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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wilderness Warrior


Joseph Rossbach breaks from the crowded overlooks and usual vantage points to capture original and compelling landscapes

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This Article Features Photo Zoom
Video, Social Networking And The Future
Rossbach has recently added digital video to his photographic toolbox. “I’ve teamed up with fellow photographers Ian Plant and Richard Bernabe to develop podcasts and videos about our techniques for nature photography,” he says. “This is a really exciting way of bringing photography adventures to a larger audience. We include video and still images from the shoots. It’s really cool when you can put those elements together.”

Being a professional nature photographer is a challenging way of life, and Rossbach is the first to admit how competitive it can be. “It’s important for you to create a unique photographic style that allows a person to automatically recognize you as the photographer,” he advises. “Be the best that you can be and strive to constantly create fresh and inspiring images.”

Rossbach encourages anyone looking to break into the business to be diligent in marketing. “You also need to get the word out about your photography. No one else is going to do it for you. So you need to be at least as good, if not better, at promoting your work than you are as a photographer.”

Rossbach is also active in many social-networking avenues, such as Twitter and Facebook. “If you’re not using these new forms of social networking, you’ll fall behind,” warns Rossbach. “My Facebook page grows an average of 30 to 50 friends each month. It has been a great way to stay in touch with my clients who buy my prints and books, and attend my workshops. These web tools have also increased my visibility, which has resulted in new clients.”

As Rossbach has discovered, success in nature photography today isn’t measured as much by print or image sales as much as it is by education. “It’s nearly impossible to make a living off of stock photo sales,” says Rossbach. “With the influx of thousands of amateur photographers with a desire to learn, I’ve discovered the most lucrative aspect of this business is through education. I make a decent living these days leading workshops, writing instructional books and articles, as well as teaching online classes.”

Rossbach’s workshop clients often include repeat customers, which demonstrates his ability to inspire and teach others. “If you do a great job of teaching and pay attention to your clients, they will repay you with loyalty and come back for more workshops and classes,” concludes Rossbach.

And I bet his students will never photograph a familiar location in a familiar way.

Rossbach’s Gear
Nikon D300 and D700 DSLRs
AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm ƒ/2.8D IF-ED
AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 12-24mm ƒ/4G IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm ƒ/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm ƒ/4G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm ƒ/2.8G ED
AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm ƒ/2.8G IF-ED
Feisol Carbon-Fiber CT-3371 tripod
Feisol CB-50DC ballhead
Really Right Stuff focusing rail
Singh-Ray LB Polarizer and Vari-ND
Tamrac Expedition 8 photo backpack

You can see more of Joseph Rossbach’s images, as well as get links to his blog and Twitter and Facebook pages, at www.josephrossbach.com.

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