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About LONGWATCHER (AKA Tim Dolan)

Greetings,
   For some reason you have decided to learn a bit more about me.

   I was born in Dec 1960 in California. This makes me a Capricorn, born in the Year of the Rat, and under a Gibbous Moon. I am also a first born son and score as INTP on Briggs-Meyers, Which probably has no affect on reality, but it may go a long way to explaining my outlook on life and how I tend to react to situations.

   As a photographer, I started playing with film cameras back in junior high and learned from my dad and a teacher or two how to use an enlarger to do a lot of fun stuff that can be done with Photoshop these days. Photoshop is so much easier and I can repeat my results more often. On the other hand my expectations have also grown.

   My Dad used to be a wedding photographer, A very good one, but it was not very high-paying, So he finally had to put up his cameras for awhile, at least as far as making money at it. I also discovered that my Grandmother took travel pictures that were frequently published, so there must be something in the genes.

   I am a portrait and fashion photographer so I don't do weddings except for friends that otherwise can't get a photographer to do what they want, but if someone is willing to pay me way more then my skill at weddings is worth, I will be happy to do their wedding. I however can recommend a few good wedding photographers who would actually be cheaper and do a better job. But for portraits that is what I am good at.

   After playing with film for about 5 to 6 years, I joined the US Air Force becoming, literally by the flip of a coin, an Imagery Analyst (back then they called them photo interpreters). Strangely to me a lot of what I learned from photography came in handy every once in awhile for my Air Force job.

   During my time in the Air Force, I occasionally continued to take pictures with a 35mm camera, but film costs versus enlisted pay did not let me shoot very often. In addition the camera I had at the time was not very good for me, but I could not afford a good one for a long time. As I neared the end of my USAF career I started picking up photography again as an occasional hobby.

   Around Spring of 1999 I bought a Kodak DC4800 digital camera and have not turned back. This camera was the first one that met my initial requirements for a digital camera. It is quite capable of producing 8x10 prints.  I bought the lens kit for it and rediscovered wide angle shots. I moved on to the Canon D60 when I found out about it by accident. While it still had limitations, I found I could now produce professional looking shots up to 16x24inches in size that were indistinguishable from 35mm color film. I then picked up the Canon 10D. I also got hold of a Hasselblad medium format film camera I acquired from my Dad in 2001. I will still play with it occasionally, but only with Black and White film. My most recent camera is a Canon 1DsMkIII a 22MP top-of-the-line professional digital 35mm camera.. I take about 35,000 images a year with this camera.

  I have since reacquired the skills I had lost during my Air Force career, but on the other hand my 20 years gave me a better technical knowledge in Digital Photography and understanding how it differs from conventional film cameras.

Recently (as in 2012) I started shooting 3D Stereo images and the occasional 3D video, both using a pair of Canon T3i's. Still learning the differences, but 3D is making it fun again.

   My focus in photography as a hobby tends toward fashion, Gothic and Fetish photography, but I like taking pictures of sunsets, flowers and birds also. I tend to go through different themes/phases each year.
In 2000 I was just trying to get equipment.
for 2001 my theme was a white hearts collar.
for 2002 the theme was Rabbit Ears
for 2003 the theme was infrared
for 2004 was Orientalist (Think Persia, mid-east around mid-to-late 1800's
for 2005 Warrior Women
for 2006 Costumes
for 2007 Dancers
for 2008 I kind of skipped this year as far as a theme
for 2009 Started a long-term artistic project
for 2010 Masks
for 2011 Nyotaimori sets (You will need to look that word up, with note it is an adult theme)

And for 2012 Stereo 3D images and finishing up two earlier projects

   I have also been collecting different props to enhance my images. Acquisitions include Masks from Fantasy Guilde, Blades of varying types, Costumes, and some other larger props (such as some plastic Palm Trees). The props allow me to have some fun with the models and usually if nothing else act as an excellent ice breaker.

   When going into a model shoot I usually try to have a general theme for the shoot or portions of it and then let it flow from there as the mood strikes. I try to set up my equipment and lighting for best effect and then shoot as many pictures as my camera buffer will allow. this usually results in about 120-180 pictures per hour during a photo session, which I have been told is about standard for a fashion shoot session.

   On the occasion of the rare advertising shoot I do, I always go into the shoot with a specific look/pose in mind and I take a bunch of pictures of that look and then follow-up with some related poses. Usually one of the shots immediately following the posed session is the one selected for the ad..

On a final note:

I do take occasional classes and workshops to improve my skill, so far my favorite has been a workshop by Jock Sturges, where we got to shoot models at Joshua Tree National Park with permission.

   My motto is: "Quality is in the setup, Quantity just ensures one good shot."

   My other Mantra is: "Save the Model, Save the Camera, the Photographer can be repaired." (you had to be there)

Hope you enjoyed learning about me.

 

 

Just for somewhere to put it, Places I have been that I can remember.

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This page last updated by Longwatcher at 1900 EST 11 Jun 2012
All images on this site 2003-2012 Longwatcher