Ex­treme photo school

Kevin Ma­cAulay’s time in the Cana­dian mil­i­tary en­abled him to hone his pho­tog­ra­phy skills in chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ments

NPhoto - - Over To You… -

My in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy be­gan in high school, when I was cho­sen to be a year­book pho­tog­ra­pher. I joined the mil­i­tary, and in 1990 I be­gan my pho­to­graphic train­ing at the Cana­dian Forces School of Aero­space Tech­nol­ogy and En­gi­neer­ing as a Pho­to­graphic Tech­ni­cian. My first is­sued 35mm cam­era was the Nikon FM2. I loved that cam­era! As pho­tog­ra­phy pro­gressed into the dig­i­tal era the mil­i­tary be­gan to use the Ko­dak and Nikon DCS line of dig­i­tal cam­eras.

Af­ter be­ing pro­moted to the rank of Sergeant in 2007 I was cho­sen to be part of a spe­cial­ist pho­to­graphic and video team known as Com­bat Cam­era. In April 2008 I went on a High Arc­tic sovereignty pa­trol with the Cana­dian Rangers called Op­er­a­tion Nu­nalivut, which is Inuit for ‘Our Land’. These pa­trols are un­der­taken to as­sert Canada’s sovereignty in the vast­ness of the North. We trav­elled by snow­mo­bile along the west side of Ellesmere Is­land, liv­ing in tents on the ice.

I recorded our jour­ney us­ing a Nikon D300, which was a chal­lenge in tem­per­a­tures that fell as low as -55ºC. The trick was to make sure you didn’t keep your cam­era or lenses any­where where con­den­sa­tion could form, but this was harder

The trick was to not keep your cam­era or lenses where con­den­sa­tion could form; just re­mov­ing the lens cap could cause a lens to fog

than you might think; just re­mov­ing the lens cap and re­plac­ing it could cause a lens to fog with the heat of your hand. It is also a good place to learn about your cam­era’s me­ter­ing sys­tem. You’re sur­rounded by snow, and your cam­era sees ev­ery­thing as mid-grey and de­liv­ers under-ex­posed shots, so you have to com­pen­sate for this.

I’ve al­ways en­joyed pho­tograph­ing peo­ple wher­ever I was, cap­tur­ing their emo­tions and their en­vi­ron­ment, and my pas­sion now is available-light por­trai­ture. I want to master nat­u­ral light, and I’ve just up­graded from the D7000 to the D750, which has a great ISO range and is en­abling me to cap­ture im­ages that ex­ceed my ex­pec­ta­tions. I have loved my 25-year pho­to­graphic jour­ney, and Nikon has been there with me the whole way.

01 A po rtrait, of sorts Nikon D3, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO250

03 03 Funell ing in th e cold Nikon D300, Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO200 04 A fa ce from th e col d Nikon D300, Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO200

04

02 Home ba se Nikon D300, Nikon AF-S

24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO200

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