Share Your Passion: Cellarman Colin on Photography

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As far back as I can remember I have not only been interested in, but passionate about photography. I get this from my late-grandfather. He was an incredible student of photography and from an early age he passed it on to me. I began to pursue it in earnest in high school with photography classes and as much darkroom time as I could manage. From there, photography sort of became a therapy for me. Over the years I have had jobs where I was able to employ my knowledge of it, but the most satisfaction I ever derived from this passion has always been through simply taking pictures for myself.

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My absolute favorite way to pursue this passion is to set out with little to no plan and see where I end up. This usually involves heading away from the city simply because I have always preferred shooting out in nature. More often than not this results in day trips close to wherever I am living. It provides great opportunities for me to see what is around me and experience different places.

On a few occasions I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel to other countries and even remote places. I have been all around Europe and, by far, my favorite place to shoot was Interlaken in the Swiss Alps. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been with staggeringly massive granite rock formations jutting straight up out of the Earth, vast grassy valleys and hundreds of roaring waterfalls. There was really no place I could point my camera and not come away with a great shot.

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A few years back I also spent some time on Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands, the most isolated archipelago in French Polynesian. Aside from the obvious natural beauty that these relatively undisturbed volcanic islands presented, there was an archeological element that I had never dealt with before. The challenge I faced was capturing the story of these sites with just a photograph. When you are standing there, hearing the story of how this altar was a place where warriors would bring their fallen enemies to sacrifice and cannibalize them it’s easy to see the significance and weight of the place. However, it’s hard to take a picture of it and have it not look like a small stone structure with a deep pit in the middle. This was definitely one of my most rewarding trips because it allowed me to focus my photography on the cultural aspects of my location rather than just the natural ones.

the bruery colin macgregor photography nuku hiva coast
the bruery colin macgregor photography marquesan tiki

My style is definitely dictated by the subjects I shoot. As a result of all the time hiking around the beaches, mountains, woods and deserts of California, I have an affinity for sweeping panoramic images as well as super shallow depth-of-field macro shots. I especially love photographing the different flora and fauna of a particular location. Overall, my images tend to be crisp and clean with balanced composition, high contrast and sharp colors.

My latest venture is into night photography and long exposures. I have had a blast experimenting with lights and movement during long exposures. On the rare occasions I can get far enough away from city lights I try to setup extended exposures of the night sky, with the stars forming circular streaks and the moon looking like a stretched oval.

the bruery colin macgregor photography griffith at night
the bruery colin macgregor photography griffith at night 2

Looking forward, my late-grandfather left me one of his old medium format cameras (a Kowa Six) that I need to reassemble so I can start shooting with it. First I’ll need to find film and someone to develop it though. Not a simple task in 2015.

Colin holds PhD’s in Psychology and Parapsychology, and has been engaged in academic research for many years with his partners, Dr. Stantz and Dr. Spengler. He is somewhat unusual for a scientist, and perhaps even more so for a parapsychologist. He has never believed in reincarnation, Bigfoot, clairvoyance or astral travel. Colin has customarily referred to these as the “implied sciences,” a phrase which entertained his students almost as much as himself. After his grant money ran out for reasons completely unrelated to accusations of “betraying the volunteers trust,” he entered the craft beer industry and has never looked back.

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