Inspiration: Bryan Peterson
Another one of my early inspirations is the strange, yet highly creative, Bryan Peterson. I first stumbled across Bryan's work while surfing the net looking for tutorials on how to use my camera properly, and I found a collection of video tutorials by this wild-haired, loud-shirt wearing, highly excitable individual. [pull_quote_right]Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer, a best-selling author (Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Learning to See Creatively, Beyond Portraiture and others) and is also the founder of The Perfect Picture School of Photography.[/pull_quote_right]Once I had got past the shock value, I realised that he actually made a lot of sense and seemed to have a genuine passion for what he was doing. Within a few video clips I was hooked. Bryan makes it very simple to understand how and why to use manual mode, he explains how to change the exposure, which has stopped my photos randomly coming out too dark or too bright, and he gets super-creative with his photography.
Learning to see
The thing I like most about Bryan's approach is that he challenges me to see beyond the ordinary, to make something extraordinary. He doesn't just teach how to get a correct exposure but how to take it a stage further, by asking questions such as "How can you get a 'creative' exposure? Is this the best angle for a interesting image? Could you shoot this in another way?" These are a great simple questions for opening your eyes (and mind) and steering you away from the obvious shot - for example, a waterfall shot at the correct exposure and fast shutter speed will freeze the image and droplets dead in their tracks, but pushed a bit further with a slower shutter speed and still using a correct exposure, you will get a more 'creative' image of soft, flowing, velvet-like water cascading down. To take it even further, get down to the water's level, recompose and click.
Bryan's creative eye and his understanding of colour, and of graphic composition, have enabled him to produce some great images. His relaxed teaching manner and simplified language helps students get to grips with the technical side while also pushing them to look creatively at their subjects. His books are a fantastic resource but if you're not particularly into books then check out his wealth of online tutorials. If you are lucky enough to be based in the US, why not go to one of his workshops and learn from the man himself? I hope you can tell that some of my work is inspired by Bryan's teaching - something I intend to do more of in the future. Lately, I have been caught up in the technical side of photography and my creative side has suffered slightly as a result, but I'm hoping to marry to the two disciplines together and make some stronger more creative work.
Also check out Bryan's YouTube page
If you would like to know more about who/what inspires me, click HERE