Q & A's with Taylor
So I put out a little feeler on my story on Instagram basically asking questions that anyone had regarding this workshop. So I'm gonna take the time and answer a few of your questions. Hopefully, maybe it's a question that you kind of had burning inside while watching this and we'll be able to answer it for you. "How to not feel like another landscape photographer?" I think it's just to to do things by your own rules, don't worry about, you know sticking to the status quo of what a landscape photo is and the rule of thirds and certain compositions. What's your take on it? How, how can you stand out in a way that is unique to you? So maybe you're going to places that are a little off the cuff that you don't see very often or you're maybe just adding an element to it that's a little different, you know maybe playing with motion blur or doing things like that. Just try to create images that you're not constantly seeing. And that's just gonna be a lot of trial and error. My first paid phot...
o gig was it wasn't landscape photography, it was for this company- a restaurant called Japanese village in Edmonton. And I shot a bunch of scenes of like, you know people eating and the chefs cooking and all that kind of stuff. It was a teppanyaki like all done in front of you. And I did it for $400, which at the time was, I was like I'm getting paid to take photos. This is amazing. It's one step closer to my goal. But it was used, billboards, magazines, on buses like literally on the side of a bus, like blowing up. Like they definitely got a lot for their $400. And I'm, I'm not that mad at the photos. Like even today, like I was pretty happy with them. It was shot on beginner camera and they were stoked. And that's the biggest thing as long as they're happy. So, I think I sold some prints early on to family. My family was probably the first people I sold a landscape photo to and showed up to them for being my biggest supporters. So I think it's a little bit of, it's a mix of both, because if you have this pure raw talent, it doesn't go unnoticed. People are gonna pick up on it, good work is always found. So if you're creating this, this imagery, that's stand out, it ties into who you know because the right people will be able to get your work in the front of the right eyes. So once again, it's important to network. It's important to constantly be meeting people. And if you have that raw talent, like I said it's not gonna go unnoticed, the right people see it, and it's gonna propel you into being a lot more successful. So midday light is tough to shoot. It's not my favorite. I prefer, you know, the classic golden hour and blue hour and things like that but it doesn't mean great photos can't be taken in midday. And the best way to do that is just to maybe find shadows, go into the forest, find somewhere with some, you know light that you can control or just embrace it you know, there's certain shoot into the sun shoot backlit or play around with filters and things like that. So it's- My tips would just be experiment, you know, use the filters. Polarizer will help cut that glare and it'll actually make the sky a lot darker and it will add a lot more contrast and it'll actually bring out a lot of colors too. So shooting with a polarizer will really help you with shooting midday. The best lenses to shoot landscapes. That's all subject, my personal favorites, I love the which is probably not most landscape photographer's choice of lens so that because you can kind of really crop in, get compression, tight scenes, you can create really nice minimal scenes. So that's my number one go-to. My second would be the 24- because you have that range of wide end zoom, f/2. You can really, you know, get some low light. And then third would probably be 24mm prime just because it's really good for shooting the night sky. So when it comes to locations, I typically, you know I'm going to an area because it's of high interest. It's, it's a place that speaks to me, whether it's a you know, a rugged back country, mountainous terrain or it's a rainforest that, you know, has a lot of life and it's just a place I really want to see. So a lot of it's just personal interest. And then from there, you just, you just gotta let it happen. You can't force it. You just, it's a lot of run and gun just capturing what's happening in front of you. If you have too high expectations and you have this shot in mind, it might drive you crazy but it's a good goal to have. So it's a mix between going to a place because there's a certain shot I want and just rolling with the punches and capturing what's in front of me. But a lot of the time, it's just not having any expectations that way there's no disappointments and I can just fully enjoy the trip and capture what's happening. Well, if you're dunno where to start, I mean you're watching this workshop, so that's, that's a great that's a great starting point. Hopefully by this point that you're watching this you've been able to learn a lot. If there are anything that you have questions about feel free to shoot me an email or message on Instagram. I'm happy to help. If there was anything that you had confusions about while watching this workshop. When it comes to different lighting, it, it all depends on the subject. Ideally, I'm shooting a bit of both. So typically with landscape photography, if you know if it's Alpenglow or you're shooting a certain scene that's being lit up by the sun, you're shooting front light but if I wanna isolate a subject or have a, that glow and that, that backlight, then I'll shoot that way. But I feel like I mostly shoot backlit for kind of portraits and people but landscape it's typically front light, but it is nice. It's, it's a mix. It is nice getting backlit. I think there was some episodes where we're shooting, Joel up on a ridge with the river behind, and we were getting some that back slash satellite sidelight from the sun kind of some flares on the lens. So it all depends what I'm what my end goal is with the photo. I think I had my lowest moment as a photographer last year, I was just going through a lot of like pre-pandemic. So last year- it's 2021 now. So in 2020, I was just having a, a rough year just personal life and then photo stuff. And then Coronavirus happened and everything shut down. I work in the travel industry, tourism that kind of sector and everything shut down. So I just, I wasn't inspired. I wasn't shooting. I just kind of was really second guessing everything I did. I wasn't happy with anything. And I just felt really down and was questioning my decisions of why I even got into photography. It was definitely a low moment and 2021 has been a great year for me just kind of finding that rhythm really remembering why I got into the first place and and why I love to do it and picking up the camera again and just really just going full steam and getting back outta that rut. So lowest moment was just when everything shut down I just wasn't happy with anything, work wasn't there. And I just was questioning why I was doing what I was doing. Creative ruts are common. It happens to the best of us. You know, writers, artists, photographers, videographers any kind of person that creative industry, you're constantly- brain's constantly on. You're always, you're always thinking about it. And me, even when I'm on a walk in the woods, I'm always framing compositions. I'm always thinking about that. And sometimes it's just nice to step away from the camera, just to to get outside and just breathe and focus and, and think about what you wanna shoot and kind of find more intention. And also sometimes it's to get out of it is just to grab it and to do the opposite of what I just said and just grab your camera and go shoot, shoot everything. Even if it's it's it's (beep) Even if it's bad work, just shoot 'cause eventually it's gonna come back to you and you're gonna find out you're gonna analyze, Why was that bad? Why is that a bad photo? And hopefully it kind of drives you to dig deeper into why you feel that way or why you're in that rut in the first place. And hopefully it'll help you. Whatever method works for you will hopefully help you get out of that. But it is common. It is normal and you're gonna ride the wave. So growing up, I grew up in Edmonton. It was in the prairies. Beauty is subject to the viewer. I love the prairies. I love capturing that, but my heart lies with the mountains. That's what I was passionate about and what I love to photograph. So I was constantly traveling and spending all the money I could like on gas and getting there to photograph that. But you don't need that. That's just what speaks to me. There's a lot of people who love to shoot wide open spaces and those minimal landscapes. So I don't think you need to live in a beautiful place. You can always just go travel if you need if you feel the need to, and then come back and then work on that, building that portfolio. So it helps if you live in that position where you're in a place that you're photographing constantly and like that kind of beauty, but it's not necessary. You can always go back and forth. I don't typically focus stack that's not my style of landscape photography. I know that's huge in landscape photography world where you're shooting a scene and you want everything in focus. So you might shoot the foreground, the midground, and the background. So everything's perfectly in focus. That's not my personal style, I like a lot of depth of field and things like that. So I don't, but it is a great resource and great tool to be able to do. And if you that's the way you wanna go about things.