Home : Interviews Photography : Richard Schneider
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.
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.
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
What is the most
important aspect you feel about photography as far as technique is
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.