First off, I have to start by crediting my awesome wife with showing me how to express my feelings through photos. She is a scrapbooker. I have learned so much with her on how she expresses the feeling of a photo(s) she uses with sayings, notes, items from those days, etc to articulate what she is feeling. I have been trying to do the same but just with photography and video. I try to tell the story of what I felt at that time when the photo or video were taken.
If you look through my galleries, especially older ones, you will see an evolution in my style. I think all photographers go through it. They try different styles or see something they like and try to mimic it. I know I did! But, I think it is a necessary part of photography and photo editing is for you to find your style. It helped shape how I look at things, why I shoot what I shoot, and how I want to express myself in the photos to tell that story. After exploring all of these different styles and techniques in my own work, I took a step back.
I read a couple of fantastic Drone Photography books and watched even more YouTube videos. I even took the DJI Photo Academy class taught by Randy Jay Braun and Stacy Garlington. Randy and Stacy are awesome people that I now feel lucky enough to call friends. I then took a little time to look through my galleries. I created a “My Favorites” collection in Adobe Lightroom. When I did, I started to notice a pattern. I asked myself why do they keep coming back to me and smacking me in the face? Then it hit me as I was compiling photos for the 2017 Skypixel Photo Contest for a group of photos that tell a story. “I am a story teller with emotion, subject and moods!” That is my style, I finally saw it! There it was all along and I had just kept missing it looking right at me.
So, my style of photography is trying to set a mood and show my emotions that I felt at the time of that photo being taken. My photos all tell some story. I want that feeling and story to come out in my photography. You will especially see it during sunrises and sunsets. The colors they provide always get my creative juices flowing. They may be vibrant, warm, cold, off color; all depending on what I felt at the time. Other times, like midday or something fun going on, are usually bright and cheerful. Then there are the times I want to have some fun, like “Underworld Light”, where I took a midday snow covered landscape and turned it into something you might see in a dark horror movie.
Take “Twilight on the Farm”. This photo was taken the night before my Father-in-law had an auction of all of his farm equipment. He had retired from farming the previous winter and decided to sell his equipment that he no longer needed. It was a bittersweet weekend. There was the excitement of what was to come for my Father-in-law in his retirement. But there also was a sense of sadness at letting go of things that helped him with his livelihood for almost 50 years.
I knew before we left to drive up north that weekend what kind of photos and video I was hoping to capture. Overall, I think “Twilight on the Farm” summed up my emotions for the whole weekend. It is moody, kind of sad, a little soft in some spots and very detailed in others. I think the ground in muted, shadowy colors, while the sky being bright blue and magenta give it a more somber feeling. I also tried to capture the story with the video I made of the weekend, too.
If you look through my photos, you may notice I also take liberties with editing my photos. I want those edits to be subtle so they don’t distract from the photo but I want them also to try to convey the story I am trying to tell. I consider them my art. Like I said above, it comes down to me trying to tell that story and put the viewer in the mood I was in. I want them to still be authentic looking but with feeling.
Now you know, I am a moody and emotional guy. Well in my photography style at least. Personally, I am really laid back and happy. My photography has turned me into a storyteller. Hopefully, those stories and feelings come out in all my photography and video work.
Donna 2/23/2018 - "You have come so far since you started, and you have become quite the artist."
Kyle 2/23/2018 - "Very nicely done! That video really touches all the feels...Very nice pics as well! You have a unique style to your editing, I appreciate and enjoy it!"
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