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Nikon Owner Issue 21

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Legendary Beast by Karen Hall

"The most wonderful thing about photography is the feeling of utter triumph when you do shoot a good picture - it is a bit like running and winning a race."

Karen Hall is a long-standing subscriber to Nikon Owner magazine and an enthusiastic member of the Nikon Owner Central London Regional Group.

Karen recalls first taking pictures as a child with a small Instamatic on her grandparents' farm in Ireland where she used to spend wonderful summer school holidays. Although she has attended a variety of courses, including specialist Nikon Training Courses on the D100, the D2X, and a scanner course at the Nikon Headquarters in Kingston, Surrey, she is primarily self-taught, but clearly a most enthusiastic enthusiast. Throughout her life, taking photographs have always given her much pleasure and enjoyment, but it was not until 2001 that she took up photography seriously after a knee operation that curtailed her ability to take part in another of her favourite activities - running. Photography has now become her foremost passion and has taken on another dimension since she gained her Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS) in 2004.

Her very first Nikon purchase was a Nikon EM in 1979, and she now has an array of Nikon kit. She likes the ability and choice of being able to use both digital and film; digital (a D2X camera combined with an 18-200 VR 200 micro lens) because of the instant accessibility of image, and an F5 for use in infrared shots, currently one of her most favoured mediums.

One of Karen's greatest sources of creative inspiration came from attending a Heather Angel workshop at Saint Hill Manor a few years ago; she was enthralled and encouraged by Heather's enthusiasm for her subject and by the pictures themselves. Likewise, Simon Marsden's work has been another source of inspiration.

The Photograph

Legendary Beast

"I am always looking for the unseen, and was inspired to take this shot because I am fascinated by the concept of fantasy and mythical beings. I actually have a collection of pixies, leprechauns and trolls and other such legendary creatures, which I sometimes like to add to a picture (just for the hell of it), although unfortunately some of my photographic friends start disowning me as soon as I take the little folk out of my equipment bag and place them somewhere in the middle of the countryside! But fortuitously, in Japan there were little creatures all over the place and I could not stop my film camera coming out as soon as I spotted the legendary beast in this shot.".

Location: Entrance to Toshogu Shrine, Nikko, Japan

Equipment used: A Nikon F5 + an AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Nikkor lens.
Kodak infra-red film + Nikon R60 (red) filter.