MEET OLYMPUS PHOTOGRAPHER BUDDY ELEAZER
WHO ARE YOU?
I’m Buddy Eleazer. I’m a nature photographer and definitely a people person. More specifically, I love photographing Africa’s wild places and I enjoy sharing that passion with others. Considering this, leading small workshops of photographers to Africa is only natural for me. I also lead works to other locations such as Yellowstone in winter and bird photography in Florida. In addition to being in the field, I’m also active as a speaker at U.S. camera clubs.
I’m located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but my workshops can be anywhere I find interesting wildlife storytelling.
Wildlife is my primary photographic interest though I like all aspects of nature in general including landscapes and macro photo opportunities. In particular, I’m looking for photo opportunities that will create high impact for viewers and have a storytelling element.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Like many, I started in photography as part of a school project. I immediately fell in love with the fact that good photography required a balance of two opposing and complementing skills: art and technology. The advent of the advanced features such as Pro Capture and Live Composite in the OM-D cameras allow me to really advance those two sides.
From the onset, my photography was primarily focused on the outdoors. First with landscape and travel photography and then, after my first trips to Africa, more with nature/wildlife photography.
To some degree, all photographers stand on the shoulders of their predecessors. In my case, as a boy, I was strongly influenced by the photography in National Geographic. They created both a wanderlust and an appreciation of preserving wildlife.
How did you get started with the Olympus system?
A few years back, I became intrigued with the portability of the Olympus cameras but at that time, these were limited lens options for the wildlife photographer. I was also concerned with shooting higher ISO and ability to track moving objects. Olympus overcame the lens family issues with the advent of the M.Zuiko 300mm F4.0 IS PRO lens and the 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lenses as well as the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. With the advent of the OM-D E-M1X, I saw a real wildlife camera made to take the challenges and decided to give the gear a try. The lenses are top notch and the body has performed admirably in pretty severe conditions for me.
What’s your go-to Olympus setup?
I’m a “two body” shooter. I really like having one OM-D E-M1X fitted with the 300mm F4.0 IS PRO lens and a second OM-D E-M1X fitted with the 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens either with or without the 1.4x teleconverter depending on the subject and the limitations of the location where I’m shooting. I’m also extremely excited about the announced 150-400mm lens with internal 1.2x teleconverter and expect it to become one of my favorites going forward.
How does Olympus help you do your job?
I’ve shot ‘big glass’ for a lot of years and, quite frankly, the large lenses of the past have often left me returning home with aching elbows and shoulders. The reduced size and weight f the Olympus lens family have been a welcome relief for my body. In addition, those same benefits have been beneficial when traveling on smaller aircraft into places like the Masai Mara or Okavango Delta. I’d like to point out one more benefit that was totally unexpected. I love shooting pan action shots of running or flying animals. To do this, one must smoothly follow the animal with the camera focus points. The light weight of the Olympus lenses combined with the amazing in-body image stabilization has really improved my success at capturing sharp pan action shots.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE OLYMPUS FAMILY?
My favorite part about working with Olympus is the Olympus team. They have been supportive of my photographic work and they have been very helpful at providing technical assistance.
TIPS FOR OTHER BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
My advice to budding photographers. First, understand the traditional ‘rules’. Yes, they are only guidelines, but they’ve stood the test of time. I break these rules all of the time, but when I do, it causes me to pause and reflect on why I am going outside of the proven. I like pushing limits outside of the traditional when it helps tell the story and increases the images impact.
TIPS FOR OTHER PRO PHOTOGRAPHERS
Learn from the photo giants and artists of the past, but trust your vision. If you believe in your work the images will improve with each time you go out and shoot.