Please welcome Thomas Stirr!

We continuously strive to bring our readers the best content from many different sources and this time I excited to introduce another addition to our team – Thomas Stirr. You have already seen his articles like how to shoot high-quality videos with a DSLR, his top recommendations for photographing New Zealand and an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 V2 camera. Being obsessed with photography like all of us here at PL, Thomas will be sharing his knowledge and contribute to our site as a resident team member. Here is an intro post from Thomas – please give him a warm welcome!

Thomas Stirr Portrait

NIKON D800 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 46mm, ISO 1600, 1/125, f/5.6

I asked Thomas to write a short bio about himself and here is what he sent me:

Ever since I was a child the world around me was always an intensely visual experience. Images can grab us by the jugular. They can make our emotions flow. Stimulate us to take action. Cause us to be introspective. Touch us at very our core.

I can still remember buying my first “real” camera…a Nikkormat…putting on a lens and looking through it for the first time. It was a new and powerful way of seeing the world. An incredible tool to capture those rare moments of life that form our legacy, and the history of others.

Thomas Stirr (1)

Thomas Stirr (2)

NIKON D7000 @ 200mm, ISO 400, 10/25000, f/6.3

Thomas Stirr (10)

That was over three decades ago and the journey has continued. When I have one of my cameras in my hands everything around me seems sharper. More vibrant. Landscapes become powerful angles of nature. Birds and animals assume personalities. Contrasts seem deeper. The smallest of details can call out to be noticed and captured. I’m sure every photographer has these same feelings. They are what fuel our individual creativity.

Thomas Stirr (3)

NIKON D7000 @ 40mm, ISO 800, 10/800, f/7.1

Thomas Stirr (4)

When I’m working on a photography or video assignment for a client the task is always about finding the right solution for them. It’s about understanding the communication challenge they are trying to overcome…and finding a way of allowing the camera and lens to create the solution needed, whether it be a still image or a video clip.

Thomas Stirr (5)

NIKON D600 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, ISO 100, 1/40, f/8.0

Thomas Stirr (6)

Thomas Stirr (7)

NIKON D800 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 180mm, ISO 1600, 1/400, f/11.0

The industry shift to digital has unleashed even more creative potential. We can now push the boundaries of what we thought was impossible just a few years ago. We can take the real and make it surreal. None of us knows where technology and our creativity will take us. What we do know is that all the bumps along the way are worth every moment of the ride.

Thomas Stirr (8)

Thomas Stirr (9)

NIKON D800 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, ISO 400, 1/1000, f/8.0


  1. February 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Welcome Thomas!

    • 1.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks Tom….I’m thrilled to be on board.

  2. 2) Susan
    February 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I can already tell I like you, you are a musician as well as a photographer just like me. :) Welcome!

    • 2.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Susan,

      Hmm…..calling myself a musician would be a huge stretch! Although I did have one ‘paid gig’….I made a dollar by performing one song in front of a seminar audience during one of my human effectiveness seminars.

      Thanks for the welcome!

  3. 3) Sandra
    February 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Welcome! I look forward to reading your articles and seeing your beautiful photos.

    • 3.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for the warm welcome….very much appreciated. Like any new journey it all begins with the first step…


  4. 4) Mich Wright
    February 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Welcome! The bird shots in this post are insane. Nicely done. Look forward to hearing more from you.

    • 4.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Mich,

      Thanks very much for you comment on the birds photos in this ‘welcome’ announcement.

      The first image is called ‘Reflections’ and is on my web site as a limited edition print. I took it with a D7000. I can still remember the moment…..there was no wind and Lake Ontario was like glass, and I was out taking some shots of birds-in-flight for a YouTube video I was putting together to compare my D7000 with the D600 I owned at the time. The gull in the photo looked at me in an almost ‘ho-hum’ way and dropped down off the cement pier and slowly flapped away. As he did I rattled off a few shots until the buffer on my D7000 filled and when I got home I was thrilled to find that image. It is one of my favorites of all time…I have one hanging in my kitchen.

      The other shot is called “The Landing” (also on my web site) and was taken at the same location last fall. At the end of last summer I had purchased the Nikon 1 V2, then in the fall I added the 30-110 zoom to take advantage of the incredible frame rates of the V2. I don’t remember if I was testing the 30 fps or 60 fps electronic shutter capability with the V2….it was one of those settings. I noticed that a number of gulls were landing at the very end of a cement pier so I set myself up as close as I could get without scaring the gulls away. Since the Nikon 1 V2 will not continuously auto focus at 30 or 60 fps I focused on a bird sitting at the very edge of the pier…then waited for other gulls to come in to land. The gull in the photo came in to land and I waited long enough for it to start pumping its wings backwards to slow down…..held the shutter down on the Nikon 1 V2 and an incredible burst of images resulted….that image being one of them.


