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Lotus Carroll

portrait macro landscape street

Who are you and what kind of photography do you specialise in?

I'm Lotus Carroll. I'm a photographer, blogger, and mother. My photography interests are quite varied - I like the fact that my body of work is kind of eclectic and somewhat scattered in terms of subject matter and processing style. I tend to be known for self portraits in social media, especially the Bathroom Selfie project I started in parody of all the bad bathroom self portraits that people started taking and posting online so often over recent years. But I also love to shoot landscape, macro, urbex, portraits, street - just about anything, really. I have an almost desperate need to explore the world and share what I find, connecting with others emotionally as I do so.

I've been blogging since 2007 and my activity in social media kind of sprung forth there and flourished over time. I started off as a parenting/family blogger with a twist of sarcastic humor, hence the initial website name "Sarcastic Mom". Photography has always been a part of my blogging, and over time, it has taken over. This is due in part to the fact that I keep a bit more of my family life and happenings private now to give my son the respect I think he deserves, but also because I've come to focus on photography intensely over time as my main creative outlet. I always include "mother" in my description of myself because it's incredibly important to me. It's not the greatest defining part of who I am as a person, but it is definitely a part of my life I can't imagine being without. Parenting is the most frustrating and difficult thing that you can love with your whole heart. I think it changes you in many positive ways, if you let it.

What cameras and lenses do you use?

I'm not too intensely focused on gear (not that I don't love great equipment). I've progressively owned nicer pieces, but along the way I've enjoyed making art with whatever I've used. That being said, my current primary body is a Canon 7D. I only own 3 lenses: 18-200mm (love the versatility), a nifty fifty, and admittedly my favorite is my 100mm macro 2.8. It's fantastic for macro work as well as portraits, and I have really enjoyed owning it. First piece of L Series Glass. ;) I still own and use a Canon G9 point and shoot camera, too, with fantastic results that people seem to like as much as my DSLR work.

I'd like to eventually own a handful of quality prime lenses, as well as the 8-15mm fisheye I keep renting and drooling over, and a body with a full frame sensor.

What kind of extra equipment do you use whilst shooting?

I have a basic Manfrotto tripod - nothing fancy. It gets the job done if I want to be in a shot, need stability (delicate macro work) and especially for things like sunrise/sunset/light painting/night photography. I don't have any external lighting at this point, but over time I'd like to add things like that to my toolbox and skill set here and there. We'll see. The only other thing I can think of besides the obvious like chargers and extra batteries is my wireless remote. I love being able to trigger without being attached to my camera and this has come in handy for both self portraits as well as light painting situations. It only cost me $25 and I've used it countless times, as well as loaned it to others.

What hardware do you use for post-processing?

I'm working with a Macbook Pro (that seriously needs a memory upgrade) and a 27" Apple Cinema Display. It's so nice to have that large viewing area for your photos so that you can really get into fine details and view art big and bold, as it should be seen.

What software do you use for post-processing?

I'm a Lightroom fanatic. I've used Photoshop as well, and still do at times, but I use LR the vast majority of the time. It changed my workflow and efficiency so much in such a positive way - I'm kind of in love with it. :) I also sometimes use a program called FX Photo Studio Pro in conjunction with work I do in LR to add some interesting touches to a photo. The photos I tweak in that program almost always seem to get a very favorable response when I share them.

What is missing from your current workflow?

I need more memory in my computer - speed is an issue with a catalogue the size of the one I'm working with in LR nowadays. I also have an SSD drive on my must have list, as my laptop has an HDD and I really need the speed from the former. Oh, and I need to invest in about a gazillion more external harddrives to store and backup my work. ;)

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