Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.
This week Indie Spotlight puts the “diverse” in diversity. From insects and landscapes to portraits and weddings, Wendell Reyes mostly enjoys nature photography. Hailing from Port Of Spain Trinidad, he keeps himself busy as a Certified Systems Analyst, owner of Overclockers TT, and first photographer/owner of Stephen Jay Photography. Traveling has allowed many photographic styles, however, Wendell is constantly pursuing experience and experimentation.
A Nikon D90 is Wendell’s camera of choice, however, he patiently waits for the release of the D800 to add to his arsenal. Although he does not have a “favorite” lens, if he had to choose one it would be the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX for overall flexibility. This lens is particularly handy when it comes to shooting wide open, and does very well in low light conditions, perfect for shooting in natural light. Macro photography is an entirely different story. Wendell uses a Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX for flowers, and a Nikon 70-300mm G with manual focus extension tubes and Raynox DCR250 for extreme close ups (i.e. the robber flies in the photos below are approximately 1cm in size).
Regarding workflow, Wendell will first choose the correct lens for the subject. Next on the list is lighting. It is important to identify the type of lighting, as well as the angle and intensity to see how it will affect the subject before shooting. Third on the list is flash. Wendell will decide if he needs to use fill light via a reflector or flash/strobes, or if the ambient light is at the right angle for best exposure. Lastly he will choose the best angle or perspective for framing purposes. When everything is just right, Wendell will begin his shoot.
Concerning software, Adobe Lightroom is used for initial adjustments and Adobe Photoshop CS3 to fine tune especially in terms of blending, burning and dodging and color adjustments.
Turning to the subject of tips and advice, Wendell feels that learning to see and analyze light is the key for new and upcoming photographers. It is the “make or break” for an outstanding photograph. Secondly, he suggests becoming intimate with the subject. Take the time to look at the subject and study it from all angles to find the best composition and background that will compliment your subject and not distract from it. Lastly, but certainly not least, learn and master proper techniques using the equipment that you currently own. Get to know the pros and cons of your hardware and its limitations before deciding to upgrade to expensive equipment. It all comes down to creativity, so don’t get comfortable – always look for ways to improve and try new and exciting things.
Turning to techniques, there is one that Wendell stumbled upon one while giving thought to his landscape photography. The technique is to to set the camera to manual focus with the aperture at f/9. Next he sets his Nikon SB600 Speedlight to the camera/full setting, and lastly is the hyperfocal distance using the 35mm f/1.8. All that is left to do is point and shoot, no need to worry about focus. With this technique, you can capture the moment, and everything comes out sharp. – The lighting is good to go. As always, experiment and fine tune your settings once the focus is set. As a side note, this technique is also most useful in low light situations.
There are many places Wendell would like to visit for photographic opportunities, however, if he had to choose just one it would be a tour of Africa. To photograph the tribes, wildlife, and pyramids would be an exhilarating experience. He would also like to try underwater photography some day. Lastly, I was curious who inspires him from a photographer perspective. Wendell admires Ansel Adams for his landscape photography, and Monte Zucker for his portraiture work.
Bryan Zimmerman is a seasoned musician, writer, videographer, and photographer based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. His style varies between landscape and architecture, however, he has a “thing” for cemetery photography. Bryan’s true style is black and white photography, and he loves to tell a story with each photograph. Bryan has won several awards for his work and is currently working on his first novel which will contain both his poetry and photography. You can view his work at http://zcs41.deviantart.com/gallery and http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanjzimmerman