It was after a still photography class in university and a life-changing trip to Australia that I discovered a passion for photography. I have found that photography and travel are made for each other. I enjoy processing photos with HDR and believe that post-production is now a vital step of the artistic process. Every now and then, I'll exhibit at art shows or local markets.
All around the world.
Lots of beautiful people and animals.
Baseball is king.
Some fun events I've photographed over the years.
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My latest travel photos.
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Some thoughts on photography.
Choose interesting subjects. For travel pictures in particular, figure out what really makes the place unique. Once you have a subject, simplify. Learn how to remove the distractions that might draw attention away from your subject or confuse your message.
Does your shot tell a story? Does the subject mean anything to you or anyone else? Does your shot offer a unique perspective? Make it personal. Don't just duplicate the pictures that have already been taken a thousand times, and don't waste your time trying to outdo what other people have done using more expensive equipment and better vantage points. You will not be able to do better than the guy who is taking pictures from a helicopter at sunset.
Developing your "eye" as a photographer comes from taking a hard look at photos and learning how to articulate what it is that you like and don't like about them. Find the nearest photograph. Your gut will tell you right away if you like it or not. But WHY? What is it specifically about the photo that works or doesn't work? Critical thinking will help you develop your eye before you even pick up your camera.
Observe the common rules for composition. Learn about the rule of thirds and golden ratio. Don't put anything along the edge of the frame or right in the middle. Either shoot straight-on to your subject, or take your shots at an obvious angle. A shot that's just a little off will look sloppy. Break the rules only when you have a good reason for doing so.
Always focus on the eyes. In conversation, people always look at one another in the eyes. It's the same when you're looking at a face in a photograph. If they eyes are out of focus, we can't make a "connection" with the subject. If they're not looking at you, what are they looking at? If you're unsure, that also breaks the "connection" with the subject.
Make sure your subject is interesting enough and simple enough for black and white. In a lot of ways, it's harder to take a good black and white picture than a color one because the lack of color forces the viewer to concentrate more on tonality and composition, aspects of photography which can take a lot of time to understand and master.
Conceptually, cameras aren't complicated, but some people just don't have a knack for gadgets. Unfortunately, it does take a certain amount of technical ability to operate a camera properly and get the best results out of it. Realize that ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and filters all work together to control exposure. Changing one of these components means that the others will also need to change, automatically or manually. Understand how these changes affect the quality of the image.
If you have a beefy camera that can do it, shoot RAW, especially if you're visiting a place you'll probably never come back to. RAW gives you a lot more flexibility in post-processing. Just make sure you have a laptop or external drive with lots of storage space. These files are pretty big.
Almost every photo will benefit from some degree of post-processing on the computer, so having technical ability there helps as well. Whether it's touch-ups or HDR, don't overdo it. Post-processing rarely makes a bad photo good.
Get out there and experiment. With a digital camera and a critical eye, the education is free and instantaneous. You are your best teacher. Examine your shot right after you take it, and examine it critically. Did it turn out the way you were expecting? Why not? What do you need to change to get what you want? Show your photos to family, friends, and online communities. Learn how to take criticism, and learn when to ignore it. Ask questions. Make photographer friends. Shoot with them, learn from them.
Selected photographs are available for purchase. I am also available for weddings, events, family photos, and headshots. Need some photos? Send me a note below.