Archive - February 2013


 

Andrea Child, Herriman, Utah, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

Five years doing photography, but around 15 years using Photoshop.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

Moving to Maine and needing a hobby.

What is your photography forte?

Children and families, both studio and natural light.

What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?

I would definitely have to say finding and using light. This is key in a tack-sharp and colorful image. I look everywhere for natural reflectors. Basically, anything that light can bounce itself off of is a reflector. When I am in a natural setting where I cannot find any light, I bring my trusty six-foot reflector. It is basically my very best investment piece.

What about photography inspires you?

Finding the light in each of my images. I love bringing out the soul of my images by painting the image with light and dark, contrast and color.

How do you decide what to shoot and how to shoot it?

When I have a moment to myself (and I have secured something for all my six children to do), I sit down with a paper and pen and turn on inspiring music and I jot down ideas for my next shoot. It is calming knowing before I walk in with a client that I have ideas of success for that shoot.

Where is your favorite location to shoot?

I love the sun! So if I can find somewhere that I can peek that sun in the picture somewhere, then I am good and happy.

What do you love about photography?

Making an inspiring piece that brings peace and comfort and happiness to the viewer.

What adjectives best describe your photography?

Color, light, warmth.

What advice would you give to new photographers?

I would say to watch the way light hits an object. See where the shadows lie; see where the harshness of the sun hits. Learn to shoot in mid-day! I know I sound redundant, but honestly, if you can see the beauty that light creates, you will want that in each of your photos—somewhere. 

How important is Photoshop in your final image?

My images have to begin out of the camera clean, crisp, and ready for me to paint in Photoshop. This is where the fun is for me. This is where I manipulate light and color. I LOVE Photoshop!

What is your favorite lighting?

Window light, backlight.

Where is your dream location to shoot?

London, Italy, Greece, Rome.

What types of photos have you shared with the Church and members?

As a Young Women presidency in Salem, Oregon, we thought it would be a great idea for the girls to portray “women of light” for their evening of excellence program. Each one of the girls dressed the part of valiant and noble women found in the scriptures. It was such a great program and I was honored to be a part of it.

What is one tip that you would like to share?

Do your homework! Prep a shoot before you are there. Scout out a location. I know it has been said before, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. But it is true! Just go with it. There is always a blip that happens while you shoot—that is okay. Learn to loosen the reigns of control and you will find that your photos will look more natural and less posed! One last thing—enjoy what you do and have fun!

—Andrea


Ed Ferrin, Galveston, Texas, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

42 years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

My older brother needed some money in 1970 to buy some darkroom equipment and sold me one of his Canon cameras and two of his lenses.  Then he talked me into going half on the cost of the darkroom equipment and chemicals for doing black-and-white photos. I have been hooked ever since.

What is your photography forte?

Nature photography. I work in a sales/marketing job and spend most of my day talking with clients and solving problems. Getting out in nature and taking photos is my way of relaxing. 

What tips or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?

I think the point at which I went from taking snapshots to really looking at photos as being art I could hang on my walls was shortly after I bought my first digital SLR. With digital, I realized I could take as many shots as I wanted (with no cost for developing and printing) and throw them all away if I didn’t like them. So, to learn how to control light and depth of field, I found a flower I really liked and took several hundred photos of it. I set up my tripod and camera and then started at an aperture of f/4, changing the aperture setting with each shot. Then I would change where I placed the camera and go through the process again. I looked at my photos on the computer, decided what I did and did not like about the photo, and went back out and took several hundred more photos of the same flower. I did this over several days. When I finally came up with the shot I liked best, as shown, I had taken and thrown away over a thousand photos. What I learned from this experience was how to control light and depth of field, which is essential to every photo I take. It is important to note that with each new lens I buy, I repeat this testing process until I know exactly how to get the results I want from my new lens.

What about photography inspires you?

I like that feeling of capturing something I see in nature that excites me and then sharing it with others through my photos. For example, one of my favorite birds to watch in flight is the Brown Pelican. It is such an awkward-looking bird on the ground, but in flight it is graceful and beautiful to watch. When I captured this shot, I felt like I had finally captured that graceful beauty. A lot of my friends must have felt the same because I have printed and given away about a dozen 12x18-inch copies of this print, which they have framed and hung on their home and office walls.

What advice would you give a new photographer?

Always watch for and be open to unplanned photo opportunities. For example, my wife and I were on a camping trip to the Texas hill country to see and photograph wildflowers last year. My intent was to take the perfect wildflower photo, and I had taken a lot of flower photos that day. I was very tired from climbing around the hills and had sat down to rest before heading back to our camp when my wife spotted a dragonfly. Well, it took a little effort to get up from my resting spot, but the unexpected photo opportunity was too much to pass up. The photo I took of that dragonfly was my last photo of the day and my favorite photo from our camping trip. Some of my favorite photos came as unexpected opportunities.

What is your favorite location to shoot? 

Right here in Galveston, TX, where I live. After a hard day at work, I can go out in my backyard or just a few minutes from my home and be with the birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, lizards, flowers, and many other creatures of nature. About 60% of the photos I take are within a 10-minute drive from my home. This favorite shot of a Black Swallowtail butterfly was taken in my wife’s flower garden. I have this and three other butterfly photos framed and hanging on our dining room wall. 

What is your favorite lighting?

Most of my photos are taken outdoors, and many of the birds I photograph are white birds. The first two hours of light in the morning and the last two hours of light in the evening give me that soft light I want. 

What is one tip that you would like to share?

Photographers love to talk to other photographers and share photos, and so I have had the opportunity to share my love of photography with many people. The one thing that really surprised me is how many people have taken a great photo but don’t even consider having it printed, mounted, matted, framed, and hung on their wall as art. My tip, if you really love a photo you have taken, turn it into art and hang it on your wall. Getting your photos professionally printed is easy and inexpensive these days, and the cost of matting and framing a photo is not any more expensive than buying nice art for your walls. So why not have your art on your walls instead of someone else’s art?

—Ed