I’m a Midwest landscape photographer who once again calls Dayton, Ohio home. In college, I studied geology and after graduation, flew as an Air Force navigator. I loved the use of a sextant in conducting celestial navigation. Drawing on these skills, I find my best images blend elements of geology, astronomy, and meteorology along with amazing light. In finding the right light, sunset and twilight are my favorite times of the day.
For sunsets, the interaction of the low-angled sun and high-level clouds produce brief but amazing colors. Unfortunately, on most days, the colors never materialize. The conditions which produce these scenes are infrequent and when they occur, pass within a minute or two. If I'm lucky in hitting the right sun-cloud alignment, I often employ the Contre-jour (French for "against daylight") technique. The light can be harsh, but by bracketing my images, found I can negate the glare, highlight the silhouettes, and still retain foreground detail. As twilight develops, I’ll hold out for a second sweet spot where the blue hues of twilight still illuminate the sky, which in turn complements the warm-colored city lights.
In either situation, one needs to work quickly, which makes having a plan essential. In the weeks before arriving at a scene, I study the flow of the land, its celestial alignments, and potential compositional elements. To this end, my favorite landscapes involve water which I find reflects and magnifies the sky’s colors. With a few plans in my pocket, I monitor the evening’s weather and when conditions look right, I’ll gear up and head out. The thrill comes from the fleeting moments when it all comes together...where patience, anticipation, and preparation produce stunning scenes which evoke awe and excitement!
The parks and vistas are generally empty during these hours, and I often ponder if I'm the only one who just witnessed the spectacle. Given these thoughts, I find it is my passion to freeze these moments, along with the scene’s feeling and emotion.
"Photography is the Art of Frozen Time - the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame." Meshack Otieno