P&P Blogger Profile: Stephen Waterfall

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Stephen Waterfall of Watch This Space
(Photo Credit: Bruce Kennedy)

My name is Steve Waterfall and I live in the southern Ontario city of Hamilton.  By day, I’m a metallurgist in the Steelmaking department of the company formerly know as Dofasco. By nights and weekends, I’m an amateur photographer, musician and cyclist, although not necessarily in that order. My passion for each and a few other hobbies tends to shift around a bit.

As for photography, I’ve been shooting not so seriously since taking an old Nikon I borrowed on a hiking trip to the West Coast Trail in BC to document the experience. Then later that year I bought my first film SLR while on a work placement in Australia.

Why do you blog?
A friend of mine and fellow photoblogger David Walker (www.walkerview.com) introduced me to what was possible with regard to showing images on the web. I then came across “Daily Dose of Imagery” (www.topleftpixel.com) and spent the next week going through every image in Sam’s extensive archive.  This was in February of 2006 and I had a growing desire to take and show images so I went out and picked up the Canon 30D.  The blogging started as a way of forcing myself to get out and learn the full range of features that the new toy had to offer.    I continue to post because it’s an outlet to get feedback on my images.  I also find it a great way to track progress and document life around me.

If you only had time to view three photoblogs blogs a day, which ones would they be?
That would be a very difficult call considering the high number of outstanding photoblogs on the web these days (I must have a list of 50 on my links page).
1. Daily Dose of Imagery (www.topleftpixel.com) because after two years of viewing it still continues to inspire.
2. The G8 (g8.no) – operated by a group of outstanding photographers with wide ranging styles.
3. Absolutely Nothing (www.absolutely-nothing.co.uk) portrays the UK landscape in all it’s glory.

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
I’ve been shooting seriously now since getting my digital SLR 18 months ago but at the time I was using the iPhoto software that came with my Mac for a limited amount of processing.  As I viewed other blogs it became apparent that almost everyone was using photoshop for image processing so I finally bit the bullet and bought a copy just over a year ago.  From that point on there is no going back, anyone serious about their photography should be using this software.  For those just starting out with photoshop should have a look at the “Photoshop Workbench” videos on the Radiant Vista website (www.radiantvista.com).

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
The first camera I bought was a Canon EOS film camera back in 1999.  At the time digital was just coming out and I remember debating whether to get the film SLR or a Kodak 1 MP point and shoot for about the same price.  In the end I opted for film SLR and put off buying digital for another 4 years when I picked up the Canon A70 for another trip I was taking.  Finally in 2006 I jumped on the digital SLR bandwagon with the Canon 30D and have since spent a considerable amount of $$ on lenses and accessories.

Mac or PC?
I’ve been a Mac user for about three years now.  I like the elegant design and simple UI.

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
I guess that would have to be my ultra wide angle lens (10-22 mm).  At heart I love being out in and photographing the landscape and this is an ideal piece of kit for capturing and showing it off.  It can also be used at close quarters to present a unique perspective of common items.

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
That changes pretty frequently but for now I’d like to experiment with IR photography which would require the purchase of an inexpensive SLR body and paying to get it converted to a dedicated IR camera.

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
First – look at as many good photographs as you can and critically evaluate what makes them stand out from the crowd, look for the common elements that are present in all great images.  In fact, don’t limit yourself to just photos, there’s hundreds of years of paintings out there to learn from.  Use the same critical evaluation on your own images.

Second – get to know your camera intimately so the settings are familiar and easily accessed depending on the shot at hand.  Always set your camera back to some standard state (i.e. ISO, shutter, aperture, A/M focus) so you are not surprised the next time you go out shooting.

Third – get out and shoot as much as possible and experiment with different settings and techniques.  With digital it doesn’t cost you anything but your time.

What inspires you to create?
Inspiration comes from a number of sources but probably the biggest is experiencing other creative works – visual as well as performance arts.  Secondly,  sometimes I feel compelled to make a statement about a condition or state that comes to my attention.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
This probably sounds cliché but do things that make you happy.  The type of happy that is deep and lasts long doesn’t usually require a lot of money – don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’s.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
By the ocean with a backdrop of mountains in a community that appreciates the natural world we borrow from future generations.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Besides photography, I cycle, make and listen to music, sail, hike and occasionally ski.

What talent would you most like to have?
I would love it if making music came easier to me and I had started earlier.  There are few joys in life that are better than making music with other people , it is such a synergistic experience.

From Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Spectacular – I just like saying it.
What is your least favorite word? Sorry
What turns you on? Any spectacular natural location with a good sunrise or sunset.
What turns you off? Conformity and the business as usual lifestyle.
What sound or noise do you love? Any Handel aria.
What sound or noise do you hate? The alarm clock buzzer.
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? Back country guide and naturalist.
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Anything to do with management.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? You did well, the world is a little better off because your contribution and your dogs have been waiting patiently to go on long walks with you again.

*Note: If you there is someone you would like to see as a part of the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with their blog’s URL. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting.

Comments:
  • I’ve had the pleasure to see Stephen’s work and to learn from him in our bi-weekly meetups at the http://www.oakvillecameraclub.com … He’s photography is really good and it’s hard to believe he’s only been doing it for such a short time.

    Keep up the good work Stephen.

    July 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

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