John and Chris Leonard


I started taking photographs when I was in my early teens, shooting black and white film and processing it myself. I became more interested in colour photography after a while, and shot slides for many years with only occasional forays into monochrome or colour negative for specific reasons.

When I started shooting digitally, I was still making a lot of use of my Pentax MZ-5n SLR, but this hasn't been used for quite a while. However the many years spent shooting slides means I still believe in getting as much as possible "right in camera". Photoshop and Lightroom are wonderful tools, but it's best if you spend more time shooting and less in front of the computer!

Most of my current photographs are taken on a Panasonic Lumix GH3 mirrorless camera. Photographs in the gallery may have been taken on Nikon DSLRs - D70, D80 and D300s.

Current equipment

I used to own a Nikon D300s which was a super camera, except its bulk was straining my back and neck too much. After experimenting with a Micro Four-Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix G5, I took the plunge and traded in my Nikon equipment for a serious MFT camera, the GH3. My back and neck are much happier now, and there has been little if any degradation of quality. In fact, in many ways the GH3 and my current lenses are capable of better results than the D300s with the consumer-grade lenses I used with it.


This is the software I use at home for my photography, with the current version numbers; I have used prior versions of all of these.

Other interests

As a software developer and computer system manager, I clearly have an interest in computing and software. However, as I am involved with these for work, I see them most of the time as a means to an end rather than a hobby in its own right.

I enjoy music, especially listening to classical music, particularly opera. I also sing and play a trumpet in my local church. I have three trumpets: the traditional Bb, and also a Huttl D and a Holton C. The last of these is the instrument I use almost all the time at church as it means I don't have to transpose! I have written a number of songs and hymns, including the music for most of them.

I also enjoy bird-watching, not to be confused with "twitching". The latter involves chasing around after rarities, whereas I just enjoy watching birds - though if I stumble across something uncommon it is a bonus. I have recently managed to photograph some species in the Algarve, but bird photography is really too specialised for me.



Thoughts on Micro Four-Thirds...

The smaller sensor means resolution is rather more limited than sensors at the 'top end'. However 16M pixels is enough for most purposes, and the weight reduction is very significant.

The main loss is phase-detect autofocus for fast moving subjects such as birds in flight. Conversely, modern contrast-detection systems are very accurate and fast for less volatile subjects.

Some people argue that Panasonic in their GH3 and GH4 cameras are losing the weight and size advantage, but it's the scaling down of the lenses that makes all the difference. An extra 100g to get a body with excellent ergonomics paired with light lenses (saving 1Kg over several lenses) makes a lot of sense.