Extreme photo school
Kevin MacAulay’s time in the Canadian military enabled him to hone his photography skills in challenging environments
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
02 Home ba se Nikon D300, Nikon AF-S
24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO200