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Featured Photographer, June 2011:   Rod Thomas

This month, our featured guest is Rod Thomas.

We want to thank Rod for answering our questions, and sharing some of his insights and experiences with us! Please visit his site links to see more of his incredible work, and to let him know you enjoyed this interview.

:: How did you get your start in photography? What pushed you towards panoramas?

I got my first camera when I was 15, seems like forever ago. It was an OLYMPUS OM 10. We lived on the beach and I wanted to take pictures of my mates surfing, that's why I got a camera. That old girl would probably be a good doorstop rite now I reckon.

What got me leading towards panoramas? My brother was building a house and started collecting a few Ken Duncans photos and I loved the format so I thought I would give it a go, but with digital getting so damn good these days, I am finding myself shooting a bit of both (panos and normal 35mm shots).

:: Do you think there is any difference in landscape photography philosophy between the photographers from Australia, as opposed to those from the U.S.?

Not at all. It does not matter where you are from, we're always pushing ourselves to be better every time we go out shooting. I know a lot of photographers from Australia look at American photographers for ideas and inspiration and I am sure it is the same for American photographers with Australians.

:: Which location in Australia is your favorite and why?

Mate, I have seen more of the rest of the world than I have of my own country. But if I had to pick a location to say is my favourite that I have been to, it would be Karijini in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is an amazing area and one I hope to get back to some time soon. I also really want to do some work in the NSW outback, as well as country Victoria during autumn (fall) and also the south west of Western Australia. We have so many nice places here in Australia, I could travel for the rest of my life and not see them all I reckon, but it's like that in the USA as well.

:: Give us a story of the scariest thing that has happened to you while photographing.

Um, not much scary has happened to me really, but on a recent trip to New Zealand, I was walking in the snow when I suddenly fell up to my waist, I had to get my mate to help me out... that's about the scariest thing.

:: How do you juggle the family and photography aspect of the business?

I am lucky I have a wife who is pretty easy going and lets me travel as much as I do, as my kids are only fairly young and a bit of a handful. She helps me out lots. I think as long as she can see it being rewarding, she is ok with it.

:: Do you consider yourself a rugged outdoor photographer or comforts type of guy? How long can you stay out in the wilds before you need to reconnect with life?

I could quite easily say a bit of both. I love camping and getting out there amongst it, but I could just as easy stay in a motel every night I am away. I have a trip to the USA in October this year, with a mate of mine, and we are camping 90% of the time, so I am really looking forward to it. If I could talk to my kids from anywhere in the world while shooting, that is all the connection with life I would need.

:: What aspect of photography do you find most challenging these days?

Trying to come up with my own style I guess, and I am not sure I have even nailed that yet!!!

:: What was the best piece of advice you received from another photographer while you were learning photography?

I had a photographer tell me once that if you want to know something, just ask. I have asked so many questions from other photographers and read a lot of stuff from the web it's not funny, but it's good, because a lot of people I have spoken with, are now mates, and even if I was to stop taking photos, I can still catch up with them and have a few beers....

:: What piece of advice would you pass on to another photographer who is just learning?

As above... ASK QUESTIONS! Search the net and ask questions, and keep asking!! Every bit of info you get, take it and put it into use on your next shoot, and your photos will improve in no time at all.

:: What locations do you want to visit the most in the next year?

I have got a three week trip to South West USA in OCT going through Zion, Page, Monument Valley, Arches, Canyonlands etc.... Apart from that, I have no plans set in stone, but as always, I am sure something will pop up. I'd love to see the Seychelles and The Maldives, back up to The Great Barrier Reef and do the whole coast of Australia, from The South Coast of NSW all the way across to Perth.

:: What is your favorite piece of gear you own and use with your photography?

My Fstop Tilopa backpack...... they are the best bag I have ever used!!

:: Which image of yours is your favorite, and why?

For me it's really hard to pick one, so I let my wife pick this one. It's the one with the lake scene from NZ with the mountains in the background, the fast moving clouds and the yellow trees off to the right hand side.

Rod Thomas

Rod Thomas' Links

Photographer Spotlight Interviews

   • Apr 2015:  Chris Kayler

   • Mar 2015:  Kah Kit Yoong

   • Feb 2015:  Ken Kaminesky

   • Jan 2015:  Mark Metternich

   • Dec 2014:  Alex Noriega

   • Nov 2014:  TJ Thorne

   • Oct 2014:  Erin Babnik

   • Sep 2014:  Valerie Millett

   • Aug 2014:  Jean Day

   • July 2014:  Nigel Turner

   • June 2014:  Sarah Marino

   • May 2014:  Peyton Hale

   • Apr 2014:  Marty Knapp

   • Mar 2014:  Nicolaus Wegner

   • Feb 2014:  Joe Azure

   • Jan 2014:  Dan Ballard

   • Dec 2013:  David Thompson

   • Nov 2013:  Michael Frye

   • Oct 2013:  Michael Kenna

   • Sep 2013:  Scott Davis

   • Aug 2013:  Michael Bonocore

   • July 2013:  Matt Granz

   • June 2013:  Scott Donschikowski

   • May 2013:  Koveh Tavakkol

   • Apr 2013:  Chip Phillips

   • Mar 2013:  Dylan & Marianne

   • Feb 2013:  Gary Randall

   • Jan 2013:  Charles Glatzer

   • Dec 2012:  Justin Reznick

   • Nov 2012:  Aaron Feinberg

   • Oct 2012:  Ben Weddle

   • Sept 2012:  Gary Crabbe

   • July 2012:  Tim Kemple

   • June 2012:  Dan Mitchell

   • May 2012:  Bret Edge

   • Apr 2012:  Alex Mody

   • Mar 2012:  Colby Brown

   • Feb 2012:  Brian Rueb

   • Jan 2012:  Richard Bernabe

   • Dec 2011:  Guy Tal

   • Nov 2011:  QT Luong

   • Oct 2011:  Stephen W. Oachs

   • Sept 2011:  Joshua Holko

   • Aug 2011:  Art Wolfe

   • July 2011:  Dylan Fox

   • June 2011:  Rod Thomas

   • May 2011:  Ian Plant

   • Apr 2011:  Steve Sieren

   • Mar 2011:  Miles Morgan

   • Feb 2011:  Jay & Varina Patel

   • Jan 2011:  Jon Cornforth

   • Dec 2010:  Paul Marcellini

   • Nov 2010:  Neal Pritchard

   • Oct 2010:  Ryan Dyar

   • Sept 2010:  Floris van Breugel

   • Aug 2010:  Elleene "Ellie" Stone

   • July 2010:  David Cobb

   • June 2010:  Sean Bagshaw

   • May 2010:  Adam Attoun

   • Apr 2010:  Jesse Estes

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