weight of the back pack.
Time has now moved on and now I have full embraced digital. It started with the Minolta Dynax 7D. A fine 6 mega-pixel DSLR, I was never really comfortable with the switch, and would shoot both digital and film. I was using film mainly for landscape. In 2006 I took the ultimate plunge and swapped Minolta for Canon. Moving to the Canon EOS 5D with L series lenses proved to be a revelation. Now I shoot with the Canon EOS 5D mkII and have never looked back. I occassionaly shoot film with the Xpan, but the majority of my work now is digital.
Photography still hold many surprises. I recently go into Holga cameras (cheap plastic cameras that take 110 roll film), digital infrared (I bought a second hand Canon 20D and had it converted) and now extreme exposure photograpy using a 10-stop filter. I have been so taken with the 10-stop filter that I have dedicated a website to it. See www.10stop.net.
Photography has become a real passion of mine. I trust you enjoy these pictures as much as I have had in taking them.
All photographs and graphics displayed on this website are the exclusive property of Mark Crocker, and may not be used for any purpose without written prior permission. If you are interested in using any of my images for your website or print materials, then please contact me for pricing.