Scott A. Woodward in the house!!!

Something exciting happened this week (as you can probably tell from the title).

Initially, I didn’t feel that way. “Just another lecture, nothing new.” I could really use the time for assignments. But the more I heard Mr Scott speak, the more inspired I felt. In fact, by the end of it, I was so honoured to have this once-in-a lifetime chance to listen to his presentation that I almost felt unworthy to be in his presence.

That guy.

That guy.

If you still don’t know by now who I am talking about, our guest lecturer this week was Mr Scott A. Woodward (see his site here). I won’t go into the details about his life and such, but I must point out he is a very accomplished photographer.

His best photo, which also happens to be his favourite, has appeared in numerous magazines such as National Geographic and GEOspecial. Luerzer’s Archive also named him as one of the “200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide”. How amazing is that?

He gave us a couple of tips for travel photography as well. Some may probably know these already but I thought it’ll be good to share them with others anyway so here there are:

1) Be inspired, get inspired – Research you destinations ahead of time. Try to have some ideas for the types of photos you want beforehand. There is also no shame in viewing other photographers’ interpretations of a location/scene, and viewing sites like Flickr and Tumblr may help you creatively in the long run.

2) Add life to landscapes – A human touch, even if it is a small portion of the image, makes a more powerful photograph as compared to a simple shot of a landscape: giving it scale, perspective and drama.

3) Play with light – Shoot during warm ‘golden hours’ of early morning or late afternoon (one hour before sunrise/two hours before sunset) when the sun is low and the light is soft. Pay attention to dramatic light such as light peeking out of clouds, light rays filtered through leaves of trees, long shadows etc.

4) Experiment – Find dynamic angles. Get on the ground and shoot up, or get on a tree and shoot down. Get even closer to your subjects. Let your creativity flow!

5) Be a Tourist in Own City – Fascinating places, characters and stories are everywhere if you look hard enough, even if it is in your own backyard. Explore familiar surroundings with a keen eye and you may just find a great photo opportunity.

Mr Scott also ended off his speech with a motto of his, and I feel that it easily applies to many situations. It is natural for many of us to fear the unknown, but sometimes the unknown could just be the best thing that ever happened to you.

As Mr Scott said, “You’ll never know, if you never go.”

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