IN FOCUS WOMEN IN PROFILE - Suzie Weiss, Melbourne, Australia
What sparked your interest in photography?
I have been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. My father has always been extremely enthusiastic about recording all our family moments and diligent in compiling albums and labelling everything ! He has also always been an early adopter of technology so always had the latest gadgets and cameras which I found fascinating. I remember being allowed to take a little automatic camera with a roll of black and white film on a school excursion to Melbourne when I was very young and the joy of receiving the prints, although as I recall only two were in focus. I still have those prints !!
How long have you been shooting for?
I really began shooting in my teens when I learned SLR photography and darkroom techniques at school. I continued on shooting black and white for a number of years and developed a love of candid portraiture. I pursued a career in the law so photography took a bit of a back seat. I found myself shooting less while I ran a business and raised a young family. The emergence of digital photography sparked my interest again and I eventually took the leap into the world of the DSLR shooting with Nikon gear. As my family grew up and I found some more time for myself I began to travel as much as I could and pursue my passion more seriously. I still work full time in the law so photography is truly my therapy ! It makes me feel old but all up I have been shooting on and off for about 35 years
What is your favourite type of photography?
That’s a hard one to answer. I just love making pictures whether it’s playing around with some macro in my back garden or experimenting with filters at my weekend beach getaway or shooting an epic Arctic aurora or a Rajasthani goat herd. I guess my favourite genre is travel photography which combines my two great passions. I love the challenge of capturing what I have seen and conveying what I have felt when I travel, whether its a street scene, a portrait or a landscape. I particularly love connecting with people when I travel and capturing their personality and character and those special moments you come across when exploring different places and cultures. I always strive to tell a story through my candid environmental portraiture and love the challenge of working only with natural light.
What is in your camera bag?
In 2017 I made the switch to Olympus which means I can fit lots in my camera bag !
I travel with two bodies, the OMD EM1 Mkii and the OMD EM1X and the holy trinity of their pro f2.8 lenses 7-14mm (ff 14-28mm), 12-40mm (ff 24-80mm) and the 40-150mm (ff 80-300mm) with a 2X teleconverter. I also never leave behind my favourite portrait lenses 25mm (ff50mm) f1.8 and 45mm (ff 90mm) f1.2. The Olympus 12-100mm (ff24-200mm) f4 is also an incredibly sharp and versatile travel lens and recently its been on my camera for the majority of my street walks.
I also carry NiSi filters although find I use them less now as the Olympus EM1X has an incredible built in Live ND feature which is so handy and with the amazing stabilisation means I can shoot long exposures hand held without a tripod or filters. For landscape shooting I use a Sirui W-2204 tripod.
What would your dream kit be?
I am very happy with my kit and it is so light and has such great features that I don’t often dream of gear … but if money was no object I’m sure I could while away many hours in a Leica Boutique!
What software do you use to process your images?
I process predominantly in Lightroom and use Photoshop and Google Nik software occasionally.
Who are you top 3 photography inspirations?
Steve McCurry and Réhahn are my two great inspirations for candid portraiture, both having the unique ability to connect the subject, photographer and viewer. For landscapes its hard to go past Ansell Adams and marvel at what he could achieve in a darkroom that I cannot even go close to achieving with digital editing. Closer to home I absolutely love the work of Kristoffer Paulsen, a Melbourne photographer who, no matter what the genre, is able to convey a deep and honest connection and emotion whether he is shooting landscapes, portraits or food!
What are you top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot?
I have long wanted to shoot in Ethiopia and I would have been there now if it wasn't for the COVID pandemic. Iceland, particularly the Diamond Beach and Oman are also high on my bucket list.
What are you social media handles?