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Conrad Matiuk

My first camera was a fixed lens Minolta 35mm film camera. I started to take photography seriously in 1971 when I acquired a black body Nikon F series SLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. My seriousness notched up a bit after adding an 85mm f/1.8 portrait lens to the collection. The acquisition of a 200-600mm f/9.5 telephoto zoom put me at the edge of reality. Slipping a doubler between the camera body and the monster zoom put me over the edge – – I was using that combination to take close-ups of cactus flowers in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona. Perhaps the intense sunlight fried a few brain cells. Which might account for the fact that I didn’t take life too seriously back then and all the equipment (along with the brain cells and a nifty darkroom setup) went missing – – as did I.

Fast forward a decade or two and I’m back, still using Nikon equipment but replete with a bit more advanced technology. I have a seven-year-old Nikon D80 DSLR that replaced the Canon AE-1 35mm SLR unit purchased in 1985 (it’s in a dusty camera bag up on the shelf) and recently upgraded to a Nikon Z7-II (via stopovers in a D7100, D750, and D850). I still use several Nikon bodies, but I really, really wish I still had that old monster lens since it would fit right in to my current collections of lenses.

No matter the equipment you use, however, a good eye, a sense of composition, and the luck of being in the right place at the right time (with your camera in hand) are still the most important ingredients in taking a good photograph. 



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Main Street

Main Street, Lexington, Virginia

Monument Valley

Mittens Upon Mittens: Monument Valley, Utah

Kodachrome Basin

Kodachrome Basin State Park, Cannonville, Utah


Cascades Gorge, Hot Springs, Virginia

North Rim

North Rim Grand Canyon, Arizona


Sunset on Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Arches NP

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, Utah

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah


Cascades Gorge, Hot Springs, Virginia

Jones Beach Gull

Sea Gull, Jones Beach, Long Island, New York


Cascades Gorge, Hot Springs, Virginia

Hempstead Harbor

Sunset on Hempstead Harbor, New York


Sunset on Assateague Island, Virginia

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona

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