Photography is a passion of mine for 2 reasons: it sharpens your curiosity of the world and it’s quick! That’s good for me, considering i have a short attention span. Painting just takes too long or else I’d do it.
I wasn’t one of those who was born with a camera in their hand. But I did take an interest in drawing and art early on. Your passion and vision comes from within. A firm understanding of art and how to appreciate and apply creative ability to the real world comes in handy. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2005 with a degree in Industrial Design. I’ve been based in the Twin Cities area ever since.
The photography thing all kind of came together from a road trip with friends back in 2007. I was going through some tough times and a few days’ road trip with the guys seemed like the perfect remedy. The small point-and-shoot camera that I tossed in my bag quickly became an irreplaceable item for those 5 days. Our trip through Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Continental Divide, and the Badlands was something I needed to relive and show to others. Photography became a great tool for exploration and discovery, but also served as a way to tell a good story when I got back. My first DSLR camera was purchased shortly after.
A personal style isn’t the same in photography as it is in other mediums, like painting. We all use the same type of equipment and are bound by the same sorts of constraints. We can differ in many ways however, a few examples being in subject matter, medium, composition, and processing. Cameras generally see the same things you do because they are designed like a human eye. Which makes it great for documentation purposes, but not as flexible when it comes to stretching one’s viewpoint of the world as art does. Enter HDR photography: developed by Steve Mann and presented to the world of photography by Paul Debevec in 1997. After getting some inspiration online and trying a few different methods, I finally settled in on a nice workflow that produced the results I wanted. Using your own unique composition skills and subject matter still apply as an individual style, however, HDR allows you to twist the outcome by enhancing details like texture and color that wouldn’t normally be noticed. This presents your audience with something tangible they can connect with, yet pushes the images to be something much more than what the human eye can see.
What is HDR Photography?
You’re probably wondering what this is I keep referring to so I’ll explain it here. HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging, is a technique for processing photos. It’s primary purpose is to capture scenes whose dynamic range (difference between the brightest and the darkest areas) is too high for the camera’s sensor. Not all areas of a scene can be exposed correctly in a single exposure. HDR software combines multiple exposed photos of the same scene into a single image. For the record, I did not create this technique.
What you get out of the camera is 3, 5, or even 7 shots of the same scene taken at different exposures. The benefit of doing this is that it captures the fine details of objects in shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. In post-production software (using several programs), the best exposed areas of each photo are taken and combined. In addition, the photographer has complete control of each of these exposures, giving limitless possibilities on how the final edited photograph looks. This can range from images that look almost surreal and illustrated to a more realistic and true to nature style.
With this fairly recent digital technique, some may argue that this is a false representation of the scene as it was in reality and is not true photography. Instead of insisting that someone else’s photo should depict reality as you see it, think of it as an artist’s version of reality that may offer you a different perspective to enrich your own world. That is what we generally call ART!
-Excerpts Taken From HDR Cookbook, Klaus Herrmann
*There are many resources and instructional guides dedicated towards this type of photography. If you’re further interested in learning the how-to’s of HDR, simply google the term “HDR photography” for articles, discussion groups, and videos.
Gallery Showings and Publications
-Featured in the 2014 St. Paul Almanac
-2013 Hennepin County Medical Center Hospital Exhibit, “They Fly By”
-2012 St. Paul Winter Carnival Gallery Showing
-Featured in Twin Cities Public Television’s “Capture Minnesota Volume 2” Book
-2012-2013 St. Paul Art Crawls
-Nina’s Coffee Shop, St. Paul, MN