About Me

Tucker Bair

jamesbair@gmail.com

Photography has been a passion of mine for many, many years. As such, this is lengthy and should only be read if bored or really interested, or some combination of the two. I remember shooting family vacations with a 2mp Kodak camera from the very inception of digital photography, back when I was just 10 or 11. From there, I got a 4mp Canon Digital Elph for christmas in 2003, and began taking pictures of just about everything. My father decided that we should purchase a digital SLR prior to our first family vacation outside of the US, and we got a Canon Digital Rebel, the 300D, which we took to Barcelona. I ended up doing almost all of the shooting, and in the process learned about the basics, such as aperture and shutter speed, and realized how much creative control these basic camera functions could provide. Realizing that I was definitely into photography, I took an intro film class in 9th grade and went back in time for a bit, shooting with a Nikon SLR and good old black and white film. With only 30 or so exposures to work with, and the realization that every exposure I wanted to print would have to be slaved over in the darkroom, I feel that film caused me to internalize many lessons of composition, lighting, and other formal aspects of the art that are of seemingly less importance when you are faced with 32GB of shooting space. I spent two years working with 35MM black and white film, doing everything from the shooting, processing, developing, and printing of the negatives, and even had the pleasure of working with a 4×5 large format camera for a year. That experience was the ultimate in “look before you shoot,” if only because each piece of film cost 10 or so dollars! Plus the hour or more per image needed in the darkroom, a much more labor intensive process than even traditional 35mm film. I was, as many photographers are, completely blown away by the detail and overall image quality that large format provided, and lessons of composition were even more evident here, as each shot took an enormous amount of time to simply frame, focus, and meter for correct exposure.

After 10th grade I dropped film and never looked back, yet I feel that the lessons I learned while working with that medium are fundamental to my work today. Digital allows a freedom that is a double edged sword; you can truly “shoot first and ask questions later” with nearly limitless space and editing headroom with RAW images in the “digital darkroom” of Photoshop, yet this creates many subpar images that are discarded. Overall I feel that digital is obviously the way of the future, if not the way of the present. I moved from the Digital Rebel to a 30D, and then a 40D, honing my digital skills in camera and in Photoshop in classes both in school and summer programs. The Mark II, which I have had for not even 6 months now, is the first camera to really make me believe that digital can surpass film and is the first camera to truly blow me away in terms of image quality and dynamic range. The minute details the sensor can capture in addition to its incredible low-light, high-ISO performance make it truly a delight to shoot with.

For the camera-nerd (like myself) I will list my gear:
-Canon 5D Mk II w/battery grip (the vertical shutter is, in my opinion, a must, as well as the extra battery capacity)
-EF 16-35mm f/2.8L
-EF 70-200mm f/2.8L
-EF 100mm f/2.8L macro
-Canon 580x speedlight flash
-Manfrotto 3001D tripod with 3030 head

I have owned lots of gear in the past, the 300D, 30D, and 40D as mentioned and the 17-85mm IS, 10-22mm IS, and 100mm f/2.8 macro stand out in my mind. As an amateur who is currently in college attempting to gain a liberal arts education and is not making tons of money doing this, I have to acquire gear slowly… but in the near future I see myself getting the Canon 85mm f/1.8; I’ve used Giacomo’s a bit and have loved it, especially for the value. A fast prime would be a great addition to my collection. I just got the 100mm f/2.8L macro and am totally in love! It hasn’t come off my camera since I got it and being able to shoot macros, handheld at 1/30th of a second with NO tripod is completely awesome and allows for a ton of fun shooting. While I have received much inspiration from Mr. Ratcliff in terms of the HDR process, I am and will always be staunchly a Canon user… :) but I can say with the same certainty that I am and always will be a Mac user, doing all of my work on a new Macbook Pro, organizing my photos in Aperture 3.0, and offloading images regularly to externals. Once life settles down I would love to own a Mac Pro, as desktops are obviously far superior to laptops, but being in school makes that impractical. I think that was long-winded enough…! Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to email any of us with questions or comments.

2 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Linda Bair says:

    Your website is fabulous! Great job! I’ll check back regularly and
    be a big fan….

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