This week I have another WordPress blogger to introduce to you, though if you have been submitting or following the Monochrome Madness you will have noticed Justin, he is a regular contributor to the challenge. MM is certainly what drew my attention to him. It has been great being introduced to so many new people through that, and this week I thought I would introduce Justin and his blog, J.T. Avery Photography, to you.
Those of you who know me know that I love winter shots, well the type of winter shots that I can’t get here. We don’t get anything like this here. Justin lives in Wisconsin, so I guess he would get a lot of this sort of thing up there. I find it so hard to conceive that water can be like this. I suppose it would be very colder, colder than I have ever experienced.
Question one, why do you take photos, and for how long?
The answer for this question has changed since I first started to take photos. I originally decided that I wanted to start photography at the beginning of 2013 because I wanted to be able to have my own photos to hang on the wall as I like landscape photography wall art. Now I take photos because I like to visit places and want to remember the places I visit through my photos. I also like to share my photos because to me it’s almost like being able to show others a place that they may never be able to visit. When taking photos it gives me a reason to get out and enjoy nature and to visit places I wouldn’t normally visit. I’m always looking for new places, even close to home, that I can explore. It’s also a good way to get my children to enjoy nature as well and to teach them how important it is to preserve nature in order for them to enjoy their future.
I have to say I am quite jealous of the macro lens, I can’t wait to get one of my own. It would be so nice to be able to do more shots like this. Justin shows some great photos of macro work in nature.
The second question was where do you find inspiration?
Most of my inspiration doesn’t come from one or a couple of photographers and it doesn’t really come from any professional photographers either. Most of my inspiration comes from other photographers just like me. To me it doesn’t matter what camera you use or what your experience level is, if you take photos that catch my attention, it inspires me to learn more and take more photos. I’m the type of person that likes a good challenge and am always wanting to learn new things. I don’t like repetition or becoming stagnant so I’m always looking for new ideas on different types of photography techniques or processing techniques. My most inspirational photographers tend to be landscape photographers though as that is what I like to shoot the most.
I guess in a way my inspiration originally came from wanting to learn how to shoot photos that look professional looking. During this process I first learned each aspect of the camera and how to change the settings to get different effects. Once I learned how to use the camera then I started tackling how to take interesting photos by learning more about composition and what lenses work well for different types of photography.
It is nice looking at photos that give you a different perspective and I find that inspiring. It can be great to get ideas from one another. I do like the perspective on the one here, getting down low. I was watching another photographer recently who did a lot of that, and it is something I want to try a lot more.
The third question asked him if he worked in any special way?
I wouldn’t say there’s anything special about the way I work compared to a lot of other photographers as I have adapted many of my techniques from others. I’m always refining my process but basically I’ve been becoming more and more manual with my camera. What I mean by this is that not only do I shoot in manual mode where I control the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, but I have also been learning how to better focus by using manual focus as well. I now usually always use a tripod as I’ve noticed how much more it improves the quality of my photos. I rarely go out during the day anymore as I tend to get less shots than if I head out in the early morning before the sunrise or make it somewhere for a sunset. Lately my focus has been photographing low and including elements in my photographs that normally aren’t noticed by many people.
There are a lot of long exposures on his blog and his Flickr page, and it is something I really want to do a lot more when I get my ND400 filter, and his photos really make me want to do a lot more of that.
What his gear is was the fourth question.
Right now I consider myself a Nikonian. For my camera body and lenses, they are all Nikon. What I shoot right now is the Nikon D610. My lenses include the 28mm f/1.8, 16-35mm f/4, 105mm f/2.8 macro (new one with auto focus), and 24-120mm f/4. I decided to stick with just a few lenses to use so I don’t have to think as much about what to bring. I tend to use the 105mm and the 16-35mm for most of my work. For a tripod I use the Vanguard Alta+ 204AP with a Vanguard SBH-250 ball head. For filters I use a Hoya ND400 neutral density filter. I plan on getting some of the Hoya HD2 filters when I get the money. I also plan on getting a set of extension tubes in the next month or so to get more specialized shots with my wide angle lens.
I have added a new question to the list now, and so I asked Justin where in the world he was.
Right now I reside in Wisconsin. I enjoy living here as it provides plenty of different areas to photograph in the area that I’m living in. I also live close enough to Michigan that I could make a day trip there and be back home with plenty of photos to process.
I hope you will join me in thanking Justin for allowing me to showcase his work here. It would be great if you could go and visit his blog, J.T. Avery Photography, and take a look around, follow if you like what you see. Justin also has a Flickr page, too called javery.
I have a gallery here for you, many of the photos are his blog, and his Flickr account, though Justin did also send me some images to that are not on his blog, I am sure you will enjoy them.