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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adventures In The Landscapes

Adam Barker has achieved perfect balance, melding the personal with the professional in his outdoor photography

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Skier Julian Carr in the Wasatch backcountry, Utah. Barker's action photos stand out because of the way he incorporates the landscape in his images.
Barker's enthusiasm for outdoor photography has always led him to make time to put himself in the landscape. Whenever the opportunity arises, he's out shooting. It serves as a model for other photographers who struggle to find the time and energy to get outdoors. Where there's a will, there's a way.

"When I was working in PR, I had a great job in the ski industry," he says. "I would travel around the country to major markets and meet with media. Those appointments were midday, so that left sunrise and sunset open. Whether I was in San Francisco or New York or Seattle or Chicago, wherever it might be, I would take advantage of these opportunities and I'd do my research beforehand and I would schedule a couple of shoots at sunrise and sunset. It sure made for some long trips, and some serious midday business meeting comas, but I was fortunate to be traveling to these places on somebody else's dollar. If I did my research up front, I was able to get some great shooting in, as well.

"For instance, the first and only time I've been to White Sands National Monument," he says, "which still remains one of the coolest places I've ever been to for shooting landscape photographs, it was because I had a bunch of media visits in Santa Fe. So I built in a day or two on the front end of the trip and drove down in the middle of the night to White Sands and got a motel room. I had an amazing day and a half."

Although his personal/professional mix keeps him perpetually outdoors, the difference between photographing for himself and for a client is night and day. On assignment, Barker is first and foremost functioning as part of a creative team, and ultimately he's subservient to the photographic needs of his customers and their shot list. So when it comes to shooting his landscapes, one of the things he enjoys most is free time in the wild, serving nothing but his own creative needs.

"When I'm in my landscape mode," he says, "and it's just me, that's what I love so much about landscape. I'm not reliant upon anything other than Mother Nature and myself. I guess there's something really satisfying to know that if the image doesn't work out, it's because of my shortcomings. As depressing as that may sound to some photographers, I think it's really great because we can always improve upon our own weaknesses, as opposed to battling something else."

You can see the full range of Adam Barker's photography, from landscapes to commercial advertising images, at www.adambarkerphotography.com.

Adam Barker's Equipment
Favorite Lenses: Canon TS-E 24mm, EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II, EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L II
Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Grad ND filter:
I use it in a 4x6 size that makes it easier to handhold while shooting on a full-frame camera at wider angles.
Gitzo tripod
Manfrotto travel tripod
Clik Elite Escape pack
Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer

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