On first glance, 2017 seemed like a bit of a letdown after the whirlwind of 2016. 2016 was all about crazy new experiences. That year, I flew to Pikes Peak with media credentials to live with a race team, flew to Texas for another team and followed them to New Orleans, and flew back to Colorado for an endurance race. Other than a brief trip to Detroit at the beginning for 2017 for the NAIAS, the farthest I went for work was Topeka. Glamorous, right?
But the more I dig through this years photos (of which there were a lot), the more I realize that this year was massive for me, just in a more subtle way. Instead of big bucket-list events, 2017 has been about polishing what’s here. Shooting nearly every day that weather permitted, in a variety of conditions, has forced me to be more accurate and confident in my camera work. As compared to the studio work I used to do at Pure Pursuit, where the light never changed, this year has seen me shooting at all hours of the day, in all types of weather, indoors and out. So I’ve had to get much better at predicting what settings will work, reading my meter, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
This year I’ve also made it a point to assist photographers who are more talented and educated than I am. I bring nothing to the table other than some manual labor, but I take a lot away. Watching how others work is helping me develop my own composition skills. I have no formal education in photography. Everything I know is from trial and error, and watching a lot of YouTube videos. I’m slowly learning how to stack foreground and background elements around my subjects, as well as how to treat the light as a physical element. Instead of just trying to hide from it, use it. Shoot right into it, catch flares, play with shadow lines.
Does all that make me seem like a pretentious artist?
Here’s to the people that made 2017 possible:
- Britt-for going location scouting with me in the middle of the night, tagging along for rainy photoshoots, and generally being the most encouraging and supportive partner imaginable.
- Travis Carroll-for letting me tag along on shoots and learn how real photographers work, while showing me what’s really possible.
- Travis Young-for generally being a rad dude, and reminding me that this shit is supposed to be fun
- Tom-for loaning me equipment that I couldn’t afford
- Joe-for tagging along on late night shoots to make sure I don’t get hit by a car or stabbed by a hobo.
- Robert and Kris-for giving me a shocking amount of creative freedom, and trusting me with cars worth more than my house.
Apologies to anyone I missed.
Without further ado: my best shots of 2017.