Julie is our student of the month for March, 2016. Her landscape photographs have a great sense of form with use of foreground, middle ground and background. I enjoy how she utilizes color and a variety of lighting to create depth and separation through the photographs. Come see her work throughout March!
We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Julie Kohus to hear about her work and what inspires her:
If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Which photograph has meant the most to you?
I don't think there's been a particular one, but I do I love looking at landscape photographs - particularly ones taken from the National Parks. I follow @usinterior on Instagram and the pictures they post are just absolutely stunning. I'm even more excited when they feature a picture of a place that I've been!
In this submission of work, I'm particularly fond of the photo from the Narrows in Zion National Park. It's my favorite picture I've ever taken. I went to Zion and Bryce Canyon last summer with two of my friends, Rosemary and Rukku, and none of us are "hike up a river in a slot canyon" adventurous. We did it, though, and not only was it a personal triumph to get up the courage to do something like that, but it was honestly one of the best days I've ever spent outside. There was something so incredible about walking up the Virgin River in this great big canyon with two of my best friends.
Where have you found inspiration photographically?
I love taking photos of nature and animals, but I'm also a semi-permanent fixture of the Night Hawks! I went on a whim almost two years ago and absolutely loved it! There's something about capturing reflections at night that really inspires me. I'm from a small town in Ohio originally, so getting out at night and seeing so many lights and so much activity is always a bit thrilling.
Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
I think I made this work mostly for myself, but also for my friends, family, and my husband. I like to document the places I've been, and I like to travel with someone! I love that each photograph brings back memories of the trips I've taken. From Hawaii for my honeymoon to a trip home to Ohio for Christmas, they all bring happiness!
Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
I have a tendency to be my own harshest critic, and as I progress as a photographer, I've learned to let go of some of that criticism. Maybe I could have composed a little better, or waited a little longer for that person to move, or maybe I should have been more patient with the sunlight, but the pictures are mine and they are something I've created. They make me happy to look at and share with friends and family, and I believe that's really all that matters.
Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
My dad has always been into photography and I always really loved looking at his pictures. He's the one who helped my husband, Mike, buy me a camera! Once I got my camera, I signed up for Photo Boot Camp because I figured that I should probably learn how to use it! After that, I was hooked. I love constantly being around other people who are making pictures and learning. I love seeing how others capture a scene, especially during the Night Hawks excursions! It's always amazing to me that 10 people can be set up in the same spot and you'll end up seeing 10 different interpretations of the same scene.
I have learned so much from Mark Comon, Mark Crase, and Dave Bever - it's really amazing to be learning from people who not only have the technical knowledge, but also a contagious passion for photography!
Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
I have a Nikon D7100 which I'm obsessed with, and I'm also very fond of my dad's 24-70mm lens, which he let me borrow for a few months last year! Thanks dad!
What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
They are all pictures of the great outdoors! To me, there is something so reinvigorating about being outside and experiencing nature. Whether it's in a forest, a desert, a national park, an island, or your backyard, I always like to stop and really experience the scenery!
What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
You will take SO MANY embarrassingly bad pictures and it can be so frustrating sometimes! One of the best pieces of advice I got was in regards to keeping pictures. If I go on a trip to, say, Zion National Park, I might take 500 pictures a day. The reality is that probably 5-10 of them are really good. So I delete the rest. I think this has really helped focus my work to what's really great instead of having so many pictures of the same scene. You might have 25 pictures of the same mountain, but trust me, if you really look at them next to each other, one or two will stand out. Keep those. Get rid of the rest.
Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
My project is always an ongoing one - take as many trips and see as many different things as I can!
What's your favorite color?
Blue - I love a really nice deep blue sky!
See her work at our First Tuesday Art Opening on March 1st from 5:30-7:00pm. Learn More: HERE.