SmugMug Corner #20: Cor Bosman

It's Friday, and even though we're in the middle of a big contest, we couldn't skip a SmugMug Corner, especially with amazing underwater photographer Cor Bosman at the plate!

Name: Cor Bosman

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Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Cor Bosman and I live in the beautiful city of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. I’m 36 years old and co-founder of the Dutch internet provider XS4ALL. I’m an avid diver, and lucky enough to be able to combine this with my other hobby, photography. I share this passion with my wife, who is probably even crazier about it then I am. We regularly contribute articles and photos to several magazines.

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What is your background/training in photography?

I have no formal training in photography. Everything I know has been self-taught and learned from being around top underwater photographers. As I have become more adept at it, I am trying to share my knowledge with new underwater photographers, which is actually a great experience.

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How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

I started diving in 1994, and not long after that took my first camera underwater, a very simple point and shoot. That quickly became too limiting and I moved on to the famous Nikonos V camera, first made in 1984. I still love that simple camera, but have ‘gone digital’ since 2003. I’ve also dabbled a bit in astrophotography, but for some reason diving and astronomy don’t really mix well.

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What equipment is in your camera bag? What piece of equipment will be added to the collection next?

I currently use a pair of Nikon D2x bodies. Working underwater limits you a bit in what you can and cannot do, and my lenses reflect that. The lenses I use the most are the Nikon 60mm 2.8 micro and the Tokina 10-17mm wide lens. Some other lenses I use underwater are the Nikon 105mm micro, Nikon 12-24mm and the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye. Above water my primary lens is the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens. I love that lens, it’s so incredibly versatile. I also have a Nikon 17-35mm and a Nikon 80-400mm VR.

I’m eagerly watching what the future of Nikon will bring. I’m hoping for a D3x, and will probably order one the moment it’s announced. I’ve also played with the new 14mm Nikon lens and if I buy a D3x, I’ll probably buy that lens as well.

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What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

I love macro photography, the smaller the better. I often add teleconverters and close-up lenses to my 60 and 105mm lenses. Just trying to find some those tiny critters underwater is a challenge in itself and at least half the fun. By far my favorite place to dive is the Solomon Islands, although lately I’ve also come to like the incredibly beautiful area around Komodo in Indonesia. Almost every dive you do there can give you a chance of finding something totally new to science.

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Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

This is probably not a common answer, but my greatest photographic influence is my wife. Being able to share a hobby, equally passionate, is an amazing motivator. We’re able to compare notes, techniques, and help each other out on dives. It has more than doubled the speed in which we grew as photographers.

I’ve also been lucky enough to have done a lot of diving with some icons in underwater photography, including Cathy Church and Chris Newbert. Just being around people like that, whose throw outs are better than your keepers, has given us a better eye for what works and what doesn’t work.

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How long have you been Smug with your photographs? What features do you most enjoy with your SmugMug account?

I’ve been with SmugMug for about a year now. I already had an operational website dedicated to our underwater work when I started looking for a way to sell prints. I was immediately drawn to SmugMug because it allowed me to keep my own website running (being an IT guy, it’s just something I like doing), while integrating SmugMug’s great printing capabilities. I remember being very impressed by how easy it was to actually do this seamless integration. The SmugMug section is undistinguishable from my own site. I’ve since moved more and more parts of my website to SmugMug, but can’t let go of doing parts of it myself. Just the fact that SmugMug allows you do to all this is why I chose them in the first place.

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If you had do sum up in 50 words or less the impact SmugMug has made on your photography/photography business, those 50 words would be...

SmugMug has allowed me to run my own website, but at the same time leverage their amazing infrastructure for printing and distribution. That means I can work on actual content instead of all the fuss surrounding it.

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If you had to give one piece of advice to those wanting to pursue photography, what would you tell them?

I’ll limit myself to the field of underwater photography. Before you pick up a serious camera, make sure you are completely at ease in the water. Carrying around a big camera, with an even bigger housing, can distract you from what can still be a very hostile environment. Your diving skills come first and foremost.

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Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2008–01–25 16:11
Categories: SmugMug Corner