Elder David Newton: West Jordan, Utah, USA
How long have you been a photographer?
I started shooting with my dad's Argus c3 when I was 11 years old. When he saw I was really interested, he gave me one for my birthday the next year. I used that manual 35mm film camera all through my mission and through college photography classes, shooting mostly Kodachrome slide film 25 asa.
What first piqued your interest in photography?
I loved the idea of being able to preserve memories and share them with others.
What is your photography forte?
I love landscapes and blue-hour time exposures.
What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?
Pay attention to details. Take a few more seconds to make sure focus is right and all your settings are set for the situation and what you are trying to accomplish.
What about photography inspires you?
Photography is art. I enjoy creating a piece of artwork that is good enough to hang on my wall and share with others.
How do you decide what to shoot and how to shoot it?
I look for interesting lighting, shapes, and subjects. I try to go to locations that I think will provide interesting shots. How to shoot it? I start looking through the viewfinder, trying to see the final product. I will often shoot at various settings, seeing how it affects the final shot (which is why I have a harder time shooting people, because with people it is more about capturing that special moment, and you can't say, "Hold that pose while I change settings").
Where is your favorite location to shoot?
I don't have a favorite, but some of the places I really have enjoyed are Alaska, Hawaii, blooming desert cactus in Arizona, and recently the Amalfi coast in Italy.
What do you look for in a landscape shot?
I look for frames. I often shoot under tree branches, letting them frame the scene. I like shooting through arches, or under overhanging rocks. I try to find something in the foreground to give the shot depth and interest.
What advice would you give to new photographers?
Shoot as much as you can! The last nine months of constant shooting has helped me improve 100 percent. Learn your camera. The new cameras have so much to offer that it is almost overwhelming, but as you learn about the tools available you make better conscious decisions when in a situation.
How important is Photoshop in your final image?
I shoot in raw and adjust every photo that I am going to submit or keep to show. The software is so good for adding impact that takes a good photo and makes it a great photo.
What is your favorite lighting?
Blue hour is my favorite lighting, which is 20 to 40 minutes after sunset.
What types of photos have you shared with the Church and members?
I have shared all kinds. I am not as good at people as some of our other photographers, so I am working at that. This is challenging to me, and I am getting better. I love the temple shots taken at sunset and in the hour after sunset.
What is one tip that you would like to share?
Keep your camera with you. Keep shooting! More! Good things happen when you least expect it, but you have to be working in the first place. Then when that perfect shot appears, you will be ready.