Featured Photographer: Don Simpson

Your Name: Don Simpson

Type of Camera:  Canon 1d Mark IV, Canon 6d and my newest camera is the Lumix GH5

What do you love to photograph the most?   I find myself drawn most to wildlife and nature.  But more recently I have been spending the majority of my time learning and telling stories via the use of “Hybrid Photography”.  This allows me to engage more of the viewer’s senses as I create a short video stream composed using still images, video clips, music, voice over, native video clip sounds, graphics and text.  Furthermore, through the use of “Live Portraits” I can tie an entire video story to a single photo hanging on a wall or even printed on my business card.  This permits a viewer to first see and feel one of your favorite photos and then, through the use of their iPhone or Android, see it come to life right before their eyes or even displayed on their TV or computer.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?   Early in my photography adventure it was learning how to use my camera.  Then I progressed to learn everything I could about color and light (both natural and man made).   From there I advanced into composition, perspective and point of view.  Still I wanted to evoke even stronger emotions through my story telling so I learned about “Gesture”.  Not gesture in the traditional sense as most people identify it.  Gesture can be found in everything not just a person doing something.  I found gesture in nature, wildlife, people, architecture and even still life.  I listened as people looked at photographs and paintings to see what grabbed them or conversely what made them move on and not stay in front of a particular piece of art.  All of these things have lead me to “Hybrid Photography”.  I can now use even more of my viewer’s senses and tell an even broader and deeper story.  At the end of the day why do photography at all?  Isn’t it about making a memory, telling a story, evoking an emotion or reaction, recording an event?  So I endeavor to use everything I can to help the viewer through their own journeys.  Over the last year I have even found myself in classes in sculpture, drawing and painting.  Each of these “cousins of photography” have allowed me to become more intimate with the detail in front of me.  I believe over time my photography will take yet another step.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:  Get the technical stuff out of the way quickly.  Join others in your craft and participate in field trips and adventure workshops.  Visit museums and galleries paying attention to what does and does not move you.  Chances are it will move others as well.  Create your own style and immerse yourself in those things that bring you the most pleasure.

Kevin's book "30 Practical Tips for Better Photographs" is available in print and on Kindle devices!

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