MEET OLYMPUS PHOTOGRAPHER JAMIE MACDONALD
WHO ARE YOU?
My name is Jamie MacDonald. I am from the lower peninsula of Michigan — the part that looks like a mitten!
I am what I would consider a nature photographer. Nature is a broad subject and I like to tell people: anything outside my front door is what I love to shoot, from landscapes and weather, to macro and astrophotography.
Photography isn’t my “full-time” job. I am the director of marketing for a lighting manufacturer, but I can be found out shooting when I’m not sitting at my desk during the day.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I know the EXACT moment! It was February 18, 2012. I was driving to get an oil change on my wife’s car one morning and crested a rise in the road in a rural part of my county. In the distance, I could see the low clouds had breaks in them that allowed shafts of light to sweep across the farmland ahead of me. I watched as these rays slipped over this massive old barn and I was awestruck.
I had my Olympus E-3 DSLR on the seat next to me and knew I had to capture this moment. I pulled over, watched as the next break in the clouds brought light down onto the barn and I pressed the shutter. When I looked at the back of the camera to see what I captured I knew I would never stop taking photographs.
I knew right then I was supposed to be a photographer.
How did you get started with the Olympus system?
As funny as it sounds I came to be an Olympus owner because their two lens E-500 DSLR kit was on sale at the local Best Buy. I bought it not to be a photographer, but to document family vacations. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with taking photographs and expanding my system through lens purchases and eventually a second body.
What’s your go-to Olympus setup?
My go-to setup is the OM-D E-M1X and M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. This combo provides me with the perfect weathersealed, image stabilized, broad focal range kit. Perfect for landscape, close focusing situations, and even for certain wildlife subjects.
In my bag right now is the OM-D E-M1X, M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO, and the M.Zuiko 300mm F4.0 IS PRO. To accompany the 300mm PRO, I always bring along both the MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters.
How does Olympus help you do your job?
Let’s face it: as someone who spends the majority of their photography life walking in the woods or hiking trails to get the shot, you just can’t beat how lightweight my Olympus kit is. I am able to pack out a complete kit from ultra-wide angle to super-telephoto and do so in a comfortable fashion. There are times when you just can’t use a tripod, and nothing can compare to the image stabilization in the Olympus cameras. When coupled with a PRO lens that also features image stabilization, the Sync-IS feature means I can realistically hand hold a 2 second or longer exposure. This opens the door to shots that were just not possible to me before. From my earliest days in photography I was told to “invest in good lenses because that is what can make or break an image.” And the M.Zuiko line of lenses, ALL of them, are incredible in their optical clarity! Being that they were designed purely for the MFT sensor they provide me with images that are razor sharp from the center of frame, all the way to the edges every time. I am as equally happy and confident to put on a kit lens as I am a PRO lens when I don’t need the weather sealing and I want my kit as small as possible. The image quality is still there regardless of lens.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE OLYMPUS FAMILY?
The connection it has given me with people all across the country and world. The Olympus community is very welcoming and open, and to be able to participate in that in the role of an ambassador for the last 7 years has been incredible.
TIPS FOR OTHER BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Always carry your camera with you! If you have it you will use it. If you use it you will get better. If it catches your eye, photograph it!
TIPS FOR OTHER PRO PHOTOGRAPHERS
Don’t be afraid to try something new! All too often people get into a “routine” and everything starts to look the same. While that isn’t the end of the world, how will you ever know how much more you can do, create, learn if you continue to iterate and not innovate?