Friday, September 21, 2007

On his way to becoming a painter, something clicked!

West Coast landscape photographer Mike Dawson started his fine art career at age 14 and soon headed to college to become a painter of landscapes. "I thought photography would be a great way to capture images that I could paint later," says Mike. "Well, after one photography class, I was hooked. Soon I was managing a camera store complete with public darkroom while attending school, and then later worked for a studio doing weddings and portraits.

"Then life happened and my attention turned to career and family. I continued to dabble in photography for nearly 20 years before my wife Sherry bought me a digital camera in 2004. My passion for photography was immediately renewed and I was soon selling stock landscape and wildlife photos. I now work with a Canon 5D and 20D cameras.

"I rely on Graduated Neutral Density Filters to help balance the dynamic light I often find in scenes at sunrise and sunset. For me using an ND grad is just a lot easier than shooting HDR and/or blending in my computer. Being from the old film school, I prefer to get it right in the camera whenever possible."

Here are two examples of how his nine different Singh-Ray Graduated ND's and LB ColorCombo help Mike do just that.

"When I made the above image, 'Island in the Storm,' I was in San Diego for a conference and decided to spend my free time at the beach hoping for a glorious sunset. It didn't look good when I found this small stone shelf, but just before the sunset the clouds lifted and the light show began. After metering the highlights and then the foreground, I chose a 3-stop Reverse Grad to balance the light.

As I was scouting for locations off the south coast of Maui, I found this natural cauldron in a large formation of lava rock. I watched the water rise and fall as much as 6 feet with the ebb and flow of the tides and decided to return at sunset to capture this natural marvel where the sea water would flow in from all sides and from below before eventually overflowing the walls. Again a 3-stop Reverse Grad was my choice given the bright sun settling on the horizon."

Mike says he's a huge fan of Singh-Ray Filters and "how they have helped me combine my love of nature with my passion for art." You can see more of his work here, here and here.

1 comment:

aphoto4you said...

Mike your work is OUTSTANDING......SINGHRAY filters do wonders.......