Pic­ture Per­fect

5 SWFL PHO­TOG­RA­PHERS

RSWLiving - - Life - Cape Coral gin­gerich­pho­toart.com

WHO AL­LOW CAM­ERAS TO TELL THEIR STO­RIES

BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

There are too many of us with a cell phone or a point-and-shoot cam­era, let alone hun­dreds of pho­to­jour­nal­ists, land­scape, artis­tic or oth­er­wise cre­ative pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur pho­tog­ra­phers in South­west Florida. That’s why it’s not pos­si­ble to choose a “Best of Guide” in pho­tog­ra­phy. So TOTI Me­dia has picked a hand­ful of those rep­re­sent­ing the cre­ativ­ity and orig­i­nal­ity of Florida vi­su­al­ists:

Mila Bridger

Marco Is­land bro­ken­pix­el­pro­duc­tion.com/mi­labridger. blogspot.com

TOTI Me­dia: For­mal train­ing? Mila Bridger: “Yes … started with a dark­room [with my grand­fa­ther] when I was 7 years old, and right then my mum signed me up for [after-school] art school that I would at­tend for sev­eral years. When I switched to dig­i­tal medium, I went to St. Lawrence Col­lege [On­tario, Canada] for pho­tog­ra­phy class. I never stop learn­ing. I sign up and at­tend dif­fer­ent work­shops around [the] USA all the time.”

TM: Fa­vorite place to shoot pho­tos? MB: “It’s in my stu­dio, now. And around my home. My gar­den is a great place for some type of shoots.”

TM: Tips for telling the best story? MB: “Should be stylis­ti­cally the same and should be mov­ing and speak­ing to the so­ci­ety, in one way or another. The photo doesn’t work if you have to ex­plain the story.”

TM: Bet­ter to let pho­tos hap­pen? MB: “For me, it’s the setup. I dream and sketch the im­age from my head on the ap­pear­ance and then I try to set up the way I imag­ined it. Of course dur­ing the setup and photo shoot things can change the di­rec­tions … and that’s good, too.”

TM: Out of a hun­dred shots, how many do you keep? MB: “De­pends on the as­sign­ment … but for my own work, I want that one per­fect im­age.”

Clyde Butcher Venice, Florida clyde­butcher.com

TOTI Me­dia: For­mal train­ing? Clyde Butcher: “No, didn’t have for­mal train­ing. I grad­u­ated in ar­chi­tec­ture and used pho­tog­ra­phy to present my ar­chi­tec­tural model de­signs for pre­sen­ta­tions. In or­der to do that, I had to learn how to pho­to­graph and de­velop film by my­self. The owner of the lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phy store helped me a lot.”

TM: Tips for telling the best story? CB: “My pho­to­graphs do not tell sto­ries, they are feel­ings of the en­vi­ron­ment. My sug­ges­tion for do­ing a proper job of pho­tograph­ing the en­vi­ron­ment is to take an art class in com­po­si­tion. When pho­tograph­ing an en­vi­ron­ment, it is often dif­fi­cult to see the com­po­si­tion, so close one eye and look at the scene. It helps to flat­ten the scene into a twodi­men­sional ex­pe­ri­ence, sim­i­lar to what you will see on pho­to­graphic pa­per. The scene may look good when it’s seen as a three-di­men­sional ex­pe­ri­ence, but as a two-di­men­sional ex­pres­sion it may not.”

TM: Bet­ter to let pho­tos hap­pen? CB: “I go out into the field and ac­cept what­ever is pre­sented to me and then do the best I c an with that ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, I stay out of the deep for­est when it is bright and sunny be­cause there is too much con­trast in the for­est … the black shad­ows and high­lights on the leaves are too far apart, which make for a lousy photo. On bright sunny days I go out to where there is a hori­zon … the Gulf of Mex­ico or grassy plains. But other than that, I don’t go out with an idea of what I’m go­ing to achieve. I let it just open up for me.”

TM: Fa­vorite place to shoot pho­tos? CB: South Florida. We have a won­der­ful unique en­vi­ron­ment—grassy plains, forests, deep swamps, beau­ti­ful off­shore is­lands, great sculp­tural man­groves—it’s end­less.

TOTI Me­dia: Best train­ing mo­ment?

Den­nis Gingerich: “I spent five days learn­ing from a pro­fes­sional land­scape photographer in Glacier Na­tional Park. From be­fore sun­rise to after sun­set, my­self and five other pho­tog­ra­phers hiked with our in­struc­tor all over the park learn­ing the fine art of com­po­si­tion, light­ing, cam­era set­tings and then post­pro­cess­ing our im­ages.”

TM: Fa­vorite place to shoot pho­tos? DG: “I was born in the beau­ti­ful state of Ore­gon, have trav­eled to 49 states, to dozens of coun­tries around the globe, and yet there is no place quite like Lee County in South­west Florida. I love to shoot on our bar­rier is­lands with the wa­ter re­flect­ing the col­or­ful clouds at sun­set.”

TM: Tips for telling the best story? DG: “I want every im­age to in­spire the viewer to one of sev­eral re­sponses: Drop their jaw, yearn to visit the location, and as­pire to get to know the peo­ple in the photo or to sim­ply thank their Cre­ator for such ex­quis­ite beauty.”

TM: Bet­ter to let pho­tos hap­pen? DG: “I do plan­ning to get my best shots. I watch the skies and weather fore­casts to get a sense of what the cloud sit­u­a­tion will be like. A sky without clouds is bor­ing. Clouds add tex­ture, con­trast and color, es­pe­cially at sun­rise and sun­set. And if you have wa­ter in the photo, then the reflections of the clouds dou­ble the im­pact. When God de­cides to paint the skies, we can only watch with our eyes and mouth wide open … and then I al­ways try to be fully pre­pared to cap­ture it.”

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