Member Profile: Ian Thomson

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Year joined DPS 1980
Signification positions held in DPS Camera craft editor for a few years, after Jean Nelson gave it up. Was also a “judge/selector” for competitions including Festival at times.
Honours FPSNZ
Current camera Nikon D800e
Which do you prefer: Film or Digital? Digital
And why? With digital you get another chance if people shut their eyes and also scanning negatives was a boring task.
Which do you prefer: Print or Projected? Projected
And why? I’m fairly active on Flickr and don’t need prints on there and I could never get my mounts right.
How did you get into photography? My grandfather was a member of a Liverpool photography society and had some salon success about 1910. My Grandma on the other side worked as a photographer’s assistant in Dunedin about the same time and both my parents were photographers. I started with family portraits on a plastic Diana camera about age 10. As a teenager I went with Dad to the Waimate Photography Club and learned lighting for portraits and darkroom work from the town’s Professional photographer, a Mr Jim Hore. At first when I came to Dunedin I was busy with University study and getting to know a young lady who later agreed to be my wife, but when I started work I found time every second Monday to go along to the Otago Museum for DPS meetings. One of my first prints of a rose was said to look like a “cabbage” and I have tried to progress from that.
What is your most memorable moment from your time at DPS so far? There are many memories but sometime in the 80’s (near the time of Halley’s Comet) DPS hosted the national PSNZ meeting and I was lucky to show an AV program on the University set to music from Chariots of Fire. In those days every fade was manual with two projectors and one had to get the timing right while hoping no slide would jam! Fortunately all went well. My wife and 6 week old daughter were there to see the show and Rebecca is possibly still the youngest to attend a PSNZ convention. She had her photo taken with a senior member age about 86.
What keeps you inspired with your photography? I see a lot of pictures every day in selecting for groups on Flickr which helps with ideas. Also just driving around Otago especially when the weather is “bad”
Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs? Just looking for beauty in landscapes or people
Where is the best place that you have been to take photos? Probably in Prague when the mists were rising off the Vlatava River just after sunrise. It was a cold autumn morning but I was so entranced by the light and recession behind statues on the Charles Bridge that I didn’t realise how cold I was until it was time to go.
What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag? I need two, both a camera and a lens  🙂
Do you have any advice for your fellow photographers? Just that you need to find the light and that won’t happen if you are sleeping in 🙂
Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with other members? If you are bored feel free to take a look at:
(There are over 4000 photos, a few with over 50K views and nearly 6M views for the stream since 2007)Otherwise I visit DPReview ( to read about equipment, and occasionally either or Johnathons to buy.Otherwise I follow DPS on Facebook!