The Photographer

Adopting Digital

Hello. My name is Niel Morley and I am the photographer at large with my website lenscraft.net

I am a commercial photographer with specialist skills in many branches of photography based on real experience.

Winter in Busselton Western Australia

When visiting a website it’s only natural to want to know a little bit about the principle author. So this is an introduction to me and a little bit about my work. My first foray into photography was with a black and white film in my early teens with a good neighbor who was quite happy to process the images for me and help me to understand subtle texture. After that I had a go with some slide film and discovered the glorious nature of Agfa slide color. I well remember lovely holidays in Wales and going up and down the hills taking photographs of everything that I could although in those days we were on a budget and it was very hard to limit myself to what I wanted to take.

Western Australia
Stealth Mode

My first commercial activity was real estate photography in my teens. I didn’t really understand what I was doing but the owners were patient with me and let me work it out on the job. I quickly learned the value of using a wide angle lens though I shot just about the whole thing with a 35mm lens. The images were used and were useful. There was a stream running through the property and I got the owner’s wife to pose there with the beautiful scenery and house behind and off to one side some beautiful overhanging trees with some chickens running wild.

Decades of experience

I got involved with landscape photography and some wedding photography and was fortunate enough to have a go with a number of different cameras because a lot of people were happy to let me borrow their equipment and try it out. I managed to use a number of rangefinder cameras of German and Russian origin though I gravitated towards the Olympus camera range because, although they were a little small or so I thought, I felt that the metering was the best.

We tried to add up the number of different cameras that I have used over the years and it easily exceeded 100. This was very much a learning curve and I guess it illustrates a simple truth and I have a suspicion that a number of photographers agree with me. It is the photographer that takes the image and it is in the photographer’s mind that he sees the image that he wants to take. There were lots of arguments about which equipment is the best and which lens is the best. And I’ve read some beautiful and elegant discussions from a variety of people making the claim that one particular camera is better than another and an equal number of dissertations from others making a different position clear. There are in photography some things that are absolute rules in terms of getting the best image but there are not so many rules. Many successful photographers have never heard of the rule of thirds or the Fibonacci principle and yet they produce excellent photographs. They have the ability to see light and to see how that light works within the image.

You have to try different gear

I was an early adopter of digital and have been an early adopter of every technology that has come out. I believe that we should try different ideas and see what we can do with them. I’ve heard people say that we shouldn’t buy so much gear and they pull out the old phrase about being a jack of all trades and master of non-. But the reality is that when we have the opportunity to try out new tools and learn new things we miss out on so much if we don’t give it a go. To illustrate. Are optical viewfinders better than electronic viewfinders? Sometimes and sometimes not. Hence in my arsenal I have both. Is full frame the only way to go? Rubbish. There are so many options out there. When we learn to look at what cameras can do and see how a sensor works and we see what it does with the light, we learn so much. And that is my approach. I’m not prepared to be limited to a given format that makes it difficult for me to achieve the image that I’m looking for. I’ll use the right tool for the job. Some of the tools might seem quite simple and others might seem like overkill. But it’s about getting the job done and getting the image.

Niel Shooting Leica

My focus is commercial photography. To that end I’m happy doing work that focuses on product photography or building photography or photography suitable for the front covers of magazines or photography suitable for websites that creates a commercial set of images that put across a certain idea or theme. My images have been used in tourism and promotion. My photographs are used by university lecturers. I’ve had photographs used on websites. I’ve put together commercial images suitable for the promotion of products. My images have graced the front cover of magazines and had been used educationally and commercially. I use a product tent to capture the best and sharpest detail where necessary and then use natural lighting where possible when I’m shooting people. People offer to get me to go to different places to take photographs for them. Not so long ago I took a series of photographs for a wedding and the parents wanted to fly me to the middle of Australia to shoot another child’s wedding. Unfortunately I had a conflict but I hated letting them down because I really wanted to do the job.

York UK

So in this website you’ll see thoughts and ideas based on 40 years of photography. I’ve worked in different things over the years but I’ve always had a passion for photography. I have noted the rise of the amateur image and the clear distinction between the amateur image and the professional and I have also noted the clear distinction between the professional image where the professional really understands the value of light as opposed to the professional image which is at best a snap: no disrespect intended. Experience cannot be gained by reading books. I think I took around 20,000 photographs before I walked out of shoots generally pleased with what I was taking. I’ve always got paid for the work that I do and I’ve never had an argument with a client except when they wanted me to do something that was impossible.

So this is my website and here I will comment on a whole range of different things. And, if you would like me to do some photography for you you only have to get in touch.

This website should not be confused with lenscraft.com which is based in the UK. There are other websites that use the name lenscraft but the top tier websites are lenscraft.net and lenscraft.com. When I registered the name lenscraft.net I had never heard of any other photography website with the name and the registrar immediately made lenscraft.net available to me and given that it is a top tier listing I took it.

A few comments re Lenscraft Photography. When we comment on equipment in these pages the comments are based on use in the field. They are never based on a single use or just a couple of days using the equipment. We try the equipment with at least two disciplines in photography and determine how it performs from there. Lenscraft Photography is a website devoted to photography and sharing experiences with equipment. We are not affiliated with any manufacturer. We have used equipment professionally from Canon, Nikon, Ricoh, Minolta, Sony, Leica, Olympus, Hasselblad, Zeiss, Sigma, Pentax, Zenit, Bronica, Rollei & Kodak.

Some of these companies have been absorbed into others. Currently we regularly use equipment from Olympus, Nikon, Sony, Canon & Hasselblad. [Plus lenses from Zeiss and Sigma]

Warmest and best. Niel. Photographer.