From an early age, I was destined to join the ranks of the world’s landscape photography artists. I knew I wanted to do something different. Although I was proficient academically and on the sports field, it certainly wasn’t my exceptional. But what I did have was creativity. Other than doodling things on my homework and imagining some incredible stories, I never really found an outlet for my creativity early on. This changed when my grandfather gave me a 5-megapixel Kodak digital camera at 12 years old. That day forever changed the way I looked at the world.
My First Shot
My first shot was during a visit to my grandparents in the small town of Lancaster, Ohio. He gave me a camera to play with whilst I went for a walk. I walked through the streets photographing puddles, leaves, trees, and everything in between. After I returned home to Las Vegas, I continued taking pictures. Eventually, my 12-year-old mindset wanted to put the camera down for a while. I still enjoyed looking at landscape photography but I didn’t really do it that much. Taking photographs remained on the back burner until I was 15 when my dad told me we were going to Hawaii. I had a little bit of money saved up so I bought myself my first camera. It was a Sony mirrorless camera.
I am thankful for that trip to Hawaii. It enabled me to fall in love with photography all over again. And this time it stuck. Looking back at the photographs I took on that trip, I see how much I have improved as a photographer. I have this overwhelming urge to go back and retake all of my pictures due to my lack of experience the first time around. Mistakes such as keeping my camera on full auto, using a kit lens, no tripod, shooting in JPEG and an undeveloped eye were all the things wrong with my early images.
Learning Every Day from Landscape Photography Artists
I now have a solid two and a half years of landscape photography under my belt, during which time I have learned a ton. I have spent hours and hours online watching tutorials on how to do different things with photography. My spare time is spent learning new techniques and working on projects. I now understand the exposure triangle well enough to be able to mentally set my settings just by looking at a scene.
I’m also lucky enough to have a father that loves travelling so the opportunity to go to some breathtaking places often arises. Currently, I am working on selling my work and making landscape photography a career very early in my life. Studying other landscape photography artists has taught me a lot about hard work and following your dreams. I have learned an incredible amount in these 2 years. Still, I have so much to learn and I am super excited to absorb everything I can.
Landscape Photography is a Part of Me
Photography has become a part of who I am. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thinking about it. I always have future projects in the works. Currently, I am getting ready for a Las Vegas series. Photography gives me the creative outlet I need to express my emotions, creativity and thoughts. I love every single second of photography and I know this will be my career in the future. I have seen myself improve in the past couple of years and I can’t wait to see where this leads.
The beauty of nature is very inspiring. Not everyone has the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world. I want to capture the nature I see with my camera and freeze that moment in time forever so everybody can see mother nature’s beauty. Art, music or sport aren’t my things. And I’m okay with that. Because I am a photographer among landscape photography artists. And that’s all I want to be.
"I am 17 years old and live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I picked up my first camera at 12 years old. I strive to learn new techniques and I am refining my skills every single day. Even though I have to go to school, I am able to travel all over America and capture beautiful landscapes.
Mike Beard - www.instagram.com/mikebeard_official