Born as Hideta Nagai near Osaka, Japan, my family moved to the US when I was 4 years old. I'm proud to say that I am still fluent in Japanese - as fluent as any other 4-year-old Japanese kid that is! Perhaps not even that good.
I've been shooting with an SLR of one kind or another for over half my life. But I really started taking pictures even younger (say around 8?) when I would take my little 110 Kodak Instamatic to the military air shows. I would proudly show off my tiny 110 slides being projected onto the wall while thoughtfully pointing out the formations of tiny black dots against the white clouds. At age 15, I bought my first "real" camera (Canon A-1 SLR) and immediately started reading every book I could get my hands on to learn the fundamentals. By my junior year in high school, I was ready to shoot for the school journalism class. Unfortunately, my class schedule was too full to include journalism but the teacher made me a contributing photographer anyway and allowed me to attend the photography "camps" at Ball State University where I learned so much more. As a senior, still not being able to officially include journalism in my schedule, I was named co-photo editor for the school and our newspaper and yearbook went on to win several state & national awards.
College, career, and family responsibilities definitely put some diversions to my photographic interests. Although I was still involved photographically, it was mostly either work or family related. Even though I was not shooting anywhere near the number of slides that I was accustomed to, I did manage to keep my equipment up-to-date through those years. I ended up selling my Canon bodies and FD lenses and acquiring a Bronica medium format system and numerous Contax cameras including the G-1 and G-2 rangefinders, RX SLR system, and two Contax point-and-shoots.
Then something happened last fall. That was when I made a conscious decision to return to photography and the subjects I love most - nature, wildlife, and landscapes. I also felt that digital had finally reached a level of performance and price that was acceptable. So I sold off most of my film gear while keeping the Canon 10D with the kit lens that I used at work. In order to get serious, I knew it was time to get some serious lenses for that camera. Searching the internet for lens reviews is how I stumbled onto this site. After acquiring the lenses (following the advice and reviews of others here), I felt it was my responsibility to give back what I could so I joined PR in February of this year (2006). The level of member participation and enthusiasm here has been terrific! The number of people asking for advice always impresses me - that tells me that people want to improve and want to learn the craft. Equally impressive are the numbers of people willing to help out by giving useful and meaningful advice. My approach here is to provide real world examples along with helpful tips and tricks that I hope will enable other photographers to improve their own skills and develop their own techniques.
Lastly, my ultimate goal is simply to convince as many people the full beauty and fragility of the natural world that surrounds us.
Visit Loupey's website:
Contributor's Page >>