IN FOCUS WOMEN IN PROFILE - JASMINE LEE, Sunshine Coast, Australia
What sparked your interest in photography?
I've been interested in photography since I was 15. We didn't have a lot when I was growing up, I was raised by a single mother with chronic health issues, so it wasn't until my first child was born that I got my first SLR camera. I guess I realised it no longer was a want but a need. I was 22. I can't really say what sparked my interest, but the birth of my first child definitely prompted me to pursue it.
How long have you been shooting for?
I did my first darkroom course 18 months later (2004) and learned everything from loading film into canisters to aperture, shutter speed and ISO to printing and then presenting. I even had to mount my own prints! A few years later after working as a casual school portrait photographer, I had a thirst for more knowledge. So when my firstborn started school, I went to Uni to study a Bachelor in Visual Communication (Photography) full time for 3 years. It was hectic! So I guess I have been shooting for about 17 years.
What is your favourite type of photography?
My absolute favourite type of photography is landscapes. My interest was first sparked by Ken Duncan's work. I met him many moons ago, when my eldest child was a baby. Unfortunately it's not the easiest genre to earn a living from and because I had such a big responsibility from a young age, his needs came before my dreams, so I needed a steady reliable income. I also have a fondness for newborn and family portraiture and I suppose that's because it gave me independence. It was the first time I had run my own business and it boomed. Knowing people have my images on their walls or in albums that they will look at for many years to come gives me so much satisfaction. It was also during this time I had my second and third baby boy's. It wasn't until August last year (2019) that I actively started shooting landscapes, with the hope of selling my artwork.
What is in your camera bag?
Ummm, what isn't?! I have been a loyal Nikon user since that very first camera purchase. I believe it was a Nikon F80 35mm camera. Now I work with my Nikon D850 and I use my Nikkor 14-24mm, 24-70mm lenses for landscapes. I also have the 50mm, 85mm and 105mm primes as well as the 200-500mm tele and probably a few more too. Other equipment I use is the Aquatech elite ll water housing for all my ocean and underwater shots and I use the DJI Mavic 2 pro for all my aerials. I also use the Sirui W-2204 Tripod with K-2011 ball head and I never leave home without my Nisi filter kit, well except for that one time! I also find it really difficult to let go of my gear, so I literally have a storage case full of equipment that I'm 'saving for my children to use'.
What would your dream kit be?
I think I pretty much have my dream kit. There are always more and more gadgets coming out and retailers will have you believe that you need the latest, most expensive gear in order to take great photos. The truth is, you just need to know how to use your gear well and what you want to achieve with the images. I have seen amazing photos taken with phones, but it's unlikely you'll see those images on billboards. I have acquired a lot of my kit through years of investment. My lenses are all over 8 years old. I upgraded my camera last year because my previous one was 10 years old and I wanted a water housing to experiment with ocean and underwater photography. I also bought a drone because...well, they're just awesome. Heaps of fun and a different perspective to what we are used to seeing. They are also becoming increasingly affordable.
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Adobe RAW and Photoshop. I've experimented with Lightroom, but I'm so in my groove with editing that I usually just go back to what I know. I'm sure it takes me way longer than it needs to.
Who are you top 3 photography inspirations?
This is really difficult because I think it's a constantly evolving thing. For now, Ryan Resatka, his work evokes wonder and awe and makes me want to pack a bag and walk around the earth. Peter Iversen, his work is out of a sci-fi movie and I love how he pushes the boundaries of reality. Peter Lik, just wow! Peter's work reminds me of the traditional landscape panoramas that were shot on film. I have a lot of respect for film photography. Special mention to Oat Vaiyaboon from Hanging Pixels, I absolutely adore his astro work and the colour he produces.
What are you top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot?
Iceland, Western Australia and New Zealand. My husband is from New Zealand and I've been there countless times, but I've only visited the South Island twice. I was meant to be heading there in May this year but sadly, had to cancel.
What are you social media handles?
Facebook page is @jasminelee.photo.official