Jeff Lynch is a commercial, landscape & nature photographer, blogger and author based in Sugar Land, Texas.
Jeff Lynch Photography, Ltd.
Sugar Land, Texas
Jeff's passion for Texas landscape photography extends to his love of teaching and he can be found leading groups of serious amateurs each spring and fall during the Texas Landscape Safari workshop.
His most recent work can be found gracing the pages of this blog: Serious Amateur Photography where he shares his passion for landscape and nature photography with photographers around the globe. Jeff's first two books of Texas landscape photography, Hill Country Landscapes and Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons have been widely praised throughout the state and his next book, Big Bend Landscape Adventures is due out this fall.
Jeff's work has been featured in Texas Monthly magazine and in Jeff Carlson's recent book; Canon Powershot G10/G11: From Snapshots to Great Shots published by Peachpit Press.
Serious photography really began for me in the mid 70’s when Canon introduced the TX with an “auto-winder” and the (ultimate) F-1 w/motor drive. They also introduced their FD line of “aspherical lenses”, which (for that point in time) were exceptionally sharp.
I began taking shots of local sporting events (high school football, basketball, track & field) in the northern suburbs of Detroit as a freelance (B&W only in those days) sports photographer. I only made money “if” the local paper liked the shots and their own guy was covering some other event. I’d load up my TX with a (relatively) fast 50mm lens for close-up shots and my F-1 with a 70-210 zoom for everything else.
All together including my shoulder bag, filters, film (Tri-X) and raincoat (it always rains in Michigan in the fall), everything must have weighed in at over 25 lbs and it felt like much more! I’m running down the field to catch the action, reloading film on the fly, taking shot after shot praying that one of two turn out OK. I’m wet, tired and ache all over from lugging all that gear around in the rain and cold. And that’s just the fun part!
Once the event was over, I’d rush back to the darkroom and begin the arduous (and messy) process of developing the ten or so 36 exposure rolls of Tri-X, praying that I was agitating just the right amount to prevent any air bubbles from ruining my shots but not too much or the contrast and grain of Tri-X (pushed to 1600) would turn to mush.
Next I would print a quick contact sheet using my enlarger while the film was still “wet” and allow my socks to dry right next to the rest of the film. When I had the time (which was really never, before the usual 4:00 AM deadline) I would also pick a few good shots and print some 5 x 7’s to take along with the contact sheet, to the paper’s sports editor.
So here I am. It’s about 3:00 AM on a Saturday morning. I’m standing in front of some guy who’s smoking one cigarette after another and he pushes my nice 5 x 7’s onto the floor, grabs the contact sheet and marks big red X’s on all but two of the 300 or so shots. These he circles, while grabbing my negs and looking at them on his light-box. All the time muttering about how spoiled we kids are today and how he used to walk to and from school in the dead of winter, up hill both ways, carrying a warm potato to keep his hands from freezing, which he then ate for lunch.
He reaches into his desk, pulls out two twenties and says “Kid, those shots really suck but we’ve got nothing else so we’ll run em anyhow”. This guy was the sports editor for a small town paper acting like he ran the New York Times!
Today it's a whole new world and this is the best time in history to be a photographer!
Digital SLRs are incredibly sophisticated, lightweight and durable. Lenses are designed by computer aided technology, precision fabricated by computer controlled machines and calibrated and tested by laser. Digital film (CF) is fast, affordable and reliable. Post capture processing is done on a personal computer (MacBook) using programs like Photoshop and Lightroom at a fraction of the cost of film and enlargements. Printing can be done at home or online at places like Mpix.com.
Learning your craft used to take years and years. Trial and error was expensive in the days of film. Today we have the Internet. The most incredible learning tool a serious amateur or budding professional could ask for. Over the course of a few days we can take several thousand digital exposures, sort through them and "develop" the best in just a few minutes. Post our work online and ask for constructive criticism or submit our work to online courses and receive feedback from masters like William Neill.
What an incredible time to be a photographer!
Jeff Lynch Photography, Ltd.
Sugar Land, TX
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- Jeffrey Lynch
- July 2008
- Geneva, NY
- Sugar Land, USA
- I am:
- Male and Single
- Commercial Photographer
- Serious Amateur Photography