What turns you on creatively?
Number one is special light. Number two is visual geometry. Number three is new places. When all three come together, it’s photographic nirvana.
What turns you off creatively?
Moments when I forget that almost anything is possible if you’re willing to commit yourself.
What’s your dream photo assignment?
My dream assignment is simply when a client just says, “Shoot this for us, Mark.”
If you could have dinner with an artist from any era, who would it be?
Ansel Adams. I think discussing digital photography with him would be a very interesting evening.
What’s your favorite photograph not taken by you?
David Alan Harvey’s work comes to mind, specifically a shot made in a nightclub during a rave. But singling out a single image isn’t very realistic.
What profession other than photographer would you like to attempt?
Photographer is the other profession! I spent the last 30 years in medicine. As a pathologist, my viewfinder was a microscope ocular, and I touched lives with my diagnoses. As a photographer, I find I can still touch lives with my images and teaching. I’m lucky to have experienced two so different careers, both very rewarding.
What’s your favorite camera feature?
Nikon ergonomics in the D3. It’s not a single feature, per se, but a design amalgam that brings technical control and artistic intent together, helping me capture my vision. Nikon has a heritage for design ergonomics that’s legendary and well deserved.
What’s your favorite Nikon product, and how does it help you create better pictures or help you compete as a professional photographer?
Without a doubt, it’s my D3 body. The combination of ISO sensitivity, full-frame sensor, capture rate, 100% viewfinder coverage and durability are without parallel. Easy access to features like Live View and Mirror Lockup make it an amazing studio camera, while shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second with a full-frame capture rate of 9 frames per second make it an amazing action camera. It seems to me the perfect balance of file size and quality. Even in my small hands, the design perfectly complements Nikkor lenses, among which the AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 70-200mm ƒ/2.8G IF-ED, AF-S VR Nikkor 300mm ƒ/2.8G IF-ED and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm ƒ/4G IF-ED are favorites. Once I’ve taken the photographs, I use Capture NX 2 to process the raw files. The NX 2 raw converter and features like D-Lighting and U-Point® Technology make maximizing the potential of my files as easy as point, click and drag.