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Richard Schneider

Richard Schneider

Richard Schneider
picturecorrect.com

Please tell us how you got started taking pictures at such a young age?

When I was about 13 my parents bought their first digital camera, a 5 megapixel Nikon. I knew almost nothing about photography at the time but was very impressed that you could take an almost endless supply of photos as long as you emptied the memory card. I started taking photos of just about anything and eventually I started wanting to learn more about photography. When I entered high school I convinced my parents to help me buy a Canon 10D because I was entering a photography class which required an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera. The man who inspired me and taught my high school photography class is James Christianson who is now working as a professional photographer in Colorado. He let me use one of his wonderful photos as a desktop wallpaper in the Landscapes Gallery. It is the one called Endless Road.

Since high school I have taken a camera along on all my vacations, band tours, motorcycle rides, and off-road races so I have started to collect a pretty wide range of photographs from all over the world. Many of which I have compiled in the desktop wallpaper gallery on PictureCorrect.com.

What type of photography do you like the most and why?

I would definitely have to say that I like landscape photography the most. Landscape photos can help people experience a place that they haven’t traveled to before. It can also be a very challenging field of photography. Sure, anybody can lift up a camera and take a photo of a scene in front of them. But it takes a very mindful and experienced photographer to take full advantage of the depth of a scene as well as the available light.

What is the most important aspect you feel about photography as far as technique is concerned?

For me it would be exposure settings and the use of available light. There have been hundreds of times when I have taken many photos of one scene and only been satisfied with one photo because of exposure settings. I have found that I tend to like situations where there is a relatively low amount of light available because it allows photographers to get more creative in the way they chose to use that light to their advantage.

What type of equipment you use for photography and how important you feel is the role of equipment?

Equipment is a very important part of photography if you want to take full advantage of every photo opportunity you are presented with. It becomes an even bigger issue when you start planning trips and figuring out what equipment is necessary to take along.

Through many photography trips I gradually developed a strategy for traveling lightly and conveniently with a sufficient amount of camera equipment. On long trips I typically take along two cameras; one digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera and one small digital point-and-shoot camera (for quick photo opportunities). For the SLR camera I take two lenses; one midrange telephoto lens (70-200 mm) and one fixed wide angle lens (24 mm). With these two types of lenses you will be ready for effective people pictures and beautiful landscape and scenery photos.

In addition to the cameras I absolutely always have some sort of tripod readily available whether it is the simple mini type or the full size larger type (for traveling you should make sure the tripod is made out of a light-weight material). For memory storage I take a larger memory card for the SLR and typically a smaller capacity card for the point-and-shoot camera. I also recently purchased an ipod so as soon as the memory cards are full I just unload them onto my ipod.

What are the advantages you feel of digital photography over film?

The main advantage I think is the ability for you to take hundreds or thousands of photos without the need to buy more film. As the digital photography world keeps developing its hard to find an area where film has an advantage over digital. Some film photographers like that they can use techniques in the dark room to change the way their photos develop. But now digital photographers can do all those things and more with Photoshop or similar software. Some photographers stayed with film because the resolution was better with film then with digital for a long time. But that is no longer the case either.

What is your opinion about Photoshop as an image editing tool as compared with other software?

I am definitely a huge Photoshop fan. Many other programs that I have tried were probably easier to use then Photoshop and more beginner friendly; but Photoshop is by far the most powerful photo editing software in my opinion. With Photoshop it is never a question of whether or not the software can perform a certain task, it is only a question of how you learn how to do what it is that you are trying to accomplish.

Do you use plugins? Tell us something about your perspective regarding it.

I haven’t personally used plugins but I have heard that they can be quite powerful and useful. I have the most recent version of Photoshop, and it has always been able to do all of the things that I want to do without the use of plugins.

What would you advise to the newcomers in this field?

I would encourage newcomers to devote some serious time to developing their photography skills. Don’t put it off until you can afford that new camera; start using whatever camera and equipment that you can get your hands on. Take some sort of camera whether it is big or small on all the trips that you can go on. One of the photos that I just sold to a company I captured while I was on an off-road motorcycle ride in Colorado. It was taken with just a small point-and-shoot digital camera and I never dreamed that someone might actually want to buy the photo that I was about to take. Always have your camera ready because it is usually the moments that you are not anticipating that make the best photos. Take lots of photos, some of the best photos that I have captured I didn’t even take the time to stop walking and snapped a couple photos while I was on the move.

If you want to become serious about digital photography I would recommend devoting some time towards learning how to use Photoshop. All the photos that I have sold have been edited with Photoshop in some way or another. All the photos that are in the PictureCorrect Wallpaper Gallery have also been edited with Photoshop.

Think about what you are doing as a photographer. Many people buy digital cameras and never really take the time to properly set up for an effective photo. Whenever I take a landscape photo I usually devote around 20 seconds to a full minute just setting up for a shot whether it be making sure the scene is composed properly or that the light is coming from the right angle or that I have some balanced foreground and background elements. But most of all just be willing to experiment with new techniques and strategies.

 
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