My shooting style is evolving as I am evolving. Art is a reflection of who you are and your experiences. Or at least how you wish to portray them. I don't really consider myself an artist, but I am working on that every time I go and take photos. I want to put a piece of me in there. I want it to be unique in some way, which is almost a topic for another post...
When I first got my hands on a DSLR, I would shoot anything and everything. It was mostly the animals around my house and my unwilling family members. Then I started exploring around my home town. I'm from this small city named Melbourne, Florida. There are a lot of birds and alligators in Florida. Naturally I found some local wetlands and immersed myself in their culture. I crept up on them. Stalked them. I made trip after trip out in the blazing sun to hunt for birds and catch anything that I thought was mildly interesting. If you are patient and watch them, you can find them building nests, courting each other during mating season and hunting for meals. For years, my photography consisted of wildlife.
I was, and still am, a part of this forum "Nikon Cafe." They are a community of photographers who support each other and help with critiques so we can better our work. It's nice, and critical, to receive feedback from people who are not blood related. Family seems to be over-supportive which is great when you are just getting started. Back to my point. Wildlife. I still love wildlife photography. It's exhilarating quietly following animals in their habitat as well as challenging to capture a nicely composed and sharp image. Wildlife photographers require lenses that are massive. I didn't understand this at first and thought they were using their lenses to photograph the moon or some form of alien life. Over time I got it though. The farther away you are from the animals, the less chance you have of disturbing their natural routines. Being young, I was unable to afford the long lenses these guys used and did what I could with that I had - sneaking up on them and getting myself as close as I could.
After spending 23 humid years in Florida, I decided it was time to move. I spent two years in North Carolina, where my love for photography was rekindled and further developed. I discovered exploring the mountains by foot to be one of the most rewarding experiences I had ever had. I was so used to everything being flat that the world of mountains opened up an entire new perspective for me. I have fallen in love with mountains and being out in nature whether it be hiking, camping or photographing - but best if it's all at the same time!
Combining photography with the outdoors was a revelation for me. It took two of my passions and combined them into a single cohesive experience, something that I think takes time and personal growth to discover. With this new discovery, my style of photography has also adapted. I don't feel that word is fitting but we'll roll with it for now. And I'll probably forget to change it later. I'm more of a writer who uses stream of consciousness. Back on topic.
Landscape photography is something new to me. It challenges me greatly. It forces me to see compositions (something I used to never focus on) and think about the image overall. It gets me outside, in nature, where I want to be. This is my most recent change in style and I am growing even more passionate towards it. There are unique landscapes all over the world and I want to get out and explore as many of them as I can. I want to offer a unique perspective on them. A fresh perspective is extremely difficult to do nowadays when everyone has a DSLR camera or an iPhone in their pocket. I believe this is one of the greatest challenges in landscape photography. It also requires your utmost attention to detail and sometimes a battle against the elements. This of course only adds to the excitement for me.
This post is getting lengthy. But I have one more point to make. Why am I donating part of my profits to AWI? I'll keep the answer short and if you are interested in hearing more, you can send me an email. I support animals, I love them. They deserve our conservation efforts. We are a part of their world as much as they are a part of ours. Everything is intricately designed with intention. Animals are no exception. For example, if the bees go extinct we will not have a means to replicate their efforts in pollination. The same goes for every other species on earth. I am using my photography skills as a platform to help become a part of something larger.
My next post will be about the gear that I use and have used over the years.