I am so pleased to have the cover of the current issue of the Flyfish Journal. If you’re a fly fisher and you’ve never had the privilege of thumbing through this magazine, drop everything and head to your local newsstand or fishing outfitter. Gorgeous imagery and insightful and entertaining writing adorn its pages. It truly is a step above much of the competition. This ranks right up there as one of my most prized and cherished editorial accomplishments.
Just wrapped up a quick slideshow sharing some of my favorite fly fishing images from 2010. Hope you enjoy!
This is so cliche, yet so applicable. I trust you’ve noticed the new blog and new website. Take a moment to delve into the details on the new site–we’re proud of it!
Right now in Utah the fishing is better than good. Hatches of big, nasty dry flies are prolific, and I find it hard to leave the water these days. Glancing through my fly fishing portfolio the other day, I noticed a distinct lack of intimate shots. I have plenty of “big picture/knock your socks off with a crazy cool expansive vista” shots, but I was really lacking in the more soulful, up close and personal images. In particular, I saw hardly any fish shots at all. In general, I get a little turned off to fish shots, just because it seems there are so many out there and it’s a bit harder for me to capture something unique.
Regardless, I set my mind to capture something different for me the other day on a stretch of private water with a friend. I was destined and determined to shoot intimate details. Why? Well, partly because I just need them in my portfolio. But really, much of the time, these intimate images are the ones that speak most deeply to those enthralled with the activity or experience being shot. I love fly fishing for the moment I have cradling the fish in my hand after a hefty fight. I love to coax the fish back to an adequate energy level, and I love feeling him swim away under his own power. I love the color in the fins and the gill plate. I even love scratching my knuckles on their teeth when removing my fly–never hurt us to feel a little pain as well just to keep things real.
And so, my challenge to you as you pick up your camera this week to capture something close to your heart is this: forget what you’ve seen, heard and witnessed from other people. Have a sit down with yourself about why you love what you love, and then do your best to convey that in your imagery. It’s no thoughtless, easy task. But when you nail it, it’s mighty satisfying. Happy shooting.
“You’re not hiring me for my shutter finger–everyone can push a button. You’re hiring me for my creative vision and my ability to convey a particular message about the (blank) experience through unforgettable imagery.”
This is an excerpt from a recent email to a potential client of mine. And really, although the word “passion” isn’t even mentioned, I think it sums up nicely what separates an exceptional photographer from many of the good photographers out there. Regardless of your technical prowess, your lens collection or your abundant knowledge of a certain location or activity–without passion for the medium of photography and the action of capturing timeless moments forever, you will fail at connecting with people as they view your work. It’s as simple as that.
Sure you could probably shoot skiing if you don’t ski, but would you really capture the subtle nuance of an epic powder turn? Or would you simply be documenting it…
Sure you could probably shoot fly fishing if you don’t fish, but would you really capture the connection between man and water? Or would you simply be going through the motions…
Sure you could probably shoot scenic imagery without a personal connection to the landscape, but would you really personify Mother Nature in your imagery? Or would you simply be tracing an emotionless empty stencil onto a digital sensor…
We are not just photographers. We are interpreters.