Al­ways ready

Whether at home or on his trav­els, Eric Beaulieu never misses a chance to hone his pho­tog­ra­phy skills

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I’m an IT con­sul­tant, and pho­tog­ra­phy is a rel­a­tively new pas­sion for me. It all started six years ago, when I at­tended a photo course at a lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tre. The teacher was so pas­sion­ate, and the course so in­ter­est­ing, that my in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy grew very quickly.

At that time I just had a Pen­tax com­pact cam­era. I quickly re­alised how much this limited my pho­tog­ra­phy, restrict­ing what I could do, and so a month af­ter start­ing the course I bought a Nikon D80.

Life through a lens

As I learned more about pho­tog­ra­phy, I started to look at the world in a dif­fer­ent way. Every­where I go, whether it’s on hol­i­day over­seas or just for a walk in my home city of Que­bec, [1] [2], I’m al­ways look­ing for an in­ter­est­ing shot.

Travel is a big pas­sion for me, and I es­pe­cially like to go to New York City, which is around an eight-hour jour­ney from my home; there are so many amaz­ing places, and such a va­ri­ety of people and cul­tures, in one spot [3].

When pos­si­ble, I’ll re­turn to a place that I’ve pre­vi­ously vis­ited, but I’ll go at a dif­fer­ent time of the day to catch the right light for the per­fect pic­ture. My favourite times of day for tak­ing

When pos­si­ble, I’ll re­turn to a place that I’ve pre­vi­ously vis­ited, but I’ll go at a dif­fer­ent time of day to catch the right light

pic­tures, not sur­pris­ingly, are the golden hours around sun­rise and sun­set.

I also love tak­ing pho­tos of kids be­cause they are so un­pre­dictable and ex­pres­sive, and since my daugh­ter was born in Oc­to­ber 2012 I’ve prob­a­bly taken more than 3,000 pho­tos of her! Chil­dren don’t stay still for long, so you have to be pa­tient with them, and quick on the shut­ter re­lease – if I don’t want to miss any­thing dur­ing a shoot, I’ll use the Con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing mode so my sub­ject is al­ways in fo­cus. A shot of my nephew play­ing with a dog is one my favourite pho­tos ever.

Life through a lens

Since I sub­scribed to N-Photo I’ve learned so many things about pho­tog­ra­phy. These days I’m not afraid to shoot in Man­ual mode, and I’ve also come to ap­pre­ci­ate the ben­e­fits of shoot­ing in RAW, and of us­ing a tri­pod and ND fil­ters for long ex­po­sure shots. I love to try out new tech­niques such as HDR and night pho­tog­ra­phy.

It’s great to have con­trol of post-pro­duc­tion, too. I re­cently started to use Nikon Cap­ture NX2 for edit­ing my RAW files – it’s so easy to ad­just the ex­po­sure, the White Bal­ance and sat­u­ra­tion, and I like the Con­trol Points fea­ture, which en­ables me to make se­lec­tive ad­just­ments with­out hav­ing to use layer masks.

I’ve be­come so pas­sion­ate about my pho­tog­ra­phy that maybe one day I’ll switch ca­reer and take it up pro­fes­sion­ally. In the mean­time I’ll prac­tise and prac­tise, and try to dis­cover my own niche.

01 01 GOLDE N CURVE S Nikon D90, Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO400

02

04 02 FULL OF COLOUR Nikon D90, Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, ISO400

03 03 NEW YORK FIRE TRUC K Nikon D90, Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX, 1/30 sec, f/8, ISO1100

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