Perhaps because I started "B.D." ("Before Digital"),
I believe that there is a unique discipline inherent in shooting film (whether
negatives or transparencies) that has helped my digital work. There are strengths
and weaknesses in each format, and I know I have benefited from both.
I also sought knowledgeable criticism. This takes a little courage, but I
have found it invaluable. Whether it is an instructor, a professional photographer,
or a camera club, there are local resources that share your interest and can
look objectively at your work. There is also the broader stage of competitions
and juried shows.
The technical craft of photography is only part of the effort. After all,
this is a visual art form and, as such, requires creativity, aesthetics, interpretation,
and personal "vision." I have had a more difficult time with "art"
than I have with "craft," mainly because it has meant leaving my
comfort zone and being willing to take a few personal risks.
And here's where the "old dog/new tricks" part comes in.
At this point, I have chosen not to limit my subject matter or techniques; I'm
having too much fun to consider eliminating anything. I continue to seek out
images that are simple in line and color, but not in content. I strive always
to improve, to keep my eyes and mind open, and to maintain a student's
attitude of discovery. I consider finding this pursuit, albeit in my "better-late-than-never"
years, to be an incredible gift. I truly love the whole endeavor, and that really
says it all!
Jim Mitchell's Equipment List
Cameras: Nikon D2X, Nikon D2H, Nikon D200
Fixed Lenses (All Nikkor):
· 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye
· 50mm f/1.8
· 85mm f/2.8 PC
· 105mm f/2.8 Micro
· 200mm f/4 Micro
· 300mm f/2.8
· 500mm f/4
Zoom Lenses (All Nikkor):
· 12-24mm f/4
· 28-70mm f/2.8
· 70-200mm f/2.8 VR
· 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
Tele-converters: Nikkor 1.4x, 1.7x, 2.0x
Flashes: Nikon SB-800, Nikon SB-600
Tripods: Gitzo 1258 (carbon fiber), Gitzo 1325 (carbon fiber)
Miscellaneous: Kirk BH-1 Ball Head, Kirk King Cobra Action
Printers: Epson R2400, Epson 3800