Mitch Palmer: Nevada, Iowa, USA
How long have you been a photographer?
What first piqued your interest in photography?
I was on the yearbook staff in high school, and although I was not the photographer, my best friend was. He got me interested in photography and gave me some darkroom experience (back when we had darkrooms). My first 35mm camera was a Pentax K1000.
Everything was manual, so I had to learn and understand exposure, f-stop, film speed, depth of field, and so on. Nothing was automatic.
What is your photography forte?
I don’t feel that I have a forte yet, but I really enjoy macro-photography.
What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?
When photographing children, get down at their level. Don’t spend too much time posing, as the pose never lasts. I prefer to put children in the right light and let them play. You are more likely to capture the image that reflects that child’s personality.
What about photography inspires you?
I like the challenge of finding beauty when there is no obvious beauty. For example, winter in the Midwest can be brutal, dark, and dreary. I find it a challenge to find beauty in this winter world, void of color.
Where is your favorite location to shoot?
In Iowa there are hundreds of small towns. Each has a main street that reflects life 50 or 60 years ago. I love photographing small towns and the rural Midwest. Whenever I get back home in Utah, I try to photograph ghost towns; however, there are fewer and fewer of them to photograph.
How important is Photoshop in your final image?
My goal is to get the image right in the camera. I have a tendency to underexpose, so I shoot RAW and adjust light later. I only use Photoshop for touch-ups on portraits or serious editing (removing distracting objects, etc.).
What is your favorite lighting?
As with many photographers, I love morning light for most images. Sunsets are great for landscapes in Iowa. The Midwest has some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Almost anything looks better in that kind of light.
What types of photos have you shared with the Church and its members?
I have shared many photos of Church historical sites in the Midwest. Our temple is a three-hour drive, and I always take photos of the temple, regardless of weather. I have also shared many photos of my grandchildren involved in all kinds of interesting activities.
What is one tip that you would like to share?
Sometimes I see an object or a place and I just feel that there is an image there somewhere. It’s not something that I recognize right away. It often takes some time, but usually can find it. Sometimes I only find it after several minutes of shooting. The lesson I have learned is to take time and don’t hurry. The beautiful thing about digital is that a photographer can capture so many more images, providing a spectrum of choices not available in the pre-digital era.