My first digital camera was a 3x zoom, 3.3mp Minolta Dimage S304 compact camera, bought in 2001 to document the Cassandra, the Nova Scotia Portfolio. My first explorations of working with digital SLR cameras began in 2002, but it wasn't until 2003 that I would purchase my first DLSR; from then, it would be only another two years before I would set film aside for good, and shift to creating all my work with digital cameras.
2020- Canon EOS R5 (x2)
I currently work with a pair of Canon EOS R5 bodies, one of which is converted to be infrared sensitive via Lifepixel. All but one of my lenses are EF, with the exception being the stellar RF 85mm f/1.2 L lens.
Since 2014, I have used a Sony mirrorless camera as my "snapshot" camera, and while there was no temptation to expand the Sony system further, the mirrorless approach did pique my interest, in terms of the infrared photography advantages.
With the release of the EOS R5, I realized that it would make everything with the infrared side of my work so much easier, so decided to yet again upgrade both my colour & infrared cameras. With the mirrorless camera, it is now possible to see the infrared image through the viewfinder, before I make an image, and even more advantageous, it now has accurate auto-focus, something that has not been possible before except through live view!
2015-2020 Canon EOS 5DsR & EOS 5Ds (infrared converted)
In the spring of 2015, Canon announced the 50mp EOS 5Ds and EOS 5DsR; it was a no-brainer to upgrade my aging EOS 5D MKII's with new bodies (I am in no way unhappy with the 5D MKII, but at 8 years old, I certainly was starting to think more about how much longer the shutters would work for).
I bought a EOS 5DsR for colour photography, and converted a EOS 5Ds to infrared (which also removed the anti-aliasing filter, essentially making the IR camera into a 5DsR!).
2008-2015 Canon EOS 5D MKII (x2)
In the spring of 2008, Canon announced the EOS 5D MKII, and the 17mm Tilt-shift lens. Both of these tools seemed purpose-made for me; the 21mp EOS 5D MKII provided double the resolution of the Nikons I was using at the time, and the EF 17mm f/4 TS/E L tilt-shift was a dream lens, not just for architecture, but for my work with the Nude as well.
In the fall of 2008, I bought two Canon EOS 5D MKII bodies, and converted one via Lifepixel to be infrared sensitive. Shifting back to Canon also permitted me to invest in an EF 85mm f/1.2 L lens, which I had wanted to own since I first tried the older Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 SSC lens, and fell in love with its shallow depth of field.
2005-2008 Nikon D70 (x2), D80 (x2), D300, D300s
After working with the Sigma SD10 in the fall of 2004, in early 2005 Nikon offered to convert a Nikon D70 to be infrared sensitive at no charge, with a full warranty, if I switched camera systems from Canon to theirs. After only a little hesitation, I jumped at the chance.
Though the Nikon D70 had the same resolution as the Canon EOS 10D, the ability to work with infrared light in the digital real was just fabulous, as the Miranda, the Nova Scotia Portfolio shows.
In January 2007, I upgraded my infrared Nikon D70 to a new Nikon D80, converted to infrared by Lifepixel. I shifted to the new camera for two reasons - first, my Nikon D70had worn out one shutter (after making 67,000 images), and second, the new D80 has an RGB histogram, which will make exposing with the converted camera more accurate.
A few weeks later, I bought a Nikon D300 camera for my colour work, and quickly realized I should have waited until I could have afforded two D300s and converted one to IR. The D300/D300s was such a nice camera, and makes the D80 feel quite inferior in comparison (though the image quality of both is near identical, the physical experience of working with the D300 was way ahead of that of the D80).
When the D80 came back from conversion, it was immediately evident how much of an improvement it provided over the infrared converted D70. The additional resolution was actually quite apparent, and as much as I didn’t think it would be part of the reason to get the camera, it ended up providing a major improvement over the previous one.
2004-2005 Sigma SD10
In the fall of 2004, I began investigating the potential of infrared converted digital cameras; at the time, few people had ventured into this world, and there was only spotty information about the potential. An unexpected offer to purchase a Sigma SD10 camera and lens set opened the door; the camera was unique as it was designed with a removable dust protector - which happened to also be the infrared high-pass filter, protecting the images from infrared light. This easily removed filter made it simple to convert into an infrared-sensitive camera. I picked up a Hoya R72 filter, and after removing the dust protector, I had myself an infrared camera. The first session with it was so inspiring, proving that digital infrared was not only a possibility, but in fact an accessible choice. Ultimately, however, the challenges of working with the Sigma (limited lens choice, for one thing) lead me to seek an infrared solution from a more mainstream manufacturer.
2003-2005 Canon EOS 10D
In the spring of 2003, I made the leap into digital capture, selling my medium format Mamiya RB system to pay for a Canon EOS 10D digital SLR system. The decision to move into digital imaging for some of my work has been a gradual one, taking almost a year from my first experience with the Canon D60 to the final decision to acquire a digital SLR (DSLR) camera.