After a two week holiday hiatus Photog Friday is back. This week we travel to the land down-under to meet shooter Cameron Fong. He started his life behind the lens at 9 and has since amassed an arsenal of Nikon DSLR gear. He’s set some ambitious goals for 2010. What’s Cameron’s philosophy? How does he shoot? Read on…
Name: Cameron K. Fong
Country of residence: Australia
Born 1987 in Australia, met my first SLR when I was 7 or 8, got my first camera (35mm Kodak compact) when I was about 9, went on to learn to shoot SLR using Nikon FM2’s and Pentax K1000’s in high school. I started to own my SLR’s in 2007 when I bought my Nikon D40x (since sold) and have been shooting heavily ever since.
How did you first get interested in photography?
I first came into contact with SLR’s at a young age, and just knew from then onwards that photography would be something that I would pursue. I can’t draw or paint very well, so I borrow the camera to capture the things to see.
What do you like to shoot?
In many ways I will shoot almost anything, but I am most comfortable shooting landscape and macro.
What’s your approach to photography, your philosophy? What do you look for? How do you set-up a shot?
I take a fairly minimalist approach to my work, I prefer to use as much available light as possible to capture the image in the most natural, untainted setting. I prefer to nail things in the viewfinder, so I can spend more time out there and less time behind the computer screen. Less is more. In photos I look for the light, good lighting makes all the difference between a bland photo and something special. How do I set up a shot? I don’t, I shoot when I am inspired, I learn’t on film, each frame is precious, so I save each release of the shutter for the moment where an opportunity presents itself. When the light is right on my subject I let fly and snap off a few frames.
What is the best photo you have taken? Why? Background and details, please…
This is a very hard question to answer, I have my favourites, and often these do not match with the favourites of the audience. I would have to say the best photo I have taken to date is not one that is technically correct, nor even visually appealing to everyone. It is one that I took fairly early on, not long after I purchased my D40x + 18-135mm, a picture of a ladybug on a purple flower, with sunlight streaming down providing a nice spotlight effect.
What gear are you using? What else do you want to buy?
At the moment I have a small arsenal at my disposal, all my SLR’s are Nikon (D300/D60/FM2n/F80 and a Fuji S5 Pro – which is half a Nikon) and these are matched with an army of lenses including; Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, Nikkor AI 135mm f/2.8, Sigma 180mm Macro. What else do I crave for? I wouldn’t mind a D700 or a D3s, I would really like to get a IR modified S5 Pro. In terms of lenses there are a few, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4….this list goes on, but the real question is do I need it? I have more than enough gear to do what I need, the only really lacking area for me is a genuine ultrawide so that will probably be my next purchase.
Which area of photography would you like to explore further (macro, landscapes, portraits)?
There is so much to learn, so much to explore. If I had to pick one area to spend time to learn, it would have to be photojournalism, so street portraiture, capturing the moment spontaneously, letting the pictures tell the story.
Where do you see your photography 5 years from now?
In 5 years I would hope to be working enough to support this expensive hobby, and maybe this hobby will be helping to pay for itself. I would really like to be traveling or between trips where I can further my photography, capturing landscapes and moments from all over the world.
What the best advice you would give to fellow photographers?
The best advice I can give fellow photographers is to get out there and shoot, shoot to keep, explore the possibilities and don’t get stuck trying to replicate someone else.
Where can we find your images?
I run a website which is a cross between a blog and a gallery to showcase my best and worse work, have a look at: