|my interest in photography has been around since as early as junior high, when i had a darkroom at home and did a lot of black and white photography. more recently i was digitally reintroduceded to photography as a significant part of my job at gear west ski and run, where i did all the product shots for the catalogs i produced for them. i bought paige a little 2megapixel canon a60 for her trip to guatamala in spring 2004, and when we went to peru that same summer, i used it for all our vacation shots. thanks to the instant feedback of an lcd screen, those peru pictures turned out great and i was firmly hooked by the digital photography revolution. my first foray into action photography was shooting the 2005 twin cities marathon working with paul phillips of competitive image. i lucked out with this picture and have been keeping at it since. winter 2005-06 i traveled to canada, sweden and norway following the world cup cross country skiing circuit. i also shot a how-to book of birch craft projects for north house folk school, and took pictures for two weddings. in 2007 i returned to scandinavia to shoot cross country skiing, and in jan 2008 i will do the same in alberta, canada.
i have a canon 20D with the add-on battery grip. i think the battery pack is a no-brainer. two batteries last for days of constant shooting, and having the extra buttons for shooting vertical frame is a nice feature.
i hope to upgrade to a canon 1D of some sort before too long. not that i have any problems with the 20D. it's easy to use, 5fps is pretty good for action, 8.2 megapixels seems to be more than enough, takes great pictures and has all the necessary funtions as far as i can tell. the only reason i want to upgrade is to get a larger-frame sensor. i really like wide-angle photography, and moving to a 1.3x factor from the 1.6x of the 20D would be nice. my camera still has a lot of life left in it, though, and i might want to wait until the price on a used 1D mark II N drops a little. a full-frame sensor would be amazing, but both the 5D and the 1Ds are only 3fps which is a little too slow for professional sports photography. update lately i've been realizing that i want two bodies - one for wide and one for telephoto. so my current idea is to get a 5D or a used 1Ds and keep my wide lens on it. my 20D can be for longer lenses. never taking the wide lens off the 5D or 1Ds would keep the african dust out, too - a big plus. the 5D and the old 1Ds cost about the same. the 5D uses the same batteries as my 20D, has a newer, better processor, and a larger lcd screen. the 1Ds is a true pro camera, weather resistant, bigger batteries, 100% viewfinder, built like a tank. older. tough to say which one...
i currently own four lenses. the ef 135mm f/2l is an amazing portrait lens or indoor sports lens. an eBay purchase. many reviews say it's canon's sharpest lens. it's quite small for its focal length compared to some of the other telephoto lenses out there (as well as black, not attention-grabbing white) so it's good for taking pictures of people without their knowing. all the shots in trish's wedding gallery were with this lens.
the ef 50mm f/1.4 is wicked fast and is proving to be great in the jungle where there is never much light. this was a wedding present from paul and the competitive image crew. on my 20D it works out to be 80mm which is great for portraits or products. the amount of foreground and background blur when you're shooting at wide aperatures is something i really like as well. i took all the photos in the honeymoon gallery with this lens.
the 16-35mm f/2.8 is just as good as its reputation. even on my 1.6x crop sensor, i can begin to get some true wide angle composition, which i love. having this lens has made me rethink my stance on getting a 5D for the full-frame sensor. it's not actually that often that i need more than 3 fps of shutter speed, and now that i have the best wide angle zoom on the market, i would like to be able to use its full potential.
the ef 70-200mm f2.8l IS is definitely a dream lens. paying extra for the f/2.8 vs the f/4 as well as the image stabilization was definitely the right thing to do: bird shots in the jungle, gorilla shots in the jungle, night sprint ski races, night soccer games, early-morning running, triathalon, ski race starts. i shoot a lot in low light, and i'm not really a monopod person.
the 1.4x converter is compatible on both my 135mm f/2 and on the 70-200mm f/2.8. for only $300 i can in effect add two lenses to my collection. adding the 1.4x to my 135mm f/2 gives me a 189mm f/2.8 (admittedly that focal length is covered by the other lens, but probably a bit sharper, and definitely smaller and lighter in this case). adding it to the 70-200mm f/2.8 gives me a 98-280mm f/3.5.
the leica minilux is my one film camera. i got it on ebay. it was initially quite a headache because it broke during my first roll of film so it had to go to germany for repairs. it arrived home just after i moved to africa, so it was a while before i ever got to use it. the lens is great and for the most part the auto exposure is spot on. some photos from this camera are on my photo blog under the leica label.