Ever since a young age, I have enjoyed photography. In fact, I still have many stacks of 4”x6” images taken with an old 35mm film camera from my childhood. It wasn’t until 2013, a federal income tax return, and encouragement from a friend that I dedicated time and energy into my passion and purchased my first full-frame digital camera. After having purchased what I was told to be “the right equipment”, I spent countless hours watching YouTube content to better understand how to use my camera and achieve the imagery that I loved. In fact, YouTube is where I discovered different techniques I commonly use - like luminosity masking & exposure blending. Often, multiple exposures are necessary to blend my final image. Without nerding out too much, our eyes have a greater dynamic range than our cameras. At times, two or more exposures are needing 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. To As long as I continue to refine and expand my skill set, my passion for photography continues to grow.
In order to further refine my skill, 2017 was devoted to a personal project: ‘Capturing Sedalia 2017’. A new image of Sedalia was posted weekly on Wednesdays. 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. My challenge was 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.
With a few weeks set aside for planning, the collection of Sedalia images will be just shy of 50. Community members have been very positive and have had the nicest things to say about the images!
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
No longer limited to the ground, I also obtain my unmanned aircraft license through the FAA allowing for some truly unique aerial images! So what does it mean to be a sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system) certified pilot. It means I have completed the FAA Part 107 Certification & can legally fly (a drone) for commercial use. However, owning & operating a small unmanned aircraft system will no longer set any one person apart for the competition as they have become fairly common. 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 all still relevant to stand apart from your competitors.
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 from different competitions I have entered:
Milky Way Rising
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.