Conrad Matiuk

My first camera was a fixed lens Minolta 35mm film camera. I lost it changing planes on some trip; I don’t remember where I was coming from or where I was going – – that’s just the way it was in the late 1960s. I started to take photography more seriously in 1971 when I acquired a black body Nikon F series SLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. My seriousness notched up a bit after adding an 85mm f/1.8 portrait lens to the collection. The acquisition of a 200-600mm f/9.5 telephoto zoom put me at the edge of reality. Slipping a doubler between the camera body and the monster zoom put me over the edge – – I was using that combination to take close-ups of cactus flowers in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona. Perhaps the intense sunlight fried a few brain cells. Which might account for the fact that I didn’t take life too seriously back then and all the equipment (along with the brain cells and a nifty darkroom setup) went missing – – as did I.

Fast forward a decade or two and I’m back, still using Nikon equipment but replete with a bit more advanced technology. I have a 2006-vintage Nikon D80 DSLR that replaced the Canon AE-1 35mm SLR unit purchased in 1985 (it’s in a dusty camera bag up on the shelf along with the older 35mm Nikons N6006 & N8008) and recently upgraded to a Nikon D850 (via a stopovers in D7100 & D750, both still great cameras). I still use all my digital Nikon bodies, and I replaced that long-lost old monster lens with a Sigma 150mm-600mm lens.

No matter the equipment you use, however, a good eye, a sense of composition, and the luck of being in the right place at the right time (with your camera in hand) are still the most important ingredients in taking a good photograph. I hope you enjoy some of the ones I’ve posted in the galleries on this website. More will be revealed over time.