IN FOCUS WOMEN IN PROFILE - Karen Short, Queensland, Australia
What sparked my interest in photography?
I've been an outdoors person for most of my life. For many years I was a long distance runner, cyclist and ocean swimmer, culminating in competing in many triathlon events. They took me to beautiful ocean side locations around Australia and overseas places such as Hawaii and New Zealand. Photography was a natural progression for me to immerse myself in the elements of ocean life as well as being goal oriented.
How long have you been shooting for?
I have been shooting for around five years with DSLR cameras, before that Iphone.
What is your favourite type of photography?
I really love long exposure photography. I love how it enriches nature's colour palette, as well as the ocean and cloud motion it creates. It portrays places and moments beyond words. I often add poetry or prose excerpts that suit the mood of the shot, as an extension of artistic expression. I also love macro photography with a focus on our local flowers and plants. They mix and match beautifully with ocean scapes. I use telephoto to capture our local seabirds too. I seek them out in their local resting places along the beaches, uninterrupted by humans. It's great to capture their intrinsic personalities on camera. I am also partial to wave and surfing photography. What is the surf without our surfers!
What is in your camera bag?
My camera bag is a Nikon DSLR D7500 and D5600. I use one for long exposure and one for hand held shots. My lenses are Tamron 10-24mm Landscape, 100-400mm Telephoto, Micro Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8, Nikon 18-140mm, Nisi Polarised filter and soft-grad filters, Carbon Fibre Tripod and BH1 Ballhead.
What would your dream kit be?
My dream kit would be the new Nikon Z7iiZ 14-24 f2.8 lens. I'm not sure that will ever happen but it's ok to dream. Realistically, I am happy with my current equipment and I consider myself to still have a lot to learn.
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Adobe Lightroom to process my images. I'm just getting a handle on the editing side of it. I think it's important to take good photos in the first place and then editing is not a big deal.
Who are your top 3 photography inspirations?
Firstly, Annie Leibovitz is one of my top three photography inspirations because she has pioneered the words photography and women in her lifetime. Her work speaks for itself. She is a living legend and is unrelenting in her photographic passion as she continues to give workshops around the world. Secondly, I found a book in a second hand book shop, Australian Women Photographers 1840 - 1960, and it simply blew me away. It reveals the remarkable number of talented women photographers both amateur and professional, whose work, up until recently, remained virtually unrecognized. The book positions women in their social and cultural developments of the times in which they lived, and the camera also gave them an additional role as recorders of domestic history. They travelled widely, frequently alone, and chronicled places and events which had previously been the domain of their male counterparts. Thirdly, my inspirations are the women photographers I have encountered largely on Instagram who are sharing their experience and life perspective through photography, as well as providing tremendous support and encouragement to one another.
What are your top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot?
I love the Sunshine Coast and I was lucky to move here prior to Covid 19. The area has so much to explore and its beauty overlaps each day into mesmerising colour and salty essence. There are many beaches and tablelands here which I am still yet to discover in depth. Apart from home, my three top bucket locations I would want to shoot are, the Italian Amalfi Coast, the Greek Islands, and the Netherlands tulip farms and windmills.
What advice would you give a beginner?
Advice I would give a beginner is to follow your intuition. Photograph what you love and don't be hard on yourself. Keep putting your photographs out here on your chosen social medium. And practice, practice, practice. I make mistakes all the time, and the only way to learn is to make mistakes. I did one beginners course in photography but apart from that I've been practicing the craft, as well as reading up on it. It's also good to have some photography friends. I belong to a small group of sunrise photographers on the Coast and we catch up every few weeks. They are a great support, many of them far more experienced than me and very willing to share their thoughts, experience and feedback.
What are your social media handles?
My favourite social media handle is Instagram. It can be frustrating at times but the rewards outweigh the drawbacks. I keep my posts consistent and reply to those who comment. It takes a long time to build an account but long term it's worth it. I've also started to make photo books to encapsulate the seasons of my photography. They make great coffee table books and a talking point with visitors.