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Nature photographer Tony Sweet honored by NikonNet
Mark Peters : March 9th 2006 - 05:00 CET
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NikonNature photographer Tony Sweet honored by NikonNet : Talk to Tony about photography and the conversation will turn to the subject of jazz. A jazz drummer for 20 years, Tony's music experience informs everything he does as a photographer. NikonNet will pay tribute to Tony Sweet and his work in its inspiring showcase, "Legends Behind the Lens." Tony's experience in photography is extensive and ranges from shooting for stock, calendars, greeting cards, posters and catalogue sales to authoring fine-art photography books such as Fine Art Nature Photography and Fine Art Flower Photography. Tony is well recognized as an educator and conducts numerous outdoor and nature photography workshops. He's also a contributor to Shutterbug magazine.
Nature photographer Tony Sweet honored by NikonNetTony Sweet - Legend Behind the Lens
Tony's striking images are based on one guiding principle: "Every single thing in the picture space either helps or hurts the image; there's nothing neutral." He believes that photographers turn imagined images into pictures - seeing things first in their mind and bringing them to existence by hitting the shutter. "When you're playing music, when you're really in the moment, you're reacting instantly and totally to what's going on," he says. "You're almost pre-hearing where someone is going, and you're there. You can't be thinking about technique; the moment you think about it, it's too late. It's the same thing in photography. The only way to achieve what you want in photography is to master your craft and then just forget about it. You shouldn't be thinking of how to get what you want; you're just out there doing it."

Tony Sweet - Music & photography
"NikonNet is pleased to honor Tony Sweet this March," says Anna Marie Bakker, Director of Communications at Nikon Inc. "Music and photography are very similar - tone, color and balance are all part of their universal language. Tony's photographs have such grace and elegance; it is evident that music is a major inspiration to him."

Nature photography workshops
Tony believes the ideal is to photograph without thinking about technique. While many photographers start out doing a lot of thinking and scanning their surroundings for reference points and scenes they are familiar with, Tony feels that a photographer grows and becomes more spontaneous once they empty their minds and react to what exists around them. While conducting his workshops and seminars, Tony tells his outdoor and nature photography workshop students that they'll know they're getting better by the number of frames they're shooting - and the number they're keeping. He feels that the better you are, the fewer frames you shoot.

Tony Sweet - Nature photographer
Tony can chart his own progress by that formula, and by the fact that he's simplified his images and made them ever more elegant and direct. It was a process he didn't have to think about because it was identical to the music process. He also says that the players he most admires are the most lyrical. "What hit me was how clear and direct they were, how simple, in fact. Not in technique, but in their expression and communication."

Tony Sweet - Nikon Gear
Tony's gear includes a Nikon F6, for film and a Nikon D2X, for digital. Among his favorite lenses are the 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX, 35-70mm f/2.8D AF and 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom-Nikkors; the 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor; the 105mm f/2.8D AF and 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkors; and an old favorite, the 85mm f/2.8 PC Micro-Nikkor. A recent addition to his lineup is Nikon's R1C1 wireless close-up Speedlight system. For more information on Tony Sweet, visit NikonNet's "Legends Behind the Lens" series at the NikonNet Website.

About Legends Behind the Lens
NikonNet's "Legends Behind the Lens" series aims to educate users and, in turn, breathe excitement into photography. Nikon has assembled a comprehensive and intriguing collection of artists to share their most incredible, challenging, emotional and exciting experiences on NikonNet. This inspiring monthly program offers a behind-the-scenes look into the personalities and philosophies behind the world's greatest and most famous photographers. "Legends Behind the Lens" also offers portfolio galleries, as well as tips and tricks of the trade from featured professionals. Past "Legends" in the series include David Alan Harvey, Nancy Brown, Joe Buissink, Steven Weinberg, B. Moose Peterson, Eddie Adams, Jay Maisel and Howard Bingham.

About NikonNet
NikonNet is the web's leading site for photography education, photo sharing and inspiration. NikonNet leverages the resources of parent company Nikon Inc. to offer the most innovative and inspiring educational segments on the Internet. Nikon's suite of websites connects consumers to the company's products and services and links users to the most complete photography education and information community available on the web today.

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