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Seeing what others don’t: Photographer Thomas R. Tucker

June 25, 2010

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After a high school course Thomas R. Tucker’s interest in photography was kindled. He took a short (20 year) break before picking it back up again. His approach to photography is seeing what other people don’t. He likes to see a scene, not just look at it. What are Thomas’ secrets? What’s his vision? Read on and learn more about this facinating shooter on Phottix’s Photog Friday.

Thomas R. Tucker

Thomas R. Tucker

Name: Thomas R. Tucker

Country of residence: USA

How did you first get interested in photography?
I’ve always had an interest in photography, even when I was young. My first “real” photography was in high school, way back in 1988. I took an intro black and white course and was hooked. I took a short 20 year break and resumed by taking a black and white course again. My intent was to brush up and move on to digital.

What do you like to shoot?
Fine art photography is my focus and simply, I like to shoot stuff. My true passion is black and white landscape but I don’t get to do much of that. Lately I’ve taken to local resources which are primarily urban, urban decay and flowers.

I’m currently working on a collection named “Bits of Route 66.” So far, the collection contains items found on and around the Oklahoma section of Route 66. I’m looking forward to expanding the collection.

I love night and extended exposure photography and I don’t like to shoot people! (I love saying that).

Finally, I’m a 99% natural light shooter. While I have taken a portrait class and learned some lighting basics, I really like the look of natural light.

What’s your approach to photography, your philosophy? What do you look for? How do you set-up a shot?
Photography for me is a passion that allows me to share my view of the world. My approach to photography is simple; I like to see what others don’t. I’m always looking for subjects and looking at light. I have a military background and I believe that is where I learned to “see” instead of just look at a scene. Shapes, colors, lines, reflections, shades, shadows, etc., I’m always processing details of what is around me.

Approximately half of my photography is what I consider a pre-visualized rough draft; I have an idea of what I want and go find it. I might not have all the details worked out but I have a pretty good idea of what the end result should be. The other half is what I like to call subjects of opportunity. I love to venture out on photo walks and see what I can find. I normally have an area or place in mind and then I let my camera explore it.

What is the best photo you have taken? Why? Background and details, please…
I believe “Stages” is the best photo I have taken to date. While making plans to visit Dallas Texas last year, a friend suggested visiting the Dallas Arboretum. While walking among the hundreds of plants and flowers, this was the only one that spoke to me. Although a single flower would have produced a great image, the combination of all four in beginning to end stages screamed “shoot me.” The shooting conditions couldn’t have been much worse but it all worked out. I was in the right place at the right time and a great subject made a great image.

What gear are you using? What else do you want to buy?
What I currently use:
Nikon D80
Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.4
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 ED (DX)
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G (DX)
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H7
Nikon N75 (35mm Film)
Nikon AF NIKKOR 28-80mm 1:3.3-5.6G
Minolta SR-7 (35mm Film)
iPhone 3G

What I want to buy:
Nikon D3S
Macro Lens

Which area of photography would you like to explore further (macro, landscapes, portraits)?
The area of photography that I would like to explore further is macro photography. Since I primarily focus on fine art, I love the idea of filling the frame with larger than life subjects.

Where do you see your photography 5 years from now?
Photography for me is still a hobby. While only a hobby, Within five years I would like to see my photography supporting itself.

What’s the best advice you would give to fellow photographers?
The best advice I can give is the same advice I received over twenty years ago in my intro photography class; don’t be afraid to get close.

Where can we find your images?
I’m all over the Internet but my home is www.thomasrtucker.com. From here you can find links to my Facebook, Flickr, and blog.

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Nikon Joe July 4, 2010 at 3:51 am

Great interview. I came to love photography in a similar way during high school. My fave camera is my D90, but I would also love a Nikon D3S like Thomas.

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