Digital Photography

My first digital camera was a 3x zoom, 2.1mp compact camera, bought in 2001 to document the Cassandra, the Nova Scotia Portfolio. My first serious experiments with digital cameras were in 2002, but it wasn't until 2003 that I would purchase my first DLSR camera; from then, it would be only another two years before I would set film aside for good, and shift 100% to creating all my work with digital cameras. 

2020- Canon EOS R5

Since 2014, I have used a Sony mirrorless camera s my "snapshot" camera, and while there was no temptation to pursue that system further, it 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

In the spring of 2008, Canon almost simultaneously 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 was a doubling of resolution from the Nikons I was using at the time, and the 17mm Tilt-Shift was a dream lens, not just for architecture, but for my work with the Nude as well.

2005-2008 Nikon D70, D80, D300, D300s

After working with the Sigma SD10 in the fall of 2004, I received an offer from Nikon that they would convert a camera 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 converted Nikon D70 to a new Nikon D80, which I converted to infrared by Lifepixel, in the USA. 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. Ironically, the main reason most people upgrade cameras (more resolution) isn’t much of a factor with my work, because of how I use advanced digital techniques - stitching and exposure blending.

 

A few weeks later, I bought a Nikon D300 camera for my colour work, and have since come to realize I should have waited a little longer until I could have afforded two D300s and converted one to IR. The D300 is such a nice camera, and makes the D80 feel quite inferior in comparison (though the image quality of both is near identical, the photographic experience with the D300 is 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 seriously 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 at cost opened the door; the camera was unique for a couple of reason – it used a 3.4mp Foveon sensor, and it was designed with a removable dust protector converts the SD10 into an infrared-sensitive camera. I picked up a Hoya R72 filter, and with the removal of 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 (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, trading in my medium format Mamiya RB system 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. Because of my position working in photo retail, I have hands on experience with many of the digital products that come onto the market, and as a result, while I haven't owned a digital camera before the EOS 10D, I had worked with almost all the high-end DSLR cameras on the market and knew what to look for when I finally decided to make a purchase.