Focus: Morris McLennan - Nikon School Lecturer
Morris McLennan is a Sydney Nikon School lecturer who has turned his passion for photography into his profession. He specialises in wedding and portrait shots.
A full member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), Morris throws everything he has into each shoot. We spent some time getting to know what drives him, what he enjoys most about lecturing at Nikon School and his tips for everyday enthusiasts.
You can visit Morris’ website by clicking here: morrisimages.com.au
Wow where does one start? Everywhere I look I see images.
Someone firstly is my beautiful partner Natalia. For others … while I shoot a lot of red carpet and gala events, I like to shoot â€˜normal people in their real environment. Not one person in particular, just those that have a great story that can be told through the lens, celebrity or not.
Something Ive had a desire for some time now to do Everest Base Camp (and beyond if possible) – technically and physically hard yet beautiful and serene at the same time. I would also love to head over to some of the war-torn areas of the world and capture a life so far removed from ours here in Australia. The World Press exhibition is a total inspiration to capturing life on our planet.
At a sports gig I once forgot my CF cards (after swapping bags). Luckily I was a bit early to the gig and shot out to the local shopping centre in search of a camera shop. It cost me almost $200 to buy an 8GB card usually they cost $80! You only do that once!
At the recent City to Surf I shot 11,500 frames in 4 hours. Physically tough to shoot but harder on my gear. One shutter shut down after 10,000 frames so I just reached around to my bag and grabbed my second body, quick lens swap and rock & roll back into it! Downtime about 20 seconds.
Somewhere you cant readily get to, away from the usual. The thing about loving my â€˜job is that I also enjoy it when on holiday. Destination shooting is my favourite when shooting for myself (and not clients). Funnily enough, I have no desire to go to the USA or England but more to developing countries, those with deeper older cultures where every doorway, person and scene is one you just have to capture and become immersed.
- There are two kinds of people in the world those that back up and those that should have backed up (on digital asset management of your files).
- Have an escape plan and be in the right spot at the right time dont wait for the image, seek it and make it happen!
- Put a shower cap in your kit makes for a great rain coat on your camera and takes up no room.
Love your bad shots. Dont delete them; rather keep them in a separate folder on your computer for reference. Often we take a bad shot and just delete it in camera, learning nothing from it. Rather ask yourself, why is it a bad shot? Do I not like the composition, the light, the angle…what? By knowing this only then can you actually learn and change what you do moving forward capturing images. Depending on your computer software, you can look at the metadata (the file information) and see what settings your camera was on when the image was taken if the image is, for example, blurry and you see your shutter speed was only 1/30th of a second, then you have just learnt that you need to increase your shutter speed to get a sharper image.
- How do I use manual?
- How do I shoot in the dark, low light or freeze fast moving objects (like a three year old)?
- What lens should I get?
I few people have been fundamental in my development as photographer including JP Avila, Shane ONeill, Carmen Platt and Rasha Bodi, all great Sydney photographers.
- 2 x D700s with battery grips bullet (and Coke) proof and just soooo sweet in low light
- 2 x SB900 flash units and a SB600
- 16mm Fisheye f2.8 love getting down and funky with this lens with 170 degree field of view the hardest thing is not to shoot your feet when framing
- 14 24mm f2.8 ultra wide – stunning
- 24 70mm f2.8 my work horse lens along with the 70-200
- 70 200mm f2.8 the new VRII is just awesome
- 50mm f1.8 an awesome lens for the $$ but if buying again would go the f1.4 version
- 60mm macro f2.8
- Variety of triggers, cable releases and peripheral equipment