“Beauty can be seen in all things. Seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Matt Hardy
Imagine that dawn is just breaking over the endless seascape. There’s a faint chill in the air and you can feel the dew falling gently to the ground. Above the white and foamy crashing waves, the first touch of the sun’s warm rays cast a brilliant light across the early morning sky, and for one moment you feel the stillness of inner peace. This is just one of many scenarios photographer Scott Schilling finds himself in as he waits at his chosen location – intent on capturing an image that seizes his emotional response to the scene.
Scott, who is actually a licensed professional civil engineer in the state of California, began to seriously indulge his passion for photography about 10 years ago – with the support of his wife and children. Initially Scott found interest in astrophotography, a specialized type of photography in which images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky are recorded. Scott’s passion for the outdoors, mountains and scenic beauty eventually led him down the path of landscape photography.
Seizing nature at peak times in the morning and evening, or better known to Scott as the “edges of the day,” makes for his favorite shots. It’s at these key moments in the day where the wide range of natural light suits the camera’s dynamic range of light best and creates drama and intense color combinations more than any other time of day.
Capturing this unmatched beauty requires a lot of planning on Scott’s part. He closely studies the weather patterns of his chosen location, always seeking that ‘ah ha!’ moment in which his inner emotions can be shared with the world – without ever having to speak a single word.
Some of Scott’s favorite locations to shoot include Yosemite National Park in California, Big Sur in California, the Southwest region of the United States, Lake Tahoe and the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Using only his digital camera, Scott shoots images and then processes them as high dynamic range images (HDR), which allow for excellent color saturation, like those seen in the images below.
The idea is to blend and blur the viewer’s sense of what is real and what isn’t into a surreal palette of vibrant colors that may in fact make the scene look magical and create a strong response for the viewer. The processing that Scott uses on his images results in a landscape that demonstrates his emotional response to that scene at that moment – allowing the viewer an inside look into the heart and mind of the artist.
Scott also encourages others to share their emotional responses with a larger audience and facilitates workshops throughout the year to teach participants his technique.
In May of this year, Scott joined forces with photographer Don Smith in conducting a workshop in Lake Tahoe. The duo also paired up to teach a conference in Kauai, Hawaii in July, 2011. The workshops typically last 4-4½ days and consist of a mix of instruction and real world application, including both day and night shoots in the great outdoors. During this time, Schilling and Smith provide ample instruction on the processing techniques used to intensify the depth, look and feel of an image. They also cover the concepts of photo composition and artistic vision. After some classroom instruction, the entire group puts into practice what they have learned. Rising early in the morning to ensure the best lighting possible and equipped only with digital cameras, the group steps out to capture the edges of the day in real time.
The workshops have been a great success thus far, and Scott has lined up two other workshops, in cooperation with Don Smith, within the next year. If you’re looking to expand your creative horizons, consider attending the upcoming workshop that will take photographers through the gorgeous scenery of both Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks. The workshop will begin at Bryce Canyon National Park and will conclude at Zion National Park. But you have to reserve your spot early! The workshop is limited to 12 students.
Also, be sure to mark the upcoming Kauai, Hawaii 2012 workshop on your calendar. This session will be held June 22 – 26, 2012 and photographers will be shooting some of the most beautiful Hawaiian scenery in the state, including:
- Ke’e Baach and the Na Pali Cliffs
- Hanalei Bay and taro fields
- Botanical gardens
- Wailua Beach
- Makahuena Arch and Lithified Cliffs
- The Sprouting Horn
- Waimea Canyon
- Kalalau Valley and the Na Pali Cliffs from a 4,000-foot overlook (this location was used during the filming of the movie 6 Days and 7 Nights)
- Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls
- Shipwreck Beach
For more information on Scott Schilling, visit his website. You can also view a number of Scott’s unique images in the gallery on the site, which is always available to view.
If you’re seeking further information about Scott’s photography or his workshops, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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