If there's one thing we can guarantee about Imaging USA 2015, it's that this year's speaker lineup is probably the best ever. Last time we highlighted Steve Kozak
and found out, amongst other things, that he's a Johnny Cash man at heart. This week we're back with Carl Caylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and his class, Hands On Photography: Natural Light Portraiture
. In this week's interview with Carl, you'll get why he dove into natural light, where he draws his artistic inspiration from, and who he believes let the dogs out.
Why do you love natural light so much?
I like natural light because it is my comfort zone. I have always used natural light for my photo journalistic work and it seemed to transition well into the portrait world. I guess it has always been something that I could see and then record in my pictures. The strobe lights involved me constantly recording and rechecking to see if it worked--natural light is just so much easier for me.
What can people expect to take away from your class?
Photographers will get hands-on experience and feedback with live models. They will learn how to see light and determine where to position their subjects in relation to that light. They will also learn what is possible with the light they find. Light dictates what patterns are possible within the given background that corresponds to a scene--the relationship between the subject, the available light, and the background is something I'll expand upon more at Imaging USA.
What is the one thing about using natural light that most photographers initially struggle with?
The fact that just because you're outside doesn't mean you should throw away portrait lighting. We can still achieve wonderful light patterns that are flattering to the human figure. Natural light doesn't mean getting a correct exposure. Be a professional, be an artist. Give more than just a picture. Create...yes, create a portrait.
Where do you draw your inspiration from as a photographer?
Life in general is a good place to begin. But I draw inspiration from many places. Movies, ads, music, art, and other photographers are great sources of inspiration. For the last 19 years photographic competition has been my biggest source of inspiration. Although I took a few years off of being really serious about it, last year was a good comeback for me. It made me excited again and I played hard. It's important to give print competition a try, because you might find that it pushes you to be a better photographer.
What brought you to the world of photography?
My aunt and uncle are very talented photography hobbyists. From cameras to darkroom work, I was lured in by their love of the craft at an early age. My high school wrestling coach was also the photography teacher and yearbook advisor, which turned out to be a great combination for me, and I instantly was hooked. I went to college for Technical Communications Management with an emphasis in Photography and a minor in Business. While I value what I was taught in school, I learned much of what I know about photography today simply by spending time with talented photographers in classes and seminars.
What's your favorite image you've ever captured?
I'll let you know when it happens.
What's one image you want to create?
I would love to work on a movie set doing portraits for the marketing end of the movie. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty would have been a great assignment!
Who let the dogs out?
I did. It was her time to do her thing. Seriously--her name is "Canon's Image Stabilizer," we call her Izzie for short. Before that we had "Caylor's Kodak Moment," Kodak for short. She was our photo "lab".
What do you enjoy about photographic competitions?
Competition itself. Regardless of if it is a sport or an art contest, competition gets the blood flowing. You create great friends in competition. You learn new things. You push yourself to new levels. It's not that I'm too competitive; I just think that it is important to always do your best. If you make sure to do that you will always be a winner.
Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?
Who is Jack White?