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The Pictures

This is a photography page, so the pictures come first. The gallery below was created with Jigs, a powerful and flexible image management suite, created by myself and Brent Bryan. All pictures are copyright Brendan McMahan, please do not re-use without permission. Full size versions are available, contact me if you're interested.

I'm starting to put more pictures on my Picasa web album.

Photos from Hikes, Climbs, and Travels

These pictures are hosted on my office computer, where I have more harddrive space. The machine is occasionally down, so try back later if the link is broken.

History and Equipment

I've enjoyed taking pictures for quite a long time, though for most of my life I didn't put much thought into it. Recently, however, I've become more interested in "serious" photography, which for me means trying create images that have a purpose and are aesthetically pleasing, rather than simply recording a moment in time. Of course, many of the pictures I take are still documentary in nature, capturing interesting moments that I hope to remember.

My first film camera was a Pentax IQZoom 105WR. It's a great camera overall, a little bit heavy for a point-and-shoot but quite robust. It's traveled around the world with me, and I still use it on climbing trips and other times I want to travel light.

In 2000, I got my first digital camera, a Toshiba PDR-M5, nicknamed "Happy Click" by my friends because I took so many pictures with it.

After getting Happy Click, I got more interested in serious photography, so I got an SLR setup: a Canon Elan 7 and a few lenses: currently, a 28-135IS, 50/1.8, and most recently a 20/2.8. I've used this system quite a bit, and have been very happy with the camera. The only feature that I miss is a spot meter, which would be useful for some difficult landscape shots, but otherwise it's all the camera I need. I shoot mostly Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, and do mostly nature and landscape photography. Carnegie Mellon has a nice slide scanner (Nikon Coolscan 4000 ED), which I use to scan most of my reasonable shots.

With all the use I've gotten out of my Elan 7, and the inordinate time that I spend in front of the scanner as a result, I've been itching to get a digital SLR for a while. The cost savings in the long run should make it pay for itself in a few years, but the main advantage for me is the time savings (no scanning), the immediate feedback, and the ability to take far more pictures than I would otherwise. So, I'm going to order a Canon 10D in the next few days. Hopefully it will help my photography improve more quickly.

A Few Links

BH Photo is a good source for mail order camera gear. has excellent (though frequently opinionated) reviews and tutorials, as well as discussion forums and lots of great photos. I posted some of my pictures (look in the Folders section) so people can comment on them. Please feel free to take a look and leave some constructive criticism! also has a lot of good information. I should really spend more time at this site. I learned a couple of useful tips from their Photoshop workflow article.

A DOF Calculator.

Page created and maintained by Brendan McMahan, last modified 07/07/2003.