SmugMug Corner #106: David Morin

It's time for another fantastic "SmugMug Corner" photographer interview sponsored by, and this week we meet Dave Morin - a photographer from central Massachusetts. Nothing better than a great interview and a dozen beautiful photographs to kick off the weekend - Enjoy!

Name: David J. Morin

Tell us a little about yourself.

Dave Morin, and my photos can be found at I'm located in Milford, Massachusetts. That's in central MA, so I have access to plenty of lakes, streams, and rivers to find nature shots, but I'm also pretty close to MA and RI coastline, so I take advantage of that as well. There are also plenty of events, and club photo ops nearby that help sharpen photo skills, and keeps shooting fun. I'm married and I have 2 grown kids, so I have more time now to shoot photos. My wife likes to take pictures too, and she has been supportive in my photography.

I also spend plenty of time in Maine where I grew up, and where several family members live. It's fun to go to Maine to get a different perspective on life in general, and to take photos from a different perspective.

What is your background/training in photography?

I am mostly self-taught, but I have taken lots of seminars etc. from club members or professionals offering workshops. I try to take advantage of learning opportunities when clubs offer good educational sessions.

My first class in SLR photography was at a local HS adult education class. My camera was a Pentax K-2000 film camera, totally manual, so I had to learn exposure settings from the ground up. There was no aperture priority or auto focus... and I think that's a good way to learn. It forced me to learn my camera; then when I got auto features, it makes it that much easier.

And I've spent a couple of years just learning to shoot with my 40D, and after 65,000 or so shots, I think I've figured it out....

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

Well, I started out long ago with my little Kodak Brownie Camera. I would take my 12 or 24 shots and send them in a mailer to be processed. I was about 10 years old. The developer offered either double prints or a free roll of film. Of course, I would always get the free roll of film, and made sure I took plenty of other photos...these were mostly for vacation or taking pics of friends.

I have become serious photographer in the past 2 or 3 years, now that digital cameras are hitting their stride. Oh, my first digital camera was an attachment to my palm pilot, and that was many years ago... the pictures were surprisingly good, but of course, nothing like available with a 40D or higher Canon....

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

In the camera bag... Canon 40D with 28-135 Canon lens. This one is great for Nature and landscapes - fairly wide angle, and takes nice shots on the tripod... Sigma 70-300 lens - this is real sharp, and I love to use it for birds and other nature shots, as well as sports shots; and 50mm Canon 1.4 lens, for portraits and other cityscape photos - I like using this one because it's a prime lens, nice and sharp, and it forces me to be creative - I've got to move around to get the proper distance from the subject, instead of dialing in with zoom lens. Besides tripods and a monopod, I also carry remote camera release to get nice and sharp landscape shots. Not much else besides plenty of extra batteries and memory cards... oh, and earplugs for taking concert photos....

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

Well, I seem to go back to a state park here in Mass, nearby. It's a river and canal. Lots of wildlife there, and I never seem to go away empty handed. Hawks, cormorants, ducks, deer, muskrat, osprey. And of course, great blue heron. My friends kid me that I must have a plastic blue heron in the trunk, and just put it out for photo ops.... I've nailed some shots there, and that is very satisfying. And I've learned a lot about animals that I wouldn't have known without observing them in the wild.

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

I belong to 2 camera clubs and there are some great photographers there always willing to share their knowledge with others. We have plenty of shooters who do this professionally, and they have plenty of tips and tricks they will share. I enter competition each month, and this also helps hone the skill - putting your work into competition requires thick skin!

I would strongly recommend any of your readers to join a camera club; to help learn, and also to share their skill with others. The club members' work helps me because it is so varied - some people specialize in only taking pics of dragonflies, others mainly horse racing, and still others flowers or coastal works... they show me to be patient, that sometimes you have to wait for the shot to develop... each member brings a different skill to the table. And with this influence I learn to develop my own style, and I think that is still developing....

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

I've been with SmugMug for about 10 months now. Downloading my shots to SmugMug is easy, and easy to organize my shots. I'm able to automatically place them into galleries - just pick a keyword while publishing in Lightroom, and the shots are automatically put in the correct folders. This saves loads of time and gives me more time to shoot. I also like the option of 2 great photo processing labs to choose, and the many products I can offer my customers.

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...

SmugMug has helped my business because it provides great professional service and it makes me look more professional. It provides me with instant credibility; and you can't make any money in this business without showcasing your photos in a professional manor.

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

Of course, go for it. Always get the best equipment, even if pricing is a stretch for you - you won't regret having great equipment, but you'll always regret going second rate. Take classes if they are available to really learn your equipment, join a camera club because the members will be more than willing to help you, and of course, take lots and lots of pics! You can't improve unless you take lots of pics...and if you mess up some, you'll know why and learn even more - you always learn more from the pictures that didn't turn out than from the ones you nailed.... Is that one piece of advice or several?

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2011–10–21 15:55
Categories: SmugMug Corner