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a7R_50mm 1.4 1-125@2.0-1

Shot with the Sony a7R camera

a7S_24mm 2.0 1-125@4 ISO 3200-1

Shot with the Sony a7S camera

Maine-based photographer David McLain has lived amongst the eskimos of Greenland, harpooned his own food, and traversed the rugged terrain by dog sled. He’s met residents of the village of Sardinia, up in the mountains of Italy, where the people are so healthy it’s common for them to see the age of 100. Most recently, he’s teamed up with a preeminent and as-yet-unnamed healthcare professional to examine what it really means to “heal.” McLain has seen photography fads come and go, but being a photographer for him will always mean two things: passion and hard work.

Early in his career, McLain was told by Sports Illustrated Photographer Heinz Kluetmeier, “In this business, no matter how far you go, you can never coast,” and he’s lived by that motto ever since. McLain spent much of his career shooting stories for National Geographic, an accomplishment that for many photographers might be the end-game; for McLain, however, it was just the beginning, and he continues to push himself to new heights.

With his own evolution, McLain has seen the photography industry adapt to a new era. Photographers now get paid less for the same work, due in part to the fact that there are more photographers today than ever before. With the invention of the Internet, print journalism has been devalued, and magazines and newspapers are no longer as profitable as they once were.

Being a businessperson is equally important to a photographer’s career as being a good artist, and in McLain’s words, “it’s hard as hell to make it.” His advice to emerging photographers? Develop your own point of view. Be nice to others. Never stop shooting.

Some changes in the industry, stresses the photographer, have been for the better. Commercial photography, for instance, is more editorial these days, meaning that photographers can work closely with clients to tell meaningful stories. As one of the original Sony Artisans of Imagery, he’s also had the unique privilege of teaming up with innovators who are just as passionate about photography as he is.

“I really appreciate the fact that Sony is innovating so much with camera technology rather than just sitting back,” explains McLain of his switch Sony’s mirrorless cameras. He was recently diagnosed with mild arthritis in his shoulder, a condition for which his doctor blames the heavy burden of camera gear. With the incredibly lightweight a7 series cameras, he’s been able to take the pressure off of his body without sacrificing the highest caliber of image quality. Since the change, he’s downsized significantly; everything, he says, is “faster, lighter, smaller.”

McLain has also discovered to his delight a whole new range of lighting possibilities. Since the Sony mirrorless cameras’ sensitive sensors can render stunning images even in low light, he’s been able to expand where and what he can capture on camera.

In recent years, McLain has ventured into cinematography; as the co-owner of the production company Merge, he created the feature length documentary BOUNCE, for which he examined ball playing throughout the centuries and across the world. He’s excited about the future and the technological advances it will undoubtedly bring; “We are all lucky as hell to be photographers,” concludes McLain.

A7_24-70mm f4 1-160@ f4 ISO 250-1

Shot with the Sony a7 camera

a7S_50mm 1.4 1-25@1.4 ISO 6400-1

Shot with the Sony a7S camera

a7S_50mm 1.4 1-60@1.4 ISO 6400-1

Shot with the Sony a7S camera

a99_16-35mm 2.8 1-320@2.8-1

Shot with the Sony a99 camera

A7R_85mm 1.4 1-800@ f1.4 ISO 160-1

Shot with the Sony a7R camera

a99_24mm 1.4 1-800@ f1.6 ISO 640-1

Shot with the Sony a99 camera

Sony is a Feature Shoot sponsor.

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