Evan David is a 10th grade student at GWA. Last summer, he created an incredible opportunity for himself to learn and practice landscape photography in the United States. Read below to hear from Evan about his experience.
Landscape photography to me is the mixture of two of the most freeing and expressive activities: hiking and photography. Hiking allows you to let go and be one with nature, while photography allows you to express yourself through imagery.
Setting up these internships was a long three or four month process of looking for and finding suitable photographers willing to take me on for two weeks. The trick I found that allowed me to get responses was skipping to the 3rd or 4th page on the Google search results. There, I found less busy photographers who might be willing to write me back!
The two photographers with whom I interned this summer were Joseph Roybal and Christian Murillo. Joseph was based in Denver, Colorado, and was a well-established photographer in the landscape community. One thing that caught my eye while browsing through his website was the photo expedition he is leading in Morocco during the winter of 2019! Joseph works with a Canadian company that sends him to lead photo expeditions with National Geographic. Christian was based in Atlanta, Georgia, and compared to Joseph was less established, yet just as good.
My internship with Joseph Roybal came at the beginning of my trip to the United States, allowing me to get over my jet lag while working. Joseph was more oriented towards the fine arts side of landscape photography. He often used Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance his photos. When I first started working with him, I had very little experience in Adobe programs. By the end, I felt as if I had been working in them for years, thanks to his guidance. But maybe the most important thing I learned from Joseph was how to scout locations for shoots. We used Google Earth to look over the terrain in certain parts of Colorado, and we also used it to drop pins so that we could easily return to a specific location in the future.
After my trip to Denver, I arrived in Atlanta and met up with Christian Murillo. We discussed our upcoming camping trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains and the wilds of Northwest Georgia. Planning out the details ahead of time allowed us to get a good idea of what we were going to shoot and what time of day we would shoot there. During the Blue Ridge Mountains trip we ended up backpacking to our campsite. The trails to the campsite were steep and covered in cobwebs, so focus was a must on the way up and down. Before my arrival and planning with Christian, I was wondering when we would stop to take photos. Luckily, he knew the area like the back of his hand and led us to the best spots for sunrise and sunset shoots.
After working with both photographers, I came to realize many things that I hadn't taken into consideration before my internships. One was that even as an established landscape photographer in a good market, you have to have a day job. What these photographers did to earn an income was real estate photography; it is a fast way to earn money in photography and you use the same gear. After hearing this, I realized landscape photography was harder than I'd realized, and this made me even more interested in it. I'm not motivated by money, but I appreciate that it would be a lot of hard, yet fun, work to earn a living through photography.
My goal this year is to win the 2019 young photographer of the year competition, put on yearly by the World Photography Organization. After that, I would like to start selling my work to landscape magazines and other outdoor publications.