Jonathan (Jono ) Slack – Featured IPA member
I spent my childhood in St Ives, Cornwall during the 1950s and 60s. My father (Roger Slack) was a local doctor who arrived in 1947 and my parents quickly became involved in the artistic community; close friends included Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Tony O’Malley and Terry Frost and these were frequent visitors for dinner parties at our house outside St Ives.
I started taking photographs at University, and continued; mostly with Contax SLR cameras, until, on a whim, in an airport in 2000 I bought an Olympus digital camera (I think it was the C3030) the instant feedback really hooked me and my GAS (GearAcquisitionSyndrome) problem had begun!.
I considered going professional around 2008, and I did some PR work, and a number of weddings, but I realised I could earn more money with my existing business, and have more fun shooting what I wanted. Since then any professional work I’ve done has either been for, or in aid of charity.
I started the slack.co.uk website in 2002, and in 2003 I got my first full frame digital SLR; the Kodak 14n, which was an excellent camera, but plagued with colour shifts across the frame (“The Italian Flag”). I got involved with Kodak in Rochester helping to solve the problem. After that I moved on to the Big Nikon cameras (D2x was my last).
I discovered Leica with the advent of the M8 in 2006 and in 2007 I was roped in to help test the firmware updates for the camera, this led to testing the prototype M9 and many other cameras including the Monochrom and the M(Typ 240). I generally write a short article to go with each camera release. (http://www.slack.co.uk/slack/Leica.html).
I think of my gear habit as a completely different occupation from taking photographs, and the two only really coincide in the articles or the website. As a photographer I’m extremely non-technical, I rely on practice and instinct, I never use a flash, and I only use a tripod when I’m testing a lens. All modern cameras seem to take great pictures, and I think that the right camera is the one that you’re comfortable with, and which is best suited to the kind of photographs you take. I can pixel peep with the best of them, but I have a little mantra to keep things in proportion “If a photograph is interesting, then nobody cares if it’s technically good, and if it isn’t interesting then nobody cares at all”.