“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” -Ansel Adams

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December '11 Featured Photographer

Flickr member since September 2008

Visit Tims photostream: friday1970

1. Why do you take pictures?

Actually, I think it comes from my childhood. My parents had a subscription to National Geographic around the time I was 6 or 7 years old. From those magazines, I used to dream of becoming a photographer for NatGeo, with all the traveling and exploration that came with the job. Like many of my childhood dream careers, photography was nearly forgotten as life took me on far different paths.

Beauty Under the Water Grates

Fast forward 30 years, I started to hike up many of the Appalachian hills as a motivator to keep in shape. I wanted to start capturing some of the gorgeous views I was taking in. Around the same time, I started to notice the incredible HDR pictures that were appearing on many of the computer tech news sites I was reading.

So really, it was a period in my life where my my technical background and love for the outdoors had crossed paths, and photography was the product of that. It's also fulfilling that little childhood dream of mine.

2. Who inspires you?

I get inspired by many of the incredible local area photographers, such as Richard Thompson, Art Photon, Brian Callihan, Corinne Schwarz, and so many others. Not only do they inspire me to keep shooting, they also inspire me to travel to the many beautiful areas shown in their pictures. Other more well known photographers, such as Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, and Chris Morrison keep this fire stoked. It's a joy to look at their photos and learn their techniques of light and composition.

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?

My favorite things to photograph are landscape based subjects, mostly lakes and mountains. I also like to shoot architecture that is immersed with the nature around it.

Japanese Bridge at Cranbrook #24. What's your strength, in photography?

I think my best strength is that I am my worst own critic. I always look at my shots and think “If I had just shot this with an earlier light, or from this angle, or moved the camera to hide this background object....”.
I think it helps me to become a better photographer as I always strive to improve myself
Below the Treeline, in the Fog, at Mt Fuji

5. Which picture (of your own) do you like most?

Picking my favorite photo is like choosing my favorite child. It's the stories behind the photos that I remember the most.

In “Below the Treeline, in the Fog, at Mt Fuji”, it was the cold fog, and the long wait for for a clear shot with no one in the picture.
In “Beauty Under the Water Grates”, it was having to walk under the intimidating, loud, slippery tunnel.

And in what I would call my favorite picture “Fishing into the Morning Fog”, it was driving to Detroit to shoot the river, getting trapped on I-96, and taking the next off ramp to shoot anything, only to come into this beautiful morning fog with sunlight behind it

6. What is your biggest challenge in photography?

Fishing into the morning fog
Finding that special area no one else had yet to photograph and capturing it in the best possible way. And, of course, waking up early to get there.

7. What do you use for post processing, and why?

GIMP. It's free and easy to use. Most of my base colors are pulled from my film/slide scan software, and GIMP helps me to add contrast, saturation, and correct any noticeable hues.

8. What would be the ideal place to travel?
Byron Mills Pond's falls
The Altiplano of South America. A very large expanse of barren, mountainous land, beautiful sunsets, the largest salt flat in the world, and areas which look like no other on Earth.

9. If you could give aspiring photographers one piece of advice, what would it be?

Just one? Just keep shooting. You will get better with time and with each photograph.

10. What do you think the most difficult concept in photography is?

For me, it would be portrait photography. I have always been a little shy to ask someone to let me take their picture. And even more, I would be worried about getting their shot perfect.

Interviewers Note:
Friday1970 is a member of Southeast Michigan Digital Photography. Take a minute to check out his photostream on flickr.  Also, he was not strong armed (too badly) to include me as one of his "inspirations"! ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

November '11 Featured Photographer

Flickr Member since 2008

Visit MJ's photostream.

1. Who inspires you?

I like photographers that tell a story with their images. .brianday and lolaluvsme on Flickr are two photographers that always inspire me.
Mary Jo Boughton - Flickriver
2. What's your favorite subject?

Currently I am shooting a lot of photos of people.

3. What would you like to be able to do better?

Understand my speedlite well enough so that when I use my flash I can think artistically first instead of technically.

4. Are there any photography or processing techniques that you don't like?

I really do not like to do old school film developing.

5. What kind of camera do you have, and why?

I have a Canon DSLR 7D. I started with a canon P&S and just stuck with the brand mostly because of price. I recently upgrade from an XSI to the 7D because I wanted a camera that could shoot at higher ISO without noise issues. I prefer to handhold my camera.

6. What is your favorite photograph of your own, and why?

I really like the photo “Dream Horse.” It shows exactly the moment of emotion I saw through the lens when I clicked the shutter.

7. Do you ever make money with your photography? Do you want to?

I have had people buy a few photos from me that have seen them on Flickr. Hey more money means more lenses and equipment I can buy so yes, it would be great to make money from my photos.

8. What's the best compliment you've received on your photography?

Doopleganger left a compliment on this photo which was probably the best and one of the most sincere ones I have ever gotten.

"amazing stuff here. I browsed your entire stream. what an evolution in your photos since the start back in 2008. for me what sets your work apart and makes it so much better than 99.99% of what is out there is that every shot has so much feeling. you definitely put your own style on it and I love that it is something different in a world where everything looks the same and everybody just copies everybody else. your pics stand alone. I'm a big fan and looking forward to your show at the B&L"

9. Do you do any other art?

I have done painting, drawing and sculpture when I was younger but currently only do photography.

10. What one thing did you learn that changed your photography the most?

I learned how to use LightRoom3. It is very intuitive software.

11. Photography is rare in the sense that it requires both an artistic mindset and technical understanding. Do you think there are character/personality traits more commonly found in photographers?

I think we are all a bit obsessive and driven to get that next great photo.

Mary Jo Boughton - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

Interviewers Note:
Mary Jo Boughton is a member of Southeast Michigan Digital Photography.  Take a minute to check out her photostream on flickr.  You will be amazed by her ability to photograph a wide range of subjects, from people to architecture.  You can also find her on Southeast Michigan Digital Photography's Facebook page.