Biography: Maria got her first camera when she was 13 years old and was immediately hooked. During her childhood, Maria spent a lot of time at the beach and it is still her favourite place for taking photos. Maria is an amateur photographer who loves nature, from water, land, flowers or animals.
She lives in Geraldton, Western Australia, which is home to landscapes such as the magnificent Abrolhos Islands, Ningaloo Reef and the wildflowers of the Midwest. Along with the world's best weather it makes for wonderful, colourful photos.
Equipment:Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, Canon EOS 450D, Canon 17–85mm, f/4-5.6 IS USM, Canon 70–300mm, f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, Canon 50mm, f1.8 II, UV filters, polarising filter (for 17–85mm lens), Oloneo PhotoEngine (for HDR post-processing), Picnik.
CNET Australia: you've been taking photos since you were 13, how do you think your style has changed between then and now?
Maria Crisp: obviously digital photography has allowed me to experiment a lot more. I've always been very interested in the ocean and the beach so I've probably not changed the images, I've just gotten better.
What do you look for when you go out to shoot?
I love colour in particular. I love to make people smile, so whether it's beautiful flowers or dolphins or a beach, something that makes people want to be there and experience what I'm experiencing at the time.
What is your go-to camera of choice?
I carry my compact with me everywhere because it just fits in my bag, so I probably use it more just because of that. For wide angle, I definitely go to my Canon, and if I want something with more clarity I'll also go to my SLR, especially if I want to shoot something with the 50mm for depth of field.
What's next on your equipment list?
I would have to say a macro lens. I've never had much to do with macro, but my Lumix has a pretty good macro mode so I've started playing with that a lot. Flowers, close-ups of animals in particular are what I'll use it for. I'd also love a major wide-angle lens where I can take three or four shots and stitch them together for a huge panorama.
You do quite a bit of post-processing work to your images, do you know what effect or look you want to achieve with each image when you are taking photos?
No. I generally go out to get the best composition I can get because I'm very new to the actual post-processing, so I always make sure I get the best composition and then take it back and spend five to 10 minutes working on the image. I don't have a lot of time for post-processing, but I love HDR as a technique.