about - Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards

Objective

My goal is simple — create images one would expect to view in a magazine or advertisement. Vibrant. Free of distraction.

Even though I have always been fascinated by photography, 2013 was the year I decided to devote time and efforts to creating images. My first task was to replace my point-and-shoot with a full-frame DSLR. Being a rather large step forward, I looked to a friend to suggest “the right equipment” to purchase. Then came countless hours of hands-on practice through trial and error. When I couldn’t be hands-on, I’d watch YouTube content to better understand how to best use my equipment.

YouTube is where I discovered different techniques I commonly use in post-processing — like exposure blending through luminosity masking. Often, I use multiple exposures to blend my final image. This allows my final image to look as striking on paper as I perceived the actual scene to be. At times, two or more exposures are needed to properly capture the brilliance of the sky while retaining detail in the shadows.

Much of my work today is chasing the last rays of light as day fades to night over a powerful land/cityscape. As long as I continue to refine and expand my skill set, my passion for photography continues to grow.

Background

I have always had a love for the arts. While attending the University of Central Missouri, I was the team leader of the low brass section for the Marching Mules. Although I didn’t study or major in photography, I didn’t come away empty-handed from UCM. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. It was also there where I met my wife, Candy — who also is involved in music with an emphasis in opera performance. It wasn’t until after graduation that I really found my calling in photography.

As technology continued to advance, so did my images. Now, aerial images are possible by flying a sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system). Since we are no longer limited to the ground, I studied countless hours to become Part 107 certified through the FAA allowing for some truly unique aerial images! All of the rules of photography should still apply even 100'-400’ above the ground. The creativity and guidelines to create a compelling image are still relevant to stand apart from your competitors.


Capturing Sedalia

In order to further refine my skill, a year of photography was devoted to a personal project: ‘Capturing Sedalia.'  To curate the shot list, current and past community members were asked on social media to submit those places in Sedalia of which they have fond memories. It was my job to take the requests, find an interesting composition and turn the location into a beautiful image - something that could be viewed and make people proud to associate themselves with our town. 

Of all the photos of Sedalia that are posted here yours are the best! Love the POV (Point of View) and DOF (Depth of Field)! Perfection! - Shiela 


Achievements

It is exciting to venture out with an established plan to create a photograph.  It is even more exciting when other people find value in the created work and opt to follow the journey.  Below are a couple of winning photographs.  One from a photo contest and one from a Missouri publication: 

Aerial Harvest

Aerial Harvest

Milky Way Rising

Milky Way Over Katy Trail

Aerial Harvest was taken with a "drone" near Blackburn, MO.  Milky Way Rising was taken on the Katy Trail in Sedalia, MO.  This image was taken in July during peak Milky Way season for the Northern Hemisphere.