For weeks you have been wondering about my experience with the Nikon D4 and if I have decided to make the change from Canon to Nikon. I honestly have not had the time yet to get my hands on the 1DX Canon, which I must test first, before making a fair decision. However, on my recent trip to the Omo Valley I almost decided to go with neither and just use my iPhone.
One of our last stops was at a Konso village, a world heritage site. The area is unique as the villages are at the top of the hills and the Konso have created a beautiful terracing system to grow their crops. The villages are very dense with a labyrinth of very narrow stone wall pathways. I had been there before and knew that even in the best lighting it was a very difficult place to photograph. I was tired and decided it was not worth the trouble of grabbing my camera’s but instead threw my iphone in my pocket.
Louise Porter was on the trip and brought an infrared camera. The images on the back of the camera looked amazing and were very inspirational (yes I am thinking about doing some infrared going forward!). The village, with the stone and use of wood was very neutral in color. With the thoughts of the infrared images in my mind, I was thinking the best way to capture this would be in black and white or cepia to capture the ancient and timelessness of this place.
We came around a corner and there sat this elder man along the beautiful stone pathway and I just had to take a photograph. They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Not wanting to miss this opportunity or the others below, I whipped out my iPhone and did what came natural. It was pretty exciting to see the results when I downloaded the images and processed them in NIK silver efex 2.
Piper Mackay is a world, wildlife and cultural photographer, based in Long Beach, California. She believes compelling visual images help to protect what is right in the world. Her work takes her to very remote locations, living cross culturally in the villages and environments that she is documenting.
Her work is heavily concentrated on the African continent, a land she fell in love with when she first touched foot on it’s rich red soil. Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to inspire others to explore, respect and preserve the beauty of our fragile planet.
She believes compelling work comes when you invest time, living the stories you are trying to tell. It is important to interact and gain the trust of those whose stories you are telling, especially when sensitive and complicated. The world has enough images of poverty, pain and disaster, much more needful is imagery that reveals the beauty and dignity of the communities that are, except by their geography and circumstances, very similar to our own. Powerful images help shape the view of the world and play an important role in disseminating how cultures and wildlife are coping with the rapid changes happening in the developing world.
Piper’s images have been displayed at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, The Museum of History and industry, and The Art Wolfe gallery, as well as local galleries. Her work has been featured in Nature and travel publication through representation of several photo agencies, including Rangefinder, Nature’s Best, Birders, and the World Wildlife Fund. She is an independent photographer and available for assignment work.
Her prior career in the fashion industry, where she was deeply involved with combing color and texture, has greatly enhanced her approach to the unique look and feel of each culture and photographic subject. This also gave her a strong background in business and marketing. Please visit Piper’s website at www.pipermackayphotography.com.