Student of the Month: John Peterson

John is our student of the month for August, 2016. He has a great sense of composition. I really enjoy how he uses scale to build interest and create relationships in his photographs. The project he shares this month is a series of black and white photographs across America. They are bright, strong and immaculate in editing. Don't miss John Peterson's project on America in our gallery this month.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with John Peterson to hear about his work and what inspires him:

© John Peterson

If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
American.

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
The White House ruins. When I first saw the image that Ansel Adams made of the ruins, I loved the patterns on the rock and wanted to make my own version from a different angle. Canyon de Chelly is a peaceful, beautiful place--one where I actually enjoyed the driving around from venue to venue.

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
Everywhere I go. I'm always seeing photographic opportunities and love to make photographs with whatever I have available, even if it's just my iPhone.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Initially, myself. But, when someone likes one of my images and tells me they do, it gives me great pleasure, so I share them on my website and on Facebook. I'm really shooting for everyone.

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Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
I'm not particularly creative by nature, so photography brings out my inner creativity. There is an excitement to the process that makes it all a huge amount of fun.

Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
Photo Boot Camp was called Beginning Photography when I took the class. Mark Comon provided the inspiration in that class that drove me to Intermediate classes and then Advanced classes. The trips are also very helpful. I have seen and photographed sites that I might not have seen had it not been for photography.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
My D800. It's a fabulous camera, that, properly used, makes fabulous images that become fabulous prints.

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What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
They're all scenes of America, from coast to coast and in between.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Enroll in Photo Boot Camp and take the assignments seriously. Do the homework. Once you graduate, take Intermediate classes for several years to strengthen your skills. When you buy equipment, spend the most you can afford on good lenses - the glass is more important than anything else. (You can use the best camera in the world but if you attach a crummy lens to it, you will get a crummy image).

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
I'm currently working on a series involving classic cars and details of those cars. It's the most photographic fun I've had in a long time.

What's your favorite color?
Blue.

© John Peterson

See his work at our main gallery through the month of August, 2016.

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