As time has gone by, we've actually had the opportunity to meet in person, which just added to my opinion of her talent, her spirit and her enthusiasm.
I sent her some questions and here are her personal responses:
When did you first get interested in photography? When I was a child…reluctantly. My father is a photog (35mm) and was always dragging us with him hiking, climbing, caving and he always had his camera with him. I used to get SO annoyed that he would stop every 10 minutes to leave the hiking trail because he spotted a bit of fungus he just had to take a picture of (RE-ally, fungus?). Then came the fuss (or what seemed like fuss when I was 6 yrs old) of his getting set up for the shot! Oh, how I used to rage inwardly. Now, I’m dragging my husband off the trail every ten minutes for exactly the same reason! Does my dad ever laugh at that now!
What kind of camera was your first and what do you use now? I had a funny little boxy camera when I was 12, I can’t even remember what it was, but I know I loved it. Then I had a Polaroid that I loved because you could see the results in a few minutes. I had a Minolta 35mm when I was in my 20’s, but I was more interested in art then, painting, woodworking.
Now I use a Canon EOS Rebel T2i (18mp); I also have a Pentax Asahi Spotmatic 35mm with a 200mm lens which I love. My point and shoot is a Fujifilm Finepix S1500 (10 mp) – which I also love. I used to take it everywhere, though I don’t use it as much nowadays. It takes awesome pics!
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages between ‘point and shoot’ and ‘DSLR’? The obvious advantage of a point and shoot for me is the weight and size and the fact I can stuff it in a waist pouch and carry it. It takes beautiful pics, but the worst part for me is the focusing (be it AF or MF or the AF/AE lock) if I’m trying to photograph a spider in a web and there is (for eg.) lots of green grass in the background, it’s a fight to get it to focus on the spider! You think you have the focus (locked or not) and then, it loses it right to the background! Arrgh! Therein lies the problem, you can’t change what it is…a point and shoot.
The worst part of a DSLR is the amount of ‘stuff’ you need to cart around for a day of shooting. I need macro lens, wide angle lens and telephoto lens,hood, filters, batteries, cards, etc, etc. The pack gets bigger every year. But I love a DSLR to be able to fine tune your settings, or use the AV (aperture priority, for ex.) if you need to. My point and shoot has an AP…but with a DSLR, it really works. LOL As soon as I got my first DSLR, I could focus on that same spider the first time I tried…Hallelujah! I love the same things as everyone else, I think, the ability to shoot in RAW/JPEG; create interesting shots and have your DSLR help you do that by taking sharper pictures with more depth: so many options for creativity! The ability to be able to print your pics at very large sizes without losing resolution is wonderful. I could go on, but…
What type of pictures do you tend to shoot the most? I’m a nature nut…though I do love to shoot animals and infrequently people. I tend toward rustic, historical buildings and objects of pioneer life, the simple life…
What type of art, photography etc. do you have in your own home? I love colour! I tend towards an eclectic mix of photography (often my own, so I can rotate it seasonally); along with folk art (some of it mine). I am drawn to fall and winter art; whimsical art and wildlife paintings, particularly by Canadian artists and photographers. I won’t start listing them or we’ll be here all day! Go
!!! I don’t have a particular ‘look’ or ‘type’ of
anything that I purchase…it has to appeal to me either on a soulful level or
comical level or I just have to have it! Canada
What is one tip you’ve learned to improve your photography? One I love…Use your telephoto as a macro! It’s harder than it sounds, but it’s great as I love to photograph bees and wasps.
When you do portrait work, what is your biggest challenge? I don’t do portraits as a rule, but I am called upon at various functions to do it anyway, with good results! Lighting first; I get that worked out as soon as I arrive. I prefer to take portraits outdoors, preferably on an overcast day (or in the shade). The next hardest part is just getting everyone to FOCUS and not make faces! I really respect anyone that can do that for a living!
What type of photography is more difficult for you? I have to try them all first…
Is there a particular photo you just haven’t managed to shoot yet, but you really would like to get? The
Alps…ah, yes…the Alps
on a misty morning! In the meantime, I’ll
settle for another trip to the Rockies!
Who influenced your love of photography? Both my parents…my dad (the photographer), but also my mom, Joan Patterson, was a great inspiration of mine for both art and being an artist. My Grandmother, Alice Steeves, said, don’t listen to anyone who tells you can’t do anything…GO
AND DO IT! Awesome advice!
Name one photographer you admire living or dead and why. Freeman Patterson – the quintessential Canadian Nature Photographer (and writer): I remember seeing his photos as a child and thinking…’WOW…that’s so beautiful….how did he do that?’ My father loves his work!
Which shot, up until now, are you most proud of? Hmm, good question. I do love my ‘Eye To Eye’ (dragonfly), it really stirs up conversation wherever I go – one of my best selling prints (to date)…but honestly, there is about 20 shots I am proud of!
One tip you could give a relatively new photographer…Take lots of pics, lots and lots and be critical of your own work. When you’re first starting out…you take pictures of any and everything (then you want to sell them all). Be ruthless, pare it down, and find the subject within the scene…bring it in close; cut out the clutter. One professor used to say…ask yourself…is that just a nice picture of a kitchen…or does it say something, tell a story…even better, he said…would YOU personally buy it…if you wouldn’t buy it, don’t keep it! Wow, that was a good one! It’s hard to be critical of your own work, but do it anyway!
How do you use social media to grow your photography business…FB for starters; its growing slowly but surely. I have an Etsy website and I will expand from there. I don’t dare start twitter, because I will surely forget to tweet…I feel I spend far too much time on the computer and not enough outdoors taking photos. Still it’s part of the bus. so I am learning. Computers are not my strong suit; how’s that for funny (cue the laughter). I don’t have an iphone, which is heresy these days. Haha! Who knows, I may just do it in the future…and then I can tweet a pic from the
What shot has eluded you so far? An owl!
What is your ultimate goal as a photographer? To become the GO TO photog for The Nature of Things, Canadian Geographic and all other environmental organizations and magazines. Hey if you’re going to dream…dream! Also, I’d like to really meld the social media and online work with my outdoor activities and become a nature photog everyone wants a photo from!
What awards or acknowledgements have you received thus far, if any? Only a horticulture award! Does that count? So far, no photography awards, but my dad called me the other week and said one of the winter pics I sent him…was absolutely PERFECT!
OMG, I nearly dropped in my tracks! High praise indeed! Dear old dad – he has an excellent eye! He’s also a valuable critic for me…
I’ve had wonderful feedback from customers and shoppers at the craft shows I attend (as well as through my website). My work is selling steadily at the stores its in and gaining momentum…that is very sweet! To me, that is what it’s all about…if the public likes and in some cases loves my work, I’ve done what I set out to do: bring a little taste of nature into someone’s life.
I would like to thank Jeannette for both her patience and sense of humor trying to get this blogpost finished. You can find her on Facebook as Finchfield Photography or check out her Etsy shop at: