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I am Nikonians

John McGarry (jtmcg) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)


Keywords: travel, landscape, macro, photography, anpat, jtmcg

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I am a retired mechanical engineer. My last job before retirement was Project Manager for plant modifications in Nuclear Power Plants. I live in Simsbury, a suburb north of Hartford Connecticut. There are several wooded areas, meadows and ponds nearby where one can find deer, birds, and various insects such as dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies. New England is also well known for its fall foliage with various species of maple trees turning yellow, orange and red.

01

Black-eyed Susan with Frost
Nikon D300, 105mm f/2.8 @ f/8, ISO 200
12 frames focus stack on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

I shot film back in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly Kodachrome 64. Work and family obligations caused me to sideline my photography except for family vacations and holidays. After I retired, my son came over one day with a new Nikon D80. I started playing around with it and realized how much I had enjoyed photography. I bought a D80 with the kit lens and began to reacquaint myself with photography. One of my major interests was macro photography so I got out my 25 year old Nikon 105 f/2.8 micro (MF, no metering) and used a light meter for exposure. Shortly after that I bought the 105mm f/2.8 AF-S micro and spent a lot of time shooting flowers and bugs. I bought a 300 f/4 lens which I have used with tubes or a teleconverter for close-ups of insects. I also learned to do focus stacking.

02

European Skipper with Dew
Nikon D800, 300mm f/4 w/tube, @ f/8, 1/15s, ISO 200
6 frames focus stack on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

Interested in shooting sports, I enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the peak of the action. I moved on to a D300 body and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. We have had a white-water race here in town for the last few years and I always enjoy shooting that. I also shoot various sports at local high schools and prep schools such as soccer, lacrosse, track and field, field hockey and rugby.

03

Jump Ball
Nikon D500, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G @ f/4.5, 1/1600s, ISO 200, hand held
Click for an enlargement

 

For my 70thbirthday, my son and daughter paid my airfare for a trip my son and I took to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. That was a special trip to take with my son and it also gave me the chance to do some photography in an area with some dramatic and beautiful landscapes. I had not done a lot of landscape photography before that trip. Since then I’ve taken several photo trips including five ANPATs (Annual Nikonians Photographic Adventure Trips) and three trips to Iceland, all of which gave me many landscape opportunities and also opportunities to shoot wildlife.

04

Last Rays
Nikon D800, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ f/5, ISO 400. 3 frames HDR on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

My son actually found the Nikonians website in the spring of 2007 and suggested I check it out. After checking out some of the forums I decided that it was a site worth supporting and I became a dues paying member. 

05

Low Lying Clouds
Nikon D800, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ f/11, 1/250s, ISO 200, hand held
B&W conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro
Click for an enlargement

 

Nikonians has been a very valuable resource in my development as a photographer. The store of knowledge that exists within the membership would be hard to duplicate anywhere. If you ask a photography related question on one of the forums, chances are you will get a correct answer in short order or there will be a sincere effort to help you solve your problem. 

06

Puffin Sweethearts
Nikon D800, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G, @ f/8, 1/320s, ISO 640, on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

In addition, there are very talented photographers posting their work in the various forums which you can study and learn from. Posting your own work in the forums will provide helpful commentary from the other Nikonians.

07

Tricolor Heron
Nikon D810, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G @ f/7.1, 1/160s, ISO 800, on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

Nikonians has also been the source for some of my best photo opportunities. Besides the five ANPATs, my first trip to Iceland was on a Nikonians Academy photo tour. I had wanted to visit Iceland for many years and when Nikonians offered it for the first time in 2013; I took advantage of the opportunity. It was a great trip and made me want to see more of that beautiful country. As a result, I went back to Iceland in 2014 and 2015. Although there was some overlap on the three trips, most of the 2014 and 2015 trips consisted of new places that I had not seen.

08

Yikes!
Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8 @ f/4, 1/4000s, ISO 200, hand held
Click for an enlargement

 

Take advantage of what Nikonians has to offer. ANPATs are great opportunities to meet other Nikonians and be taken to previously scouted places where you can come away with some great images. It’s a very enjoyable week. Post your photos in the forums and learn from the other photographers that post in the forums.

09

Snowy Morning at Bryce
Nikon D300, 14-24mm f/2.8 @ f/16, 1/125s, ISO 320, on tripod
Click for an enlargement

 

ANPAT 11th was my first ANPAT. We arrived at Bryce Canyon from Zion in the afternoon and it was raining. Snow was predicted overnight and we weren’t sure how that would affect our photo opportunities. We left the hotel before dawn even though it didn’t look like we would see a sunrise. Although it was still snowing at sunrise, not long afterward the storm moved on and the sun came out. We had some great light and Bryce looking beautiful with the snow cover.

Thank you all who have helped me and continue to do so through the years, making my photography continuously better and fun.

We thank you, John, for taking the time to share your thoughts and images with the community. You may want to visit his profile as well.

Originally written on April 13, 2018

Last updated on September 5, 2018

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 7053 posts

12 comments

Ern Reeders (Ziggy99) on April 25, 2018

Inspirational work. Thank you.

John McGarry (jtmcg) on April 23, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife, Macro & Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his win at the Nikonians Best 2016 Photo Contest Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the 2017 fundraising campaign

Thanks very much for the kind words Cari, Carol and Noel. Carol - I believe we have met in person on the 2013 Nikonians Iceland photo tour.

Cari Martin (CariCaptures) on April 21, 2018

Hello John and thank you for sharing your story! I am new to Nikonians, however not new to shooting with Nikon. This is my first post on the site. I just want to say I enjoyed your images and what an inspiration you are to further my photography and start show casing some of my photos! Enjoy your journey :)

Carol Freshley (PhotoSpydie) on April 21, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the 2017 fundraising campaign

What a great story you have to go with such excellent images. So good to meet you, perhaps one day in person. Thank you Marsha for 'getting the story'!!

Noel Gillam (NFG) on April 20, 2018

Bonjour from France Good effort there and some very nice images, well done Think I originally joined on 2007 but have been on/off due to all sorts of other turmoil, usually expensive! keep up the good work Noel

John McGarry (jtmcg) on April 20, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife, Macro & Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his win at the Nikonians Best 2016 Photo Contest Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the 2017 fundraising campaign

Thank you everyone for your generous comments. Russ - Iceland addiction is an easy condition to acquire. I had wanted to go for years and when I did get there, once wasn't enough. The puffin shot is also one of my favorites. It was taken at Latrabjarg Cliffs, the westernmost point in Iceland. We were there 2 nights in June 2014 probably 6-7 hrs total over the 2 nights since sunset was around midnight. Breeding season goes from approximately late may to mid August. Early on they're mating and nesting and later they're bringing fish back to the nest to feed the young.

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on April 19, 2018

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest

Great images from you as usual John, together with a very interesting article. It's nice to get to know you a bit better. See you around here soon!

judith dunn (topper1946) on April 18, 2018

Ribbon awarded for for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Wonderful images John - we met at an Anpat and a trip to Iceland. Really nice to hear your "backstory".

Claire Archer (Carcher) on April 15, 2018

I loved seeing your photos and hearing your stories.

David Summers (dm1dave) on April 15, 2018

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Great story and great photography, thank you for sharing your photographic journey with us.

Fred Laberge (labtrout) on April 14, 2018

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his constant sharing of his skills and continuous comments of encouragement in the Nikonians spirit.

I enjoyed reading about how your interest in photography developed, John, and I certainly have enjoyed viewing your work in this profile and on the forum.

Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) on April 13, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Well, John, I was hoping to eventually see Marsha showcasing your work here, and I have now been rewarded! I'm very happy to see you included what I think are some of your very best images in the article. As you know, I am another Iceland-addicted Nikonian and your lovely work always re-awakens my own good memories and rekindles my own desire to return there ASAP. BTW, I LOVE the puffin shot as well. Can't wait to see your portfolio (nudge,nudge, hint,hint)! Keep on clickin', my friend.

G