Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Featured Photographer Q&A: Lewis Mann

Our featured photographer today is a man with a vast experience in photography, who have been shooting since 1959, and is currently living in Florida. His work is very unique and I'm glad that he gave us some of his time. So, let's start asking him...

click image to enlarge
I shot this in March of 2012 with my Nikon D3100 and Nikkor 18-55mm zoom (both since sold). It is made up of two images. The background is a 7 exposure HDR image of the Alachua, FL City Hall made during the blue hour (after sunset). About 1 hour earlier I stood in front of the camera holding the remote shutter  release and took a self-portrait. In processing I masked myself out and merged my image onto the HDR background.(Lewis Mann)

Photographer Q&A:

1. Please tell us a little something about yourself.

My name is Lewis Mann. I live in Alachua, Florida USA. I began life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My parents moved us out of the city and into the suburbs when I was 7 years old. So, when asked I say that I am from Natick, MA. I took my first picture around 1959 using my parent’s Polaroid camera. I was hooked on photography, but didn't get serious about it until college.

2. What is your background in photography and how long have you been doing this?

I bought my first SLR camera in 1967 while attending college. I was a staff photographer for the college (University of Miami) student newspaper and yearbook. I was also photo editor of the university yearbook. After college I ran the university photo center and shot freelance for a while. Then life happened and I set the cameras aside until late 2011. That is when I bought my first DSLR, built a “digital darkroom” and began shooting again.

3. What equipment do you use to shoot?

Nikon D7100 DSLR
Nikkor AF S DX 10-24mm zoom
Nikkor AF S DX 18-200mm zoom
Nikkor AF S DX 55-300mm zoom
Nikon SB700 Speedlight
Promote Control (Promote Systems, Inc.) (for high exposure count HDR & time-lapse)
Manfroto Tripod
Nodal Ninja M1L panorama head

4. What are your favorite subjects to shoot and why?

When I started out in the late ‘60s it was all about “street photography,” although there was no name for it back then. The term “candid” seemed to best apply. Now, some 40+ years later I shoot HDR (High Dynamic Range) landscapes, old buildings, equipment; anything I find interesting here in rural North Florida. Today, a great deal of my work utilizes a tripod.

Why do I shoot mostly static objects like landscapes and buildings? Because I am surrounded by such things. I live in a mostly rural part of Florida covered with farms, cattle ranches and pasture land. It is quintessential small town America.

Having said that, I have been thinking about trying some “street” photography once again. I’ll probably wait for cooler weather for that though.

5. What software are you using to process your photos?

Photomatix Pro
Photoshop Elements 11
Topaz Plugin Filters

6. Can you show us your most favorite work and tell us a little bit of something about it?

I don’t have a favorite. But, recently I’ve been working with a processing technique that makes an HDR image look more like an oil painting. I have attached a low resolution version below. This is a 3 exposure HDR image made with my D7100 using the Nikkor 18-200mm zoom. After processing this image in my usual manner I added one more filter (layer) that I created to simulate oil painting.

click image to enlarge

7. Lastly, if we want to see more of your work, where can we see them and how do we contact you?

I have selected images and social interaction at my Facebook account: Theeyesofmann
And nearly 700 images at my flickr account here.
My commercial site where museum quality prints with or without framing or mounting can be purchased at Lewis Mann Digital Photography website.


Thank you very much for your time Lewis. Your HDR work is very unique and your experience in photography is vast, I hope  you'll inspire other photographers visiting this blog. I also hope we hear more inputs from you here in the future, especially with your expertise in HDR photography.