I’m a nature and landscape photographer living in Oxfordshire in the South of England; in my day job I’m a professional Classicist – Reader in Greek Literature at the University of Warwick, with primary research interests in archaic and Classical Greek poetry and poetics, but also, and increasingly, negotiations between literary communication, subjectivity, and the multiple temporalities that constitute the subjectivities of a Classicist.
This blog contains notes and images covering my various encounters with the natural world, both at home and abroad.
I have generally used Nikon DSLR bodies and a range of lenses, my favourite and most used of which are my 200 f/4 micro, and 24 and 85 PC-E Tilt-Shifts.
I have now entered the very different – but ultimately far more fulfilling, in my view – world of film photography, predominantly with a focus on large format. In addition to inheriting a Canon A-1 35mm, I also have a wonderful – if at times rather cumbersome – Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 medium format film camera, and two large-format field cameras. For 5×4 I have a Linhof Technikardan S45 and 6 lenses, using mostly Fujichrome Velvia 50 for colour (with some scenes shot on Ektar 100 and Provia 100F) and Ilford Delta 100 for black & white. For 8×10 – an adventure that is just beginning – I have a Chamonix 810V with 3 lenses. All of these I now use on a Gitzo 3540LS systematic tripod with Arca-Swiss Cube GP head on Gitzo levelling base.
For macro work I have used both the wonderful Nikon D3S and D800E, with Novoflex Castel-L focusing rack. For active butterflies, I can also handhold this setup (even with D800E), using a Nikon SB600 speedlight diffused with a MicroApollo Softbox, via a Wimberley macro bracket.
My current gear list is (April 2019):
For Nikon DSLR: Nikon 18-200VR (solely as a travel lens in good light with D300, which doesn’t get many outings these days); Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR; Nikon 85 f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift; Nikon 200 f/4 micro; Nikon 300 f/4 (+ 1.4TC and a set of Kenko extension tubes);
for Canon A-1: 50mm f/1.8FD; 35-70FD zoom; 70-210FD zoom;
for large format 5×4: Nikkor-SW 75mm f/5.6, Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Symmar XL 110mm f/5.6, Schneider-Kreuznach APO-Symmar MC 150mm f/5.6 , Nikkor-W 210mm f/5.6, Nikkor-M 300mm f/9; Fujinon-T 400mm f/8.
for 8×10: Nikkor-SW 150, Nikkor-W 300, and Nikkor-M 450.
I also carry a range of Lee filters: a set of both hard and soft grads, a 1.2ND, a Big Stopper, two 105mm circular polarizers, colour-correction/BW filters and Lee foundation holders plus bellows lens hoods.
For large format I also use a Sekonic L-758DR light meter, a Silvestri 4x loupe, a Paramo dark cloth for 5×4 and a BTZS dark cloth for 8×10; a variety of different colours of Silvestri cable releases (you can’t have enough cable releases, it seems!) for 5×4 and longer Linhof one for the 8×10.
I carry the digital gear and the RZ in appropriately-sized Billingham bags;
The large format gear fits in a series of Tenba cases, along with two smallish backpacks (one of which, the ThinkTank Shapeshifter, doubles as my macro bag); LF lenses are in Tenba wraps. I have a large Lowe Alpine backpack that can swallow necessary gear for more strenuous walks/treks.
On site on the Greek island of Samos, photographing Ophrys episcopalis var. samia and Orchis sancta with D3s and 200f/4:
On site in Lathkill Dale shooting Large Format with the Linhof:
Early outing with 8×10 at Wittenham Clumps: