Doug Woods

Doug Woods joined Corio Bay Camera Club at the start of 2015. It was evident after a short period that he was a talented photographer and was promoted from B grade (where the majority of new members start) to A Grade after winning the 2015 Print of the Year award in his first year.

Doug says he first got interested in photography by a family friend who had a “cool” camera that used flash cubes, which as a young boy fascinated him.

He enjoys taking a wide range of photographic subjects, but particularly likes the creative side and setting up shots at home. He is quick to mention that his “unfavourite” subjects are weddings, saying that although he’d shot quite a few, he found them “way too stressful”.

Doug gets his inspiration from photography magazines, such as Digital Photo and Photo Plus (the Canon magazine), club outings and “from the amazing images of my fellow club members”. He likes being able to take a photo that hopefully somebody will smile at, or at least find interesting and he’d much prefer his friends and club mates to enjoy an image than a judge (“although that is always nice too”).

Doug’s first camera was a Polaroid instant camera that he got when he was about 18. From there he moved onto a  110 format cartridge camera. He says “I suppose even back then I was trying to take different shots than most people, although these cameras didn’t give you too much room for creativity. “

His first “real” camera was a Russian SLR called a Zenit. “Built like a brick, but it opened a whole new world of creativity”. He then moved on through several Minolta SLR cameras and lenses.

He later spent time in the darkroom, where he discovered “so much more creativity”, being able to crop and manipulate images.He remembers when digital photography first came out, saying that he swore he’d never change to it as it would never be as good as film, but “I also said 12″ vinyl would never be replaced”.

Eventually he bit the bullet and bought a Lumix FZ50 digital bridge camera, finally deciding to go the DSLR route, he bought a Canon 450D, before moving to 60D. “Then when my wife, Denise,  decided to become involved with photography I generously let her have my 60D and got myself the new 70D”.

When asked what was his favourite piece of kit, Doug replied “I think of all my equipment and gear, it would be Photoshop – that has really opened my imagination. I can create images in my head and plan how they will hopefully be constructed and processed into the images I had envisioned. Not to mention that I can save an ordinary photo and make it into something special.”

Asked to nominate his favourite image, he said “Gee, this is like picking a favourite kid. Which is easy because Ethan Asleep is my grandkid. I love this photo of him so much. A couple of others are Lime Splash, as I’ve had people request prints and Smoking Gun as it worked out even better than I had planned.”

Doug says, when asked what he thought was his greatest photographic achievement, “I must admit one of my biggest thrills, and surprises, was winning the print  of the year in my first year, and even more surprisingly the following year as well.”

Asked if there was a photographer he particularly admired, Doug replied that he has always loved Black and White photography, and particularly looked up to the iconic Ansel Adams, whose mastery of landscape composition and darkroom skills is unsurpassed in his opinion. “I think his quote I took the most from was ‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it.'”

Below is some of Doug’s work.

A Shot of Bundy: An image I’d had in my mind for years, I finally put all my plans into action and got the image I’d planned. A huge learning curve in Photoshop, but very rewarding.

 

 

Bee in the thyme. Taken with my Tamron 90mm macro lens. These little fellas don’t like posing for long.

 

Burst Balloon. I bought a big bag of balloons to try and capture this photo expecting a lot of near misses, but surprisingly timed my first shot perfectly. Gotta be lucky sometimes.

Classic Red. I went to photograph this magnificent car in front of the old building. As I did he suddenly took off and did a U turn. Luckily I got a better, more dynamic shot. I was thrilled when this won the Image Of The Year.

Ethan Asleep. I’d just had my new flash delivered as my beautiful grandson fell asleep with this teddy, so a perfect opportunity to try a bounced flash shot. I know some judges hate selective colouring, but I love breaking rules.

Drops. My first try a photographing water drops. Got a few keepers from hundreds of tries.

Incense Smoke Demon. I was just playing around photographing incense smoke. Within one of the images I noticed an eye. By cutting out the area and mirroring it I found this creepy fella.

Last Mango in Paris. Just a bit of tongue in cheek fun when I had to do a photo starting with M. The Paris scene was borrowed from the internet and displayed on a monitor behind my little French friend.

Lighthouse. Taken on a club fish and chip night at Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale. I was lucky to catch the reflection in the rock pool at low tide.

Lime Splash. Another lucky shot (from hundreds of tries), catching the ring of water in a perfect position. This has always been one of my favourite images

Powerhouse Chair. Another great club outing at the awesome, but sadly, now closed Powerhouse. Luckily the sun was setting and shining at a great angle, casting a distinctive shadow. One of the biggest thrills of my life was when this was awarded Image of the year in my first year at the club.

Smoking Gun. I had to do a series of shots with the theme shoes. Luckily I have a great friend with an enormous collection. These gangster shoes were crying out for a dramatic 40’s theme. Another of my favourite images.