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June 15, 2017

Interview: Jeremy Johnson

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Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about yourself, where you’re from and what got you into photography/adventuring?

Well I’m a fine art photographer living in Huntington Beach, California. I grew up on a 30 acre ranch in the foothills of Northern California. It was very rural so all there was to do was hike, climb mountains, and explore. Growing up, our family would go camping and visit national parks for vacation. Little did I know these trips would later fuel my desire to pursue photography.

 

What kind of work do you focus or specialize in?

I specialize in unique, expressive landscapes & waterscapes.

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Did you go to school for photography? If not, how’d you get into it? What or who inspired you?

I had no formal training in photography but my Father and Grandfather were both into photography so I sort of grew up around it.  I’ve been an oil painter since I was a young child. A few years ago I decided to take a break and study photography and I haven’t looked back.  I started out by teaching myself the basic camera fundamentals online and read articles in photography magazines.  I’d study composition and exposure techniques on my own. I drew inspiration from master photographers whose work I liked. When it came time to finding compositions in the field I had no problem. I credit that to all my years as an oil painter. Photography was something that just came natural to me. I never felt lost while holding a camera.

How long have you been shooting for?

I’ve been shooting for only a couple years.

Any recommendations for kids aspiring to get into photo/video and content creation?

Practice, practice, practice. Photography is very technical and quite confusing at first so don’t get discouraged. You can’t expect to be shooting like a pro right off the bat. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment. Start off with an entry level DSLR. A good photographer can take pictures with any camera. Shoot at  sunrise and an hour or so after and sunset and an hour or so just before.  When you’re out in the field shooting don’t be afraid to ask other photographers questions, most of us are nice and willing to help. 

What’s your favorite place to go and why?

The desert is constantly calling me. I love shooting the vast landscapes and deep canyons around Utah and Arizona. The desert is full of unique scenery and countless compositions.

What’s your go-to camera, what about for night shots?

I’m a Canon guy. My current camera is a Canon EOS 6D.  This camera handles noise very well which makes it great for night photography. I’ve captured some amazing nightscapes at high ISO’s with minimal noise.

Night shots are so “popular” now, especially on social. You’ve got some mental ones on your feed. What are some general tips that a novice should know before going out to capture some night images?

If you’re going for a nice Milky Way shot, or a nightscape, you’ll need to get out of the city and find a dark location that’s away from light pollution. I use an app called “Dark Sky Finder.” It helps to scout out the location during the day ahead of time. A good fast lens with an aperture between f/1.2 – f4 will work. I usually shoot at f/2.8. With night photography you’ll be using long shutter speeds, so grab a nice sturdy tripod. Auto focus will struggle at night so learn how to focus manually. I usually use “Live View” mode on my DSLR and focus on a bright star. Don’t be afraid to raise that ISO. Start off with these settings,  ISO 3200, F/2.8, Shutter 20 Seconds. This is a great starting point and will get you a good exposure 99% of the time.

If you could live anywhere on Earth where would it be and why?

Either Arizona or Utah. It’s so beautiful out there with it’s vast scenery and dramatic skies. You’re also centrally located to some of the greatest national parks.

Do you have a dream destination or shoot that you are dying to do at a specific location or with someone?

I’d love to visit New Zealand. It’s definitely on my bucket list to shoot there someday.

What’s your go-to gear you always pack when you travel?

My Lowepro camera bag, Canon 6D, Canon 16-35 F4 L, Canon 70-200 F4 L, Rokinon 24mm 1.4, Manfrotto tripod, sunglasses, waterproof hiking shoes, headlamp, ENO camping hammock, Hydro Flask water bottle, dry bags, plastic camera cover, Leatherman multi-tool, weatherproof jacket, compass, Exotac PolyStriker firestarter.

What does The Nomadik mean to you?

The Nomadik isn’t just about filling a need but creating a new source of meaning for its customers’ lives.  We both share that similar passion, to inspire people to get out and explore.

What spots are on the hit list to explore for 2016/2017?

This is going to be a wonderful year for exploring. I’ll be visiting Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, hiking the Eastern Sierras, Northern California, Kauai, Big Sur, Monument Valley, and Zion National Park.

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