5/27/10

The Inspirational Photos of Victoria Bennett Beyer

Victoria Bennett Beyer
~ Photostream
Wheatland, Wyoming, though I am originally from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and have also lived in Jacksonville, NC and Pittsburgh, PA.
A Mile A Minute ~ Blog
Shop ~ Milemarker

equipment ~
Nikon D-80, with three lenses:
Nikkor 18-135mm
Micro Nikkor 105mm
Nikkor 70-300mm

Dandelion Sails

Why do you photograph?
I try my best to live in the present and to see the beauty in every day. To me, this focus is vivid and clear and full of glorious detail. I think in their aesthetic, my photographs reflect these values.
That said, I understand every photograph is of the past.
Not every moment makes for a ‘good’ photo, but because their fleeting nature is always in my mind, I am vigilantly looking for them. I ache to think of these moments as gone, even before they have passed. I want to be able to save them.
I take these photos for myself, in a vain attempt to record these moments so I can savor them later. I share them because what I see around me is painfully beautiful. What else can I do but share? In sharing, somehow, the hopelessness of never being able to seal every sight, touch, and emotion away for later in my inadequate brain, dissipates. All I can save is stored in my photographs. That will have to be enough.

Lone Horseman by Victoria Bennett Beyer.

Is there a particular photographer you admire? What is it about their work that you enjoy?
I don’t have a favorite, though I read many blogs each morning and usually let myself follow a labyrinth of links that lead me to a nearly overwhelming amount of amazing images. I am particularly loving images of people in nature right now. You know the kind - they never look like they are worried a bear will jump out of the woods or that a snake might be wriggling nearby in the grass. They leave me with such a sense of adventure, joy and peace – not a worry in sight.

If you process your images at all, what software do you use and how much processing do you do?
I look over my images in Photoshop to check for dust and scratches. I sometimes adjust darkness and lightness and color. I don’t do much, though, as my journalistic background is always on my mind, making sure I stay true to the image. I used to do photo correction for newspaper, and in that world, the slightest bit too much manipulation can get you fired.

Leaf Patterns by Victoria Bennett Beyer.

How did you learn your skills - are you self-taught?
I am self taught, for the most part. I began in photography with a camera my parents gave me when we went on a road trip across the country when I was ten. I still have blurry shots of the Grand Canyon and the buffalo in Yellowstone. I continued using a camera often, for fun and through yearbook in high school. My journalism courses in college gave me a few opportunities to hone these skills, but the one photography course I took through the art school gave me a good foundation. I always wanted to take more photography classes, but a slot never opened up.

What is the next piece of equipment/software on your wish list?
I don’t have a wish list, believe it or not. I am quite happy with the results I get from the three lenses I have. And while I appreciate the qualities of other assorted cameras, I love the crispness and the vivid color of my Nikon. As soon as I switched to it, I wondered why I hadn’t done it before.

Wheat on Red

What inspires your photos?
Beauty, obvious or otherwise. The things that make me happy. Locations that are dear to my heart. The chance to capture memories and feelings so that I can relive them later.

Wide Open

What is your favourite subject or theme to photograph?
Flowers. The idea of flowers can be a bit boring, as they are the favorite subject for many people, but with my macro lens I frequently discover new little universes within a bloom that I couldn’t see with my naked eye. When I get a shot like that, I am awed every time.

Tulip by Victoria Bennett Beyer.

Do you self-portrait?
Last year I photographed myself in the mirror, late at night, on a whim, and decided I should do it every year. But day to day I rarely do it. It makes me a bit uncomfortable, and trying to get myself in focus frustrates me to no end. But I have liked the results the two or three times I have fought through it to get a good shot. I will be trying it a bit more, I think, in the future.

What is your biggest challenge?
I know nothing about artificial indoor lighting. Some days I wish I did, but really, my ignorance keeps things simple. I shoot with sunlight only.

I like to shoot macros with a very shallow depth of field, so I end up taking hundreds of shots when I photograph this way, because even the slightest movement can make everything blurry. Sometimes I really put off comparing so many shots that are so similar, as it can be a chore. But, I’m grateful that digital allows me to make sure I get the shot.

Daisy Petals by Victoria Bennett Beyer.

What advice do you have for new photographers?
Shoot as much as possible. It’s like anything else – practice makes perfect.

You can learn from your failures, so don’t let them get you down.

Back up your files. And then back them up again.

Be selective. If you have two nearly identical images, pick one. If you find it hard to filter yourself, then step away and try narrowing it down again later. It doesn’t matter how many blurry or poorly lit photos you have from a shoot, if people only see the one or two excellent ones, they will think you are excellent.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be on this great blog. I love the positive, friendly feeling I get from FlickHer!

Thank you so much Victoria! Your work is breathtaking!
~ Andrea & Kari

6 comments:

  1. I am a fan of Victoria's but this interview taught me new things about her! I just love the choices of photos you've presented here... it's renewed and refreshed my love of her work!

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  2. LOVE her work with that macro lens! I've got one of her photos of stained glass hanging in my foyer...but I've been eyeing some of her newer works. Thanks for the great interview!

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  3. Thanks so much ladies for having me on FlickHERist! You are so nice to create this place for all of us who love photography, and I'm honored to be featured :)

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  4. Anonymous5/30/2010

    The controlled depth of field in your macro work gives a very dreamy relaxing feeling, like laying in a grassy field on a warm summer day with the sun blanketing you. Bravo!

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  5. A great post ! Beautiful and interesting ! It's a gift for all of us ;)

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  6. beautiful images! The one with the mittens and the red book is my favorite. love it.

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Sweet Critique!
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