Erika is a photographer living in Australia. She started taking photos at a young age after receiving her first film camera. Once moving to Australia with her husband she was inspired to develop her photography skills further in order to capture the beauty of the country. She has had the opportunity to capture places like Victoria Falls and the Great Barrier Reef. In the future she hopes to travel to Norway to capture the Northern Lights as well as the scenery in Canada.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Erika Smart and I am fortunate to live on the beautiful NSW Central Coast. I am semi-retired, working part-time in a photo gallery owned by a friend. I love what I do and enjoy talking to people about photography.
When did you start taking photos?
I started taking photos when I was very young, when my parents bought me my first film camera. I was always snapping family photos and capturing family holidays - then had to wait until I could get them developed! Even though I was young, I was the only family member that could take a decent photo.
What inspired you to pick up a camera?
I was inspired to take photography more seriously when my husband and I decided to travel and work around Australia, living in a motor-home for two years. We worked nights and explored this vast country by day, free camping most of the time. I had never really learned how to use a camera beyond the auto settings and captured most of the journey using the auto presets on my entry level SLR. I had some really cool photos from this journey but really didn’t have much idea about editing or using the camera manually. The more I saw of this beautiful country the more I became inspired to learn more about photography. When we returned to the Central Coast I took a few lessons learning how to use a camera manually and upgraded to a full frame camera. I would spend hours getting out taking sunrises and sunsets and gradually I improved.
What are cool projects you've worked on?
I would have to say from an amateur point of view the coolest project I have worked on would be photographing my two grandsons. I have also developed a passion for bird photography. We have some lovely native birds and living near the bush there is never a shortage of colorful birds. I also am learning aerial photography and as I am a little uneasy with helicopters I find when I am taking photos from the air the fear leaves me and I really enjoy it. Shooting over Victoria Falls in Africa and The Great Barrier Reef here in Australia have been among my highlights. I enjoy different styles of photography but landscapes and bird photography would be where my passion lies.
What/who would you most like to capture and why?
In the future I would most like to go to Norway to capture the Northern Lights. A few of my friends have been and their photos are just amazing. It reminds me of a fashion show in the sky. Definitely top of my bucket list followed by Canada for the amazing scenery.
How did you hear about MUROL?
I first heard about MUROL through a friend.
What makes MUROL unique?
What makes MUROL unique is that once you have uploaded your photos they fill the whole screen nicely and the images just pop! The detail in each photo is amazing and it is a great way to showcase landscape photos.
When did you have that eye opening moment and saw the Bigger Picture?
I’m still being encouraged by friends and family to see the “Bigger Picture” and do something more with my photography - but for now I’m enjoying the journey day by day.
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------------------The woman behind the lens------------------
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Follow Erika on MUROL @ErikaSmart