Your backyard is Yellowstone National Park — pretty awesome and awe-inspiring. What types of images speak to you?
I think it’s all about the in-between around here; when winter is turning to spring, summer turning to fall, fresh snow, lingering fog, just before the kill or the last step towards the summit. Those things of course have the ability to make any photo incredible, but couple that with a bison or a skier and you’ve got magic.
How do you go about creating an interesting point of view with the ‘everyday’ of Yellowstone and environs (bison, springs, wildflowers, etc.)?
I wish I could say I’ve photographed the iconic Yellowstone features more. I really ought to get out and capture some incredible geyser photos, but I think part of what makes my perspective interesting is that I don’t tend to photograph those things. Instead I’m capturing more of the adventure and spirit of the area through outdoor pursuits. I also most often photograph just outside the boundary of Yellowstone National Park in National Forest and wilderness land that is equally stunning without the crowds and hype. I suppose the other thing that takes the every day and makes it extraordinary is a willingness to leave the trail and seek a summit or perspective that might be more difficult to get to or seldom visited. I think when trying to create an interesting or new point of view its important to challenge yourself to visit new places and push your own limits of what seems reasonable or possible.
Do you have a certain piece of photo gear that helps you create extraordinary out of ordinary scenes and subjects?
I’d have to say my over the shoulder camera bags might be my clutch piece of gear, and I’m not just saying that because this is a blog post for Lowepro! The thing that I’ve realized is that if my camera is right on my side, easily accessible, no hassle necessary, I shoot a LOT more. Things I might otherwise pass by get a second look and a quick snap. Often times when I go back through photos, they end up being some of my favorite shots.
What advice would you give a new photographer to have more fun with his or her local surroundings?
I’d say the biggest thing is to get out of your comfort zone. Buy a map. Go somewhere new. Get up earlier and stay out later. Most importantly don’t forget to marvel. We only get one chance at this wild and wonderful life and you better appreciate the beauty of it all. If you can express that wonder through your images then you’re doing something right.
What extraordinary shoot do you have planned next?
I’m actually in hermit mode right now. I don’t have another big trip until the end of September when I’m heading back up to the Subarctic to work with Polar Bears International. In the meantime I’m wrapping up a documentary video project, trying to maximize the photo opportunities in my backyard, sleeping in, and refilling my spirit sponge.