Mark Williamson


Mark Williamson

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Southern California; Long Beach, Cypress, and currently I reside in Yorba Linda.

What got you into photography?

I started when I was in high school, but got into it seriously about six or seven years ago.

Why do you like photography?

I like the challenge of capturing a moment of time in a way that conveys what I saw to others. It’s like the more I learn the more there is to learn. I like to see other photographers work and try to get ideas and inspiration for my own work. I also enjoy showing people the world things they don’t usually get to see.

What are your favorite subjects to take pictures of?

I really like wildlife, macro, and landscape photography.

I like wildlife photography because I enjoy the challenge of getting close enough to animals to capture a good image of them.

I’m just beginning to get into macro photography. The challenge is to compose the shot artistically while still getting the depth of field and exposure correct.

I enjoy shooting landscapes because the more artistic landscape shots are usually found when most people aren’t willing to get themselves outside to shoot.

Where is your favorite place to take pictures?

About two summers ago I was up in Northern California and just fell in love with Jedediah Smith State Park. Absolutely beautiful place and the nearby town of Crescent City is really nice.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I don’t buy into that whole Canon/Nikon argument. I think that any camera you buy today is going to produce images as good as the photographer is capable of producing. I use Nikon because I have a good friend that I bought my first DSLR from and we can share lenses between the two of us.

My primary body is a Nikon D300. My backup body is a D70.

For glass, I have a Sigma 10-20, a Nikon 50 1.4, a Nikon 18-70 3.5-4.5, a Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR, and a Nikon 105 2.8 macro VR. I also have a Nikon 50 1.8 that I keep on the D70 and a Tamron 70-300.

I also use a SB-600 Speedlight and a R1-Macro Speedlight system for macro situations.

I use a Induro 314 carbon fiber tripod with a Markens M20 ball head to stabilize my rig.

To carry everything around I use an Condor 3 Day Assault backpack and a Think Tank Modulus Speedbelt system.

What do you do for a living?

I teach high school biology and environmental science in Riverside, California.

What do you like about teaching?

There is something very rewarding about reaching a group of students and getting them to truely understand a subject and get excited about it. Honestly, the kids today are amazing. If you show them respect and are honest with them, they will not let you down. The kids are usually hard working, honest, creative, and aim to please. I love working with them. I challenge them and they challenge me to be a better teacher.

The downside of teaching is all of the extra crap that comes with it. The paperwork, the state and district mandates, basically the things that take away from the real educational process.

Is there anything else you like to do in your spare time?

I like to cycle too. I love the feel of the road passing under my tires at a nice pace of 18-20 miles per hour and watching the scenery pass by too. The challenge of climbing hills and long rides. I’ve done five century rides (100 miles) and would like to get out and train to do some more.

Recently I’ve also started riding dirt bikes in the desert and on motocross tracks. I like the blend of the need for the rider and the power of the bike. There is an adrenaline rush when the bike gets squirrely and the ride gets hairy with the possibility of a crash.

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