Terry Banet: Safari Photographer

With gratitude to 2 Guys Photo featured photographer, Ray Sachs, we’re pleased to introduce Terry Banet.  If you check out her site (see here), you’ll note that she is a talented and multi-faceted artist.  But what caught my eye when I paid a visit are the very photos we’ve posted here.

First, though…

Both Ray and I share a bit of a passion for the full-featured but lighter and smaller serious camera kit.  Sure, a Sony NEX or micro-4/3 camera won’t get you the industrial strength weather seals or autofocus prowess of the big fellas, but for many photographic pursuits, those things are extraneous… unnecessary.  I happened to mention to Ray that if the stars align just right, I may find myself on an African safari next year.  Though I’d prefer to travel light, photographically speaking, I know I’d best reserve such a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor for the DSLR and its associated lenses.  That’s when Ray then told me about Terry.

Terry, a San Francisco area resident, recently stepped out of the grind, which in her case means working in the world of high finance, managing money for private clients and mutual funds.  In Terry’s words: “I decided to leave the big bank world behind and am now working with a tech start-up launch on the launch of a new on-line investment product.”

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Terry…

2 Guys Photo: Before we talk about some of these wonderful safari images, tell us a little about your photographic journey.

Once I went off to college, I essentially gave up photography except for snapshots documenting life events.  In the late ‘90s, digital photography was coming of age and I jumped back in.  I’m always one to want to learn and living in New York I had the International Center for Photography (ICP) in my “backyard”.  They have a fabulous school with high caliber continuing education classes.  The one class that left an amazing impact on my photography was called “Roll-a-Day Photojournal “.  The class is exactly what is sounds like… taking the equivalent of a roll a day (and the class is 12 weeks long) along with writing.  This daily “practice”, along with the critiques, was fantastic for growth.

2 Guys Photo: What do you like to photograph and why?

What I photograph seems to change given my environment.  When living in New York, street shooting was part of my daily life.  Now in San Francisco, landscapes have become more prominent.  In reality, I like to put them both together and do travel photography.  Each year, I try and take one big photography trip with other like-minded people.  Destinations have included Iceland, Ireland and, most recently, Kenya.

2 Guys Photo: Whose work do you admire?

One constant in the education at ICP is exploring the work of the photographers that elevated photography to art.  So, I appreciate the work of those who gained prominence before me and truly appreciate the work of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others.  But honestly, the photography I look at every day are from people I follow on-line or know… be it Andy Biggs who takes African wildlife away from being animal portraits… to landscapes where the animals keep a prominent role, or Uwe Steinmueller who has an eye for isolating the details around us… and making them stand on their own, to David duChemin and the way he captures the essence of a place and people.

2 Guys Photo: Why shoot?

It helps me slow down and look around and see the details around me.

2 Guys Photo: How do you overcome a dry spell?

I give myself a small project for the day and walk around the neighborhood.  Is it doors, windows, other details around me?  Or I take a drive along the coast or head over the Golden Gate Bridge where there is an infinite variety of light.

2 Guys Photo: Got any advice for 2 Guys readers?

Practice.  Shoot every day even if it is with a cell phone.  Look at your work and ask some questions:

How long do I stick with a subject – three shots and done, half a dozen, a whole “roll”?

Do I just get one vision in my mind or do I walk around to see if there is a better angle?

Do I tend to put the subject in the same place all the time?

2 Guys Photo: What’s your gear?

As a teenager, I had a darkroom at home, but once I went away to college I pretty much gave up all photography except little snapshots.  I got back into photography with the first of the retro digital cameras, the Leica Digilux 2, and it reignited my passion for the medium.  Over the past three to four years, I’ve churned through a ton of photo gear including more Leicas, Nikon and Sony.  When m4/3 came out, I was a very early adopter.  I knew this new breed of camera was for me.  It was the right size and weight to want to take everywhere.  At the same time, in my landscape work I really wanted to slow down and think more about light and composition.  I also decided that I really enjoy landscapes printed large and this led me into a medium format digital back along with a “tech camera”… the digital little brother of large format.

On the safari trip, I took a Panasonic GH2, two Panasonic G3s and the Olympus XZ-1. As for lenses, I had the Olympus 9-18, Panasonic 14, Panasonic 20, Olympus (4/3) 14 -54, and two Panasonic 100-300s.  I never changed lenses; the entire trip the 100-300 was on the GH2 and the 14-54 was on a G3.  Just about 90 percent of the photos were made with the GH2 and 100-300. I knew that the 100-300 was going to see most of the action so I brought two.

We hope you enjoy these photos.  Thank you Terry!  (And thanks Ray, for the suggestion).

Posted by Rey

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3 Responses to Terry Banet: Safari Photographer

  1. Mark James says:

    I think they asked us in 2nd grade where we would like to go if we could go anywhere. I picked Africa. I’ve always loved animals and seeing these wonderful pictures reminds me of how much I still want to make the trip. Alas, not everything is meant to be, but thanks for bringing me back to that time as a child when Summers were long and dreams were big.

  2. Maria says:

    What a wonderful – and interesting biography, story and lesson, all in one. I totally enjoyed reading it and viewing the images. If I had one word to describe what I read – it would be “inspirational.” I’m inspired. I just purchased new lenses for my new E-P3, and this is just what I needed to get a good start.

    Thank you!
    Maria

  3. Rodney says:

    Great photos! You have me thinking about a Sony NEX M 4/3 camera now. Thanks as always for sharing great photos.

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