For this edition Anna a.k.a. inktice kindly accepted my request to be our next featured Exceptional Photographer of the month. She's a fine artist with creative skills. The main focus of her work is on children and I'm sure you'll like her gallery very much.
-Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Anna, I was born in the Philippines and currently residing in the Pacific Northwest in Washington with my husband and my beautiful daughter, Keilani. Iced coffee, sunrises, and beautiful light always put me in a good mood! I'm also a photo-addict who is obsessed with tangible photographs, huge canvas prints, and beautiful art on walls!
-How did your relationship with Photography begin and how has it developed through the years?
Before I grew an interest in photography, drawing was the foundation of my passion for art. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. To be honest, I was not a fan of photography at that time. I always thought that photography was the most easiest form of art. You take a camera, press a button, and woohoo, a picture! (Anybody can do that, right?) To me, it wasn't as hands-on as getting your hands dirty, filled with paint, graphite smudges, etc. dA is a diverse art community with many talented people in different mediums of art and I've always loved looking at other people's artwork. In 2007, I became intrigued and inspired by some of the photography in the dA community. I decided to try something new and give it a try. I had a Kodak CD33 zoom digital camera that I used mainly for taking pictures with friends at the time. That's when I also began learning about Photoshop. As I wanted to learn more about improving my images, I bought myself an advanced point-and-shoot camera, Nikon Coolpix P80. I brought it with me everywhere and took photos of everything and anything I could find! It really helped me shape the way I saw things -- every detail, every angle, and lighting. That's when I learned that photography was not as easy as I thought it would be. You cannot just take a photo and call it "good." A photo must be created. It was a lot different from drawing, but I incorporated what I already knew about art into my photos; from colors, shapes, light, shadows, to composition. Nonetheless, it was the same thing -- you create art. Even today, I find myself learning the more I take photos. It's really a never-ending learning experience!
-Which photographers influenced you?
Honestly, I would say most of every talented photographer and artist here on dA! I was a very active dA member during the time I grew a strong interest in photography and I was always inspired by everyone's work. At the same time though, I wanted to explore my own vision and how I saw things.
-What do you enjoy photographing most?
Ever since I became a mother in 2012, it has always been (and will always be) my daughter! Being a mom, I've always appreciated every little detail about her: from her newborn fingers and toes, eyelashes...and now she's running around making a mess of everything! But even so, I've learned that time goes by incredibly fast, and so does the growth of children. So it's important that I always document everything and anything I can to preserve these precious moments.
-What equipment do you use?
I use my Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100mm macro lens, Canon 50mm 1.8 lens, and Canon 24-105mm lens. And natural light, of course!
-What is your favorite place for shooting photos? Name two or three places you would like to visit for photography.
Any place with a wide open field or a woodsy location with funky-shaped trees is my favorite place to shoot! I also love the fall season, so taking photos in a location filled with bright leaves is a must! And gosh, I'd love to visit any place with great views and beautiful sunsets. But if I could choose a couple places to photograph, it would be somewhere with green pastures with pastoral views, a field of flowers, or a simple room with tall windows that lets in a lot of natural light.
-Imagine you have a day off and you decide to go shooting. Describe it.
My husband and I usually plan a day of shooting about a couple days in advance. If we decide to have a photo shoot with our daughter, I like to bring balloons and dress her up in specific colors! I usually bring all of my lenses, especially if we're shooting at a new location. You never know if there's a great view somewhere and you need your zoom lens!
-Choose one or two photos you have taken and explain why they are special to you?
The photo of my daughter in the middle of a pile of bright leaves "Golden Autumn" is very special to me and is, in fact, my favorite photo of her! It was during the middle of October and we decided to spontaneously take a road trip through Cascade Highway (since we've heard that it was beautiful there during the fall season). We actually found a gigantic pile of leaves during our drive and decided to have Keilani play in the leaves while I take photos. She just happened to look up at the falling leaves at the same time and it was just the perfect shot. This photo is now hanging up in our living room as a huge canvas print.
-What is your style and what tricks and tips do you use to get the right results?
I don't know if I really have a style, to be honest...but I'm always lured to take photos facing towards the sun! I love backlight, and depending on the kind of look I want to achieve, I also like to take a lot of silhouette photos. I've taken quite a few portraits of people outdoors and I find that lighting and where you are positioned to take their photo (or any subject) is extremely crucial to getting the results I want. For example, I would never take photos of people who are facing towards the sun with the camera in front of them -- the light would be too harsh. I like to wait until it's close to the golden hour (an hour after the sun rises and an hour before the sun sets) to take photos. This way the light isn't as harsh and you can produce images with more interesting hues and shadows. Shooting in RAW is also important! I can tweak and correct white balance and exposure if needed.
-What kind of impression do you hope to leave upon others who see your photographs?
I love telling stories with my images. Especially when it comes to candid shots. I want the viewers to look at my images and be able to read that story through their eyes using their own interpretation.
-Any final thoughts for our readers?
Shoot, shoot, shoot! The more photos you take, the more you learn and the better photos you'll take! Try something new, challenge yourself to new concepts, different lighting conditions, take your camera everywhere and learn everything about your camera. Remember that just because you have a fancy camera, it does not automatically make you a great photographer. Be humble and embrace mistakes, learning, time, and experience. Like I said, photography is a never-ending learning experience. Have fun and make the most of it!
***Journal made by on behalf of the