SmugMug Corner #103: Frank Pajonk

We've had this SmugMug Corner interview in the queue for a while, but I think once you've had a chance to check out the photographs below, you'll agree it was worth the wait. This series, sponsored by allows us to get to know some photographers (that use to share and sell their photographs) a little bit better. Today, we meet scientist/professor Frank Pajonk from LA.

Name: Frank Pajonk

Tell us a little about yourself.

Frank Pajonk, 45 years old, living in Los Angeles. I'm a physician scientist and college professor and my job has nothing to do with photography at all.

What is your background/training in photography?

I'm pretty much completely self-taught. No formal training at all.

How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

I assembled my first SLR and 2 lenses from plastic parts that came in a kit when I was about 10 years old. It actually produced pictures and I used a slide projector and a cardboard as an enlarger. My closet was my dark room. 2 years later instead of buying my dream camera, a Minolta XD-7, I bought a remote-controlled helicopter and stopped taking pictures for a while. Later, in the 80s, I made a living as a PJ for a small local newspaper for a few years. In 2006, I got a Nikon D70s and I fell in love with photography again.

What equipment is in your camera bag? What piece of equipment will be added to the collection next?

Nikon D300, 70-200VRII, 50 f/1.8, 17-55, a Tokina 11-16, an SB800 and a few SB600s. Low-end Manfrotto tripod.

I think, next year will probably bring us a Nikon full frame camera that will take bright pictures at ISO 256,000 in complete darkness without a trace of noise. If that happens, I will go full frame. Other than that: 2 or 3 Einstein units and a decent tripod (If I can convince my wife).

What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

It used to be landscapes in the southwestern part of the US and I was uncomfortable shooting portraits. This has changed with the birth of my son and I'm doing mostly portraits these days (Mostly due to the fact that toddlers hate road trips).

Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

Currently I would name Joe McNally. I'm still learning portrait photography and his creativity and technical skills are simply stunning.

How long have you been Smug with your photographs? What features do you most enjoy with your SmugMug account?

About 2 years. I love the fact that I can tailor the access to different galleries individually.

If you had do sum up in 50 words or less the impact SmugMug has made on your photography/photography business, those 50 words would be...

Not all that much. I'm not really trying to sell pictures and it's really just for fun.

If you had to give one piece of advice to those wanting to pursue photography, what would you tell them?

Get familiar with the gear you have and go out and shoot. Bigger cameras don't make better pictures.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2011–09–09 13:44
Categories: SmugMug Corner