about - about this site

gear list

The difference between Serious Photographer sites and Amateur ones, apart from the fact that the Serious ones always use exactly the same black text on white background minimalist template with huge long lists of their accomplishments, featuring many complicated words, and hard to navigate galleries, is that Serious Photographers never, ever, discuss gear. It’s so demeaning, darling.

So, although I generally don’t much care what camera was used for a particular photo, here’s my gear list for general background info.


Being congenitally incapable of making a sensible decision, and although up to then I was a Canon FD user, I chose to go with Olympus digital cameras early on, since they offered a highly attractive combination of below-average performance for above-average price, and I’ve stuck with them ever since. I started out with an Olympus E-1, in 2004, and have stayed with Olympus ever since.  Back then, it was that or a Canon (10D I think), therefore following my usual avoidance of the sensible choice, I went for the E-1.  Having said that, in terms of handling the E-1 is probably the best I’ve ever used. The feel and ergonomics were superb. I’m pretty sure that 90% of the people who actually picked one up bought it. But, in the day when everybody else had 6Mpix, this had only 5, and it was expensive. Olympus was also very slow to follow up, and basically had to try again 7 years later with Micro Four Thirds.

Having said that I’ve always been indecisive, and I’ve explored alternatives. Principal amongst these is the Ricoh GR line.  I’ve been using these ever since I bought my first Ricoh GR (film camera) to take on a trip to Venezuela a Very Long Time ago. I’ve also felt that in some circumstances the Micro Four Thirds cameras deliver slightly frustrating results. I tried to augment these with Sigma Foveon cameras, but again these have too many limitations, although in the right circumstances they deliver truly beautiful results.  So, eventually, because life is too short and I am financially irresponsible, I got into to the Hasselblad X Medium Format system. Which is great. But still ... maybe Olympus (or OM System as it is today) is still easily enough for me.

My current main system:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
  • Too many Olympus m.Zuiko lenses
  • Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.8

Posts tagged with “olympus”

Backing cast:


Generally I don’t use film for the sake of using film, but because the cameras I want to use take it. I’ve never “gone back to film”, because I’ve never stopped using it.

On active duty:

  • Hasselblad XPan II with 30mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses
  • Olympus OM-4Ti
  • Plustek Opticfilm 120 medium format film scanner

Posts tagged with “film”

my photography

I’ve had cameras of one sort or the other for as long as I can remember, and was constantly taking snapshots. I first realized that I should probably take it a little more seriously when I went professionally to Antarctica, but really I never took advantage of that opportunity. I couldn’t really tell an aperture from an orange at that time. It wasn’t until considerably later, when I started to need raw material for illustration and multimedia work that I began to take things a little more seriously, and I was a very early adopter of digital photography with an Apple Quicktake 200. I mainly used this to create stitched panoramas for VR work, but eventually I started unwrapping these and creating still images. And this got me interested in the brand new Hasselblad XPan panoramic camera, which I bought as soon as I could afford it. From then onwards, it’s been photography all the way. Originally, and for quite a while, I wanted to be a “landscape photographer”, out in all weather capturing Ye Wilde Beautie of the Rugged Landscape with amazing colours and not a person or sign of human activity in sight. Eventually I realized that that is really a little bit boring. Or possibly beyond my capabilities. Either way, these days I’ve gravitated more or less to photographing everything except people. And cats.

In terms of actual output there’s not a huge amount to show for all this. Over the years I’ve produced a number of self-published, professionally printed calendars, which lost me money but were sometimes well received, and I’ve had a number of photographs printed in magazines, online and print. I’ve also licensed some photos to corporate customers, but always on request – I’ve never sought this out as it seems far too much like hard work and I’ve already got a day job, thanks. Finally, this year I produced my first self-designed book on Blurb. Nobody has bought it, which really doesn’t surprise me.


Officially, I am a Swiss citizen, and as well a subject of His Britannic Majesty and a citizen of the Untied Kingdom. However, I was brought up and educated in Belgium, and I live and work in the Swiss Italian Canton of Ticino, so I’m more European than anything else, and I don’t much identify with England. I emerged from the University of London with a degree in Industrial Aerodynamics. It wasn’t the most popular subject to major in. Apparently there were precisely 4 people registered for it, across all classes. This was an early sign of my unfortunate tendency to choose the least sensible option of all possible opportunities.

Soon afterwards, I applied for, and very much to my surprise, was offered, a job in the glaciology department of the British Antarctic Survey.  This led to a more than a decade of working on airborne and satellite remote sensing of Antarctic ice shelves, right at the beginning of the big climate change hoopla. Naturally, as soon as it was established that this was the place to be, I took another sharp left turn and started a new career in space science and technology consulting. This in turn led to getting involved in early experiments with satellite internet, followed by a string of start-up disasters, and finally I ended up as an IT Business Analyst in a Major Swiss Bank, which is where I remain to this day.

Is that the end of the story? Who knows.

Alongside all of this, I’ve always maintained creative sidelines, generally in order to have something to waste slightly more money than I’m earning on. Initially it was music, then illustration and graphic design, then, and far too early, interactive multimedia, and finally the relatively sensible option of photography. Along the way I found time to jointly found a record company, which swallowed huge amounts of money. It still exists, but I have nothing to do with it these days, even though in theory I possibly should have.

about snowhenge

Snowhenge is, or was, an artefact built in January 1992 at S80° 06´, W41° 53´, on the Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica. It’s architects were myself, Dr Jeff Ridley, and Peter Webb. It doesn’t have a deep and meaningful reason, but it goes to show that there isn’t much on TV in Antarctica. It was used in an experimental effort to invoke Druidic powers to refill a sadly depleted bottle of Bushmill’s best Irish Whiskey, but this ended in tragic failure.

As far as I can tell, ours was the first and original Snowhenge. But more than a few other Great Minds have thought alike. Nancy Wisser has dedicated the Clonehenge blog to Stonehenge replicas, and you can find plenty of the icier variety there.


I am indebted to the artist currently known as Alpine Light & Structure for alerting me to this snippet from Sir Vivian Fuchs’ autobiography, which demonstrates that in fact we were at very best second: “The dog drivers marked the route up to the plateau by building a snow cairn every five miles. As time went on they became ambitious and produced increasingly complicated structures. The final work of art which met our astonished eyes as we followed them was a miniature ‘Snowhenge’!”

There really is nothing new under the Sun.


about this site


Thanks for dropping by. My name is David Mantripp, and I’m the owner, manager and chief floor sweeper of this web site. I’ve been on the web since around 1997 if I remember correctly, which I rarely do this days. You can find out more about me on the bio page.

Snowhenge is a little corner of the internet, tucked up a side street well out of the way of the heavy traffic. As far as I can remember this is the 5th (and a bit) version of Snowhenge, and just like its author, as it gets older it gets simpler and less interested in technical stuff. My first web page had some kind of animation of a decaying pear on it, for some reason. I can’t remember why. The snowhenge.net domain itself has been online since 2002, and it’s gone through quite a few incarnations since then.

Photography has always been a part of the site, but nowadays it is the only real purpose.  There ia a little non-photography content still in here, but it is well concealed! The wildly popular award winning blog, photoblogography, continues to limp along, but more marginalised in the presentation.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

This site is hand made and runs on top of Expression Engine.