AN INTERVIEW WITH SUE CRO
Observing and photographing wildlife is, quite simply, when I am happiest and brings a smile to my face even on the coldest and wettest of days. While I like to challenge myself with other subjects, wildlife will always be my passion.
I can’t say I have a favourite animal, but some days things just go right. Sometimes the light is special or you get that perfect pose. Patience is your greatest asset when photographing animals, closely followed by perseverance. If you return again and again to a chosen spot, or wildlife centre, you get to know individual animals and their habits. For example, at the moment I’m on holiday in Florida observing a Belted Kingfisher. It has a favourite perch on the lake and tries to chase off any bird who has dared to land there, even if it happens to be much larger, like an Osprey or even a Bald Eagle! Simply observing their behaviour has its own reward as you get an insight into their world and individual characters.
At the moment the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey feels like my second home and I visit as many weekends as I can. I freely admit I’m not a hardened wildlife photographer, but that is the beauty of photography. It suits all levels of ability and fitness. Whether you want to trek up mountains in search of the rarest animals or visit your local wildlife centre, there is a niche for everyone. Along the way you meet like-minded people and can often learn useful hints and tips from other photographers. All of my holidays are, of course, booked with wildlife and a camera in mind.
My series of studio shots was my first serious attempt at flash photography. The session was organised by CaptiveLight in Bournemouth, who supply all the backgrounds, flash equipment and models. Each setup had 2 TTL flashes with softboxes and remote triggers. The backgrounds were also interchangeable along with a collection of flowers and other props. What I loved about it was the isolation that flash photography gives you, getting rid of any distractions in the background and making your subject pop out of the image.
My favourite gear is my E-M5 Mark II with either the 40-150mm F2.8 pro or 60mm F2.8 macro lens, but I also have the E-M1 and a collection of prime lenses, which means I am never short of inspiration as each lens sees a different story!
How did you start using Olympus kit?
I changed over to Olympus about 18 months ago as the lighter M4/3 system was so much easier to carry around than my Nikon DSLR. Work-related injury has meant my hands and shoulders are not strong and the lighter system means I can still get out there and shoot. The superb collection of lenses gives amazing results and Olympus arguably has one of the most comprehensive collections of superior lenses of any of the mirrorless systems.
Things I love about my Olympus are the articulating touch screen, fabulous for stealthy street photography and getting down low without having to get on the ground. The really bright and clear EVF is something I couldn’t do without now. Seeing real time how your subject is exposed is better for me than checking my meter reading. I also love the look of the silver E-M5 Mark II, which reminds my of my first ever SLR, the OM-20 bought in the Channel Islands ….years ago!
What are you working on next?
My ongoing project is to never stop learning. I am a YouTube fan, and being able to see how photographers I admire process their images to such great effect inspires me to keep honing this skill.