Luontotupa.Net

Ajatuksia ja asiaa: Luontokuvaaja E.J Peiker

Haastattelun laati Petri Kosunen/luontotupa.net.

What nature and naturephotographing means to you? Is it more an lifestyle and mission than a hobby/work? what you want to accomplish?

It started out as a hobby but over the years it has become more of a passion for me. I spend in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 hours per week on photography related activities in addition to my normal 40 hour per week job in the semiconductor industry. See number 3 for what I want to accomplish.

What is the favourite target to you or is there any above others?
(in naturephotographing).

My favorite is waterfowl photography and I have a goal of recording all of the world’s waterfowl species. I already have about 70% and continue to work on the rest. I also enjoy photographing vast landscapes, especially mountains and love to photograph with reflections in front of my main landscape subject. There is something incredibly peaceful about a crisp mountain scene with a beautiful reflection in the water.

What is the best memory of your many journeys.
And what is the best picture so far that you have taken?

I have many great memories. Some of my best ones include my trip to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, and my trips to Grand Teton national park in Wyoming. My stock includes about 25,000 photographs so picking a single best one is almost impossible.

What do you think is the most important rule that naturephotographer should follow. What is the message that you want to give to all naturephotographers?

Know your subject. the more intimately you are familiar with your subject, the better your photography. I have been often told that I probably have the best body of work in the world of waterfowl images. This is a result of studying the subjects intently, knowing their behaviors and mannerisms, etc. It doesn’t just happen

Let’s talk about the internet and naturephotos there. What is the influence of internet when we talk purely about naturephotographing. Do you think people that are serious about their hobby etc. gets help from seeing other photos/details around the world via internet or do you think that internet makes future repeating itself and people starts to ”copy” compositions, ideas, scenes etc. and they dont study the nature and photographing no more because of this? Does internet make people lazy?

I think the Internet and digital photography has done more to elevate the quality of photography than anything else in history. Forums like NatureScapes.net, Photomigrations, NaturePhotogrraphers.net, photo.net and others have so much to offer and the amount of information, critiques, and knowledge one can gain from the internet is incredible. I’ll address digital photography in #6.

I don’t have a problem with copying compositions or trying to emulate other photographers. its actually quite flattering when people do it to you. the most successful photographers are constantly coming up with something new and interesting.

Digital or analogical way. As we have seen there is now so much more pictures than ever thanks to digital cameras(and internet). What is your proportion to this. Is there any good or bad issues in digital cameras that you want to bring up when talking about analog vs. digital. What is the best way if someone wants to switch from analog to digital. I mean can you give any guidelines to those who are out there and thinking about switching.

I have been 100% digital since January 2002 and now photograph landscapes with an EOS 1Ds Mark II and wildlife with an EOS 20D. Digital photography is really speeding up the learning curve on new photographers and enhancing the capabilities of long time photographers like myself. Digital allows you to be much more experimental since you get a real time preview of the photo and since there is no incremental cost to trying out new things that you might not want to waste film on.

If you are switching from a 35mm SLR to a digital SLR, I would recommend staying with the brand of camera you already own. Not only does this reduce the investment since you can use the lenses you already own, but it makes the transition easier since typically the camera control layout is similar. If you are not a computer savvy person, I would recommend really getting up to speed and computer literate since the computer becomes your darkroom.

Manipulation and naturephotos. This is the question what comes up everytime when someone has taken a stunning shot where the colors are brilliant, the composition rules and where the target is just in the right spot and nothing extra in it. Then someone asks that is this made by the photoshop or is this really real – and the discussion starts. Where the line goes? What is manipulation and what is normal ”dark room” processing? You can remove dust and scratches but how far can you go before the normal processing becomes manipulating?

If you shoot RAW Adobe RGB, which I recommend, all photos need levels, curves, contrast, saturation and sharpening to look right. This is no difference in this from normal darkroom processing or what a color lab does when preparing prints. The question gets a bit stickier when we are talking about physically manipulating the contents of the photo. In that case I think it should be disclosed.

You are Sr. Technical Editor at NatureScapes.net(NSN). The forums are popular and there is many beautiful pictures shown there. What more can you tell about the NSN? Is it mainly just a place where naturephotographers can show their pictures from around the world or is it more than just that?

NatureScapes is much more than that. While you will see some stunning photography there and it is visited by some of the best nature photographers from around the world, its much more than that. we are especially proud of how it has become a one-stop-shopping help center, especially for digital photographers. Virtually no technical, procedural or any other kind of question takes longer than 30 minutes to get an accurate definitive answer.

NSN also is a great place to debate issues constructively that affect Nature Photographers. In addition to this, there are new features that are of great benefits to photographers being added constantly.

What is your motto?

I don’t really have one ūüôā
Or maybe its this ”When in doubt, quack!”

Free speech. What i forgot to ask or do you want to add something and tell to the finnish naturephotographers and people?

I have been very impressed with some of the bird photographs I have seen come out of Finland and hope very much to have an opportunity to photograph the many fantastic species of birds there.

I have it on good authority that there is no better place in the world than northern Finland to photograph Steller’s Eider, one of the waterfowl species I do not yet have. Just about everything I have seen photographically from Finland has been great so I want to encourage all Finnish nature photographers to visit www.naturescapes.net and share your wonderful country with the rest of the world.
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I thank E.J Peiker for the interview and hopefully we see him someday in Finland!
Petri Kosunen/Luontotupa.net
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E.J Peikerin kotisivut www.ejphoto.com jossa miehestä enemmän taustaa sekä myöskin upeita kuvia РKäy katsomassa!!!

Hänen kuviaan on esillä myös mm. sivustolla www.naturescapes.net