Introductions – James Keegan
Today’s Introduction is a first for me. I wasn’t sure who to showcase so I went through some of the Monochrome Madness links and found James Keegan. He is fairly new to blogging and photography, but his work has caught my attention. His black and white work has been great, so it has been great going through his blog to see what else has been there.
There is quite a bit of monochrome work on Jimmy’s site. It looks like he has been experimenting with what will work in black and white and what doesn’t. The photos he does reminds me of areas here in Australia.
I asked him why he takes photos.
For me its art, I used to use pencil on paper or paint on canvas. Now I choose to use a camera. I enjoy the outdoors, and as a child was introduced to nature and wildlife by my grandmother. Art has always been a part of my life but the photography was unintentional. I recently completed a 2 yr degree in web design. One of the required courses was photography. That class and the instructor is what really opened me up to what I could do with a camera. I learned some basics in the class and spent probably 10 times as much time on the landscape section as anyone else in my class, but I had so much fun that I didn’t care. So I decided one day that I was going to take photographs of nature and wildlife so that others could enjoy the same things that I see. I’ve read a few books and I am always trying new techniques. I’ve been at it for less than a year so I am most certainly still learning new things every day.
Most of the photos that I have seen are just after winter so there is a sparseness about the landscape. It reminds me of what we are about to go through here as we head into winter. The colours are just devine, I love those autumn style images. Jimmy told me he was from Illinois, I don’t know that state, but it reminds me of parts of my state as you start heading inland, perhaps the biggest difference is most of our trees don’t lose their leaves.
Next on the list of questions was one about inspiration.
Mother Nature! I can’t take all the credit the animals, land, and plant life are already here. I just see them or see what they will be in the near future at the right time of the day. Oh yeah, and a little bit of luck. Another thing that inspired me was a comment from one of my sons. He asked me “When was I going to move somewhere that I could take photographs of better looking things.” I asked him what he meant by that and his answer was: “Illinois is an ugly state.” I took it as a challenge to prove him wrong.
Sounds like a good challenge.
Dead things, you are used to me taking photos of dead things, so I am always attracted to images that other people have taken of them as well. There is such beauty in plants when they die and dry up, it is like a whole new life in a way. I think finding what is around to photograph is a great thing and it is something that I have been trying to work on more.
I asked if there was anything special about the way he worked.
I don’t think I would call it special. I make a plan on a day and maybe even an exact location to take photos, but as you could probably guess sometimes Mother Nature does not cooperate. A lot of my work is adapting to the surroundings. I try photographing the same subject from several angles just to make sure I’m really seeing it in the best possible way.
Whilst not everything is about Mother Nature, there are a few glimpses into other things. I am sure as Jimmy’s experience, maybe as he develops the obsession that a lot of us have with photography, he will start finding other things to photograph, not that I think there is anything wrong with what he is doing. I think finding your own backyard, so to speak and what is in it, is a fantastic thing to do.
I asked Jimmy about his gear.
I use a Nikon D3200 it is a big step up from my Fujifilm point and shoot that I used for my photography class. I have an 18-55mm lens that I use for most of my landscape shots and a 55-300mm lens that I use for wildlife and some of the Macro type shots. I’m currently saving my coins for a 10-24mm that I’ve had my eyes on. I also have a Sony cyber-shot point and shoot that belonged to my grandmother that I use on occasion.
I do hope you will all go and visit James Keegan and show your support to this new photographer and blogger. I would like to thank Jimmy for giving me permission to show his work here on my blog. Here is a gallery with some of Jimmy’s images.