  5. February 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Welcome sir! I hope you have enough time to be an active member and post a lot.

    We are all still waiting Charles Hildreth to post his post processing techniches, by the way! =)

    • 5.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Hello Ricardo,

      Thanks for the welcome….rest assured I’ll try to do my best with some ongoing contributions….there is a new one this evening….”Nikon 1 V2 at the Auto Show”. It shows a range of images I took on Friday while at the Toronto International Auto Show with my Nikon 1 V2 and two ‘kit’ zooms….the 10-30 and 30-110. If you check out the article and the images you may be surprised with the image quality that is possible with the Nikon 1 system.


    • February 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Ricardo, Charles has been busy moving to Colorado from California. I met him today and we discussed all the upcoming plans. He will be posting some great stuff, so please stay tuned :)

  6. 6) ericlaquerre
    February 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Welcome Thomas! I can’t believe the team will get even more talented!+

    • 6.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Hi Eric,

      I’ll do my best not to be an anchor for the rest of the talented team at Photography Life! Thanks for the welcome.


  7. 7) KSPGM
    February 17, 2014 at 2:36 am

    A very warm welcolm Thomas . . . from a fellow Nikon 1 V2 user! I fondly hope that your presence will raise the image of this much misunderstood Nikon camera and demonstarte its true capabilities. I have found that the V2 with the 70-200f/4 is a near perfect combination for wildlife photography . . . reach and IQ without the weight!

    best wishes!

    • 7.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 17, 2014 at 5:23 am

      Hello KSPGM,

      I’m glad to be onboard…and thanks for the welcome!

      I completely agree that the 70-200 f/4 with the FT-a adapter on the Nikon 1 V2 is an awesome combination! It is so light and easy to handle I find I can shoot with it for hours with no problem at all.

      I’m hoping that Nikon brings out the long-awaited 300mm f/4….on the V2 it would be incredible.

      If you have a chance to read my most recent article, Nikon 1 V2 at the Auto Show, you may enjoy it since it showcases the camera’s capability under difficult lighting conditions. I used the 10-30 and 30-110 for all of the shots and I must say I was very impressed with the IQ that is possible with these small, inexpensive kit zoom lenses.


  8. February 17, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Welcome aboard, Tom!

    • 8.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 17, 2014 at 6:32 am

      Thanks Bob,

      Very pleased to be a part of the team!


  9. 9) Jacques Fleury
    February 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Bienvenue Thomas,

    Your shots are awesome ! Thank you for sharing.

    • 9.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Hello Jacques,

      Thanks for your comment on the images….glad you enjoyed them!


  10. 10) Steven Lawrence
    February 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Great review! I am going downtown this afternoon and along with my F100 I will bring along my V1 along with the 30-100 lens. Thanks for the inspiration.


    • 10.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

      HI Steven,

      Follow the creative spark….regardless of the source!


  11. 11) Jorge Balarin
    February 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Thomas ! Your photos are amazing.

  12. 12) Thomas Stirr
    February 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Jorge,

    Thanks very much for the compliment…very much appreciated!


  13. 13) Ian Harden
    February 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Welcome, I look forward to reading your articles. Loved the New Zealand pictures, as I live here it is really nice to see how much enjoyment visitors get from the scenery and wildlife.

    • 13.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 18, 2014 at 4:47 am

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks for the welcome….and glad you enjoyed the New Zealand article. You live in amazing country!


  14. 14) Robin
    February 19, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Welcome Thomas. I am the proud owner of the Nikon 1 V2 also and I love it. The only grip I have is I can’t use my SB800 flash with the camera. I just bought a lensbaby composer pro and double glass optic to try on it.

    • 14.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 19, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Hi Robin,

      Thanks for the welcome! Hopefully if Nikon brings out a V3 it will be able to use all regular Nikon accessories rather than making users buy Nikon 1 specific accessories.

      I’ve never used a Lensbaby product. From what I have read some interesting, creative effects are possible. I didn’t see a Nikon 1 mount option on the Lensbaby web site….so I assume you use this with the FT-1 adapter. Since you can adjust the focus point, the amount of area in focus, and depth of field with the Lensbaby do you find that you are able to create a much shallower depth-0f-field than would normally be possible with the V2’s small CX sensor?

  15. 15) Robin
    February 19, 2014 at 10:46 am


    Questions I can’t answer yet. Still waiting on UPS driver…

    I really bought it to use with my D800…using it on the Nikon 1 V2 is just an extra bonus…

    • 15.1) Thomas Stirr
      February 19, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Hi Robin,

      I’ll look forward to hearing how it works on both your D800 and Nikon 1 V2….these are the two camera bodies that I use in my business. From the Lensbaby website it looks like an interesting creative tool!


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