The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 8
Subscribers' Gallery – Frantisek Staud
Although Frantisek Staud has a PhD in pharmacology, he considers himself first and foremost a photographer, a writer and a traveller. He was born in 1970 in Policka, Czech Republic, and spent most of his childhood taking photographs and learning to develop them himself. His first camera was a Zenit EM, and since then, he has never been without a camera.
“When I worked in Kyoto, Japan in 1996, I suddenly found myself living in a photographers’ paradise. Kyoto is full of traditional Japanese buildings, temples, shrines and Zen-gardens, Geisha girls, monks in broad straw hats, and colourful festivals occurring every other day. I would get up at five o’clock in the morning to take photographs, making use of the best light, before hurrying to start work at the laboratory at nine o’clock. I also spent every weekend cycling around Kyoto, photographing festivals, parades, tea ceremonies or exploring the nearby villages and mountains.
While I was there, I discovered that my photographs had business potential; the development of electronic image processing along with internet expansion allowed me to digitise my images, share them online and e-mail them to possible clients and stock libraries.
When I returned from Japan, I embarked upon a career as a ‘travel photographer’, and have since taken photographs in many countries, including the Faroe Islands, Great Britain and New England. I mostly travel alone, my backpack crammed with outdoor gear. This gives me the freedom to improvise when necessary, stay overnight at a location I want to photograph in the morning, or wait for hours for the right light. Most importantly, travelling alone brings you into closer contact with people and offers an invaluable and personal insight into their lives. Apart from shooting ‘cliché’ landmark photographs for stock agents, I always try to take journalistic images of local people and events. This approach has helped me get a broader audience, and my photographs have been used in publications and advertising campaigns on almost every continent.
The best thing I have ever done as a photographer was to invest in a high-quality desktop scanner (Nikon 4000ED), registering my own website www.phototravels.net which features over 1500 photographs. I can subsequently show my work to tens of thousands of visitors a month and provide high-resolution scans to picture publishers. I never contact buyers. I simply scan my photographs, post them online and wait for clients to find them through search engines.
Why do I use Nikon? As a travel photographer I have often faced inhospitable conditions: subzero temperatures, sandy winds, difficult mountain terrain, etc, and I needed equipment that could withstand all possible elements. When I started searching for a system offering the benefits of modern AF cameras that could be backed up with a manual, battery independent body, there was only one choice – the Nikon AF system plus a Nikon FM2n. In fact, the miraculous FM2n, originally purchased to work as a back-up in harsh conditions, has become my principal camera for many assignments where weight and reliability is vital. I can additionally interchange all my lenses on all my bodies.”
F100, FM2n, F-601m plus Nikkor 20f/2.8, 35f/2, 50f/1.4 & f/1.8, 105 /2.8 Micro, 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 VR and SB-22S Speedlight.