Michael Bucknell

My first camera was a Nikon F that I bought from a broke friend of a friend in the early 70s but it was a bit beyond me. I played around with double exposures and lighting experiments but I didn’t really understand it’s potential. I took to the streets of The Rocks area in the 70s when it was under threat of developer’s bulldozers; photographing buildings, laneways and streets, in the belief it was all going to be demolished. But apart from that intensive exercise, I found the camera to be too difficult and preferred taking Super 8 movies on my travels.


Some years later, we had a home burglary and the Nikon F was stolen. Happy days, the insurance paid for a brand new Nikon F-401 with two kit zoom lenses and it was auto-focus!. I used that camera a lot more but some years later when the Nikon Coolpix 5000 was released, I had to have it. At last I could see what I had taken, it featured a tiny flip out screen, great for selfies, overhead shots etc. and although it was only 5 megapixels, it took some pretty good shots that still look OK today.


My main interest in photography was for taking pictures when traveling, whether within Australia or overseas and later I joined a new camera club in Dee Why to learn more about the craft of photography. This was a great learning experience, I learned some Photoshop tricks there to improve my shots and was really enjoying photography like never before.


I now have a Nikon D750 and this camera suits me fine. Any limitations are not the camera, they’re the bloke pressing the shutter. I take this camera on my travels and mostly use the Nikon 28 to 300 lens because this seems to cover almost everything fairly well.


I enjoy street photography; I think people make most shots more interesting. I’m less technical and more visually inspired, looking for something I find interesting to take and thinking about composition and the look of the shot rather than the f stop or speed. I’ve got the camera mostly set on aperture priority with auto focus but I’ve learned for some shots like still life to switch to full manual and experiment with all the different settings.


My second everyday camera is my iPhone X and this takes some great shots and very good videos. Actually the video quality is quite amazing and with Primrose Park Photography being into AVs and short movies, I find the iPhone a great tool. I don’t see the iPhone taking over everything that I take though, the Nikon D750 has the quality edge and with 24 good quality megapixels, there’s room to crop a picture if needed or to enlarge a picture to a wall sized print if I want. But the iPhone 12 is coming, so who knows.

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