Samantha Lodge is a nature-loving photographer who is a great example of a photographer knowing their local area intimately and importantly, showing up at sunrise and sunset to make the most of the conditions.
I especially love Samantha’s simple yet powerful telephoto compositions that are balanced and pleasing to the eye
Samantha uses her camera to capture coastal Adelaide and the way the coast varies according to the seasons, tides, and time of day. She is also self-aware in that she uses mindfulness to find her niche and to understand how perfectionism hinders progression and her enjoyment of photography.
1) Can you tell me the story of how you first became interested in photography?
My interest in photography began at an early age. Anyone remember Disc cameras? I remember using my parent’s camera when on school trips and couldn’t wait to see the results which was probably a month later – no screens on the back to check in those days!
I grew up in Yorkshire so was surrounded by natural beauty and landscape views to die for and I think this was the real spark that ignited my passion for the colours of nature.
I probably became busy with growing up teen antics so photography never really became a big part of my life until smartphones with a camera came along.
This is when my obsession commenced. However, it wasn’t until late 2017 that I purchased my first DSLR. Within the year I upgraded to a more sophisticated DSLR along with a greater understanding of manual settings, filters, and post-processing tools.
Hours of YouTube videos later along with much-reduced bank savings and here we are today!
2) How important are moments in time to your philosophy? Do they influence your creative process or subject matter?
We travel as much as possible so capturing moments in time is significant to me. Whether this is capturing the experience, the time of day, the change of light or change in colours within the seasons.
My local beach, Marino Rocks, is one of my favourite places to photograph. I love the change I see with the different tides and how it exposes the different rocks and the light at different times of day.
Also, the range of movement in the ocean from stormy high tides through to calm summer evenings bringing perfect conditions for long exposures just after sunset.
3) Your Instagram feed and your “Something different” website portfolio feature beautiful pastels with subtle use of the saturation slider. Do you have any tips for capturing them?
Along with landscape photography, I enjoy abstract art that can be produced in photography. Particularly motion blur or in-camera intentional movement.
This type of photography is my meditation.
It’s all about the weather and ocean conditions coming together.
A great cloud formation at sunset along with gentle waves will always see me end a sunset session with a slow panning shoot. I often wonder what others on the beach think I am doing!
Often I handhold the camera, set my aperture to a high number and my shutter speed to below 2 seconds. I then pan across the scene to capture the movement. A faster shutter speed will create more defined horizontal lines whereas a slower movement can pick up the movement of the water defining the point where the waves break.
4) What is one piece of kit that you absolutely cannot live without?
I have a range of NISI filters that I could not live without, particularly when photographing seascapes.
The circular polariser is great as it allows me to show wonderful reflections in water or also define the underwater rocks and shells.
The neutral density filters are my go-to when capturing long exposures. Whether its a 3 stop through to a 10 stop, the filter allows me to control the exposure when using long shutter speeds.
Of course, none of this would be possible without my camera body and lenses so add them to the mix for sure!
5) Where’s your favourite place to photograph in South Australia, and why?
We are blessed to live in such a contrasting, expansive, beautiful state. From the green landscapes of an Adelaide Hills winter through to the blues of the ocean in summer, I enjoy visiting and capturing many parts of the state.
The Eyre Peninsula definitely holds a piece of my heart and we visit each year, generally in summer.
What I love about the EP is the diversity of scenery, there’s the rugged cliffs and large crashing waves as you head west but also the hidden calm coves where you feel like you could be in the Maldives.
Memory Cove in the Lincoln National Park blew me away, it’s a little gem of paradise found at the end of a bumpy, rugged four-wheel-drive track.
You even need a key for the gate to access the drive there, meaning there are limited people around leading to an even more private secluded feel. If you get lucky you may be the only people camping there for the night!
6) Who are some of the photographers that you admire, and why?
As I contemplated my response to this the list became longer and longer! I have photographers I admire due to their skills and results and others I admire because we commenced our photography journeys at the same time and I have seen them grow and develop their own style.
From a hero perspective, Peter Lik is one of my influences. Peter’s work is outstanding and he captures the most amazing compositions when the light is just right.
Ken Duncan is also one of my favourites, I have found myself developing a love for wildlife and birds recently and Ken has an appreciation for the same type of content as well as his wonderful landscape work of course.
In SA we have many outstanding photographers and I am lucky to have made friendships with some of these people.
I consider Michael Waterhouse, Matthew Symons (DIDI Photos) and Steven Morris great astrophotographers and all have helped me develop my learning in the area of photographing the night sky which is something I became recently interested in.
7) What has been your biggest struggle in photography so far? How did you overcome it?
They say in learning we go through a series of stages. We start with unconscious consciousness which is basically the stage where we do not know what we do not know. As we progress we reach conscious consciousness – the part where you are aware of what you do not know. This stage for me is the most frustrating as I’m a perfectionist and my own worst critic!
I went through a stage of comparing myself to other photographers and found I was adapting a style that was not me. I think I have moved on and found my own groove now.
I think it is important for me to remember why I do this. I enjoy the peace and serenity of being out there when my focus is channelled into nothing but the world right there in front of me. It’s a form of mindfulness for me for sure.
I often shoot alone because of this, no people, no distractions and in some locations, I feel like I am the only person in the world getting to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife scenes before me. I feel like I am privy to a secret world!