This week we are excited to introduce a landscape photographer that has mastered the art of blending design and photography. Please welcome—John Haymore.
1. What started your passion for photography?
Ever since I took my first road trip to Moab over twenty years ago, I’ve been in awe of the magnificent sandstone formations that Southern Utah has to offer. Those encounters with serene locations left me craving for a way to hold on to those memories and preserve the surrounding beauty.
During my schooling in graphic design, I took a photography course that forever changed my life. Photography changed my perspective in a significant way. I was instantly obsessed with it and so began my continuous journey of learning, studying, practicing, failing, and improving. Now, photography plays a huge role in my life, my creative process, my motivation, has altered my thought process and had enriched my visual experiences when I’m out venturing into remote places.
2. What is your go-to camera setup?
Canon has long been my preferred camera. Mostly due to my extensive history behind their camera bodies and lenses. From my first career job as a graphic designer where I built and managed an in-house photo studio, to my personal journey buying entry-level DSLRs to Canon’s pro line.
My current setup is the Canon 5D Mark IV, with either a 24-70mm f2.8 or the 16-35mm f2.8, depending on the situation. Breakthrough Photography UV, ND, and Polarized filters for every lens. My current favorite tripod is the Sirui W-2204 waterproof, carbon fiber, with the K-20X ball-head. Smooth as butter and sturdy as an ox. For commercial shoots where lighting is needed, my absolute go-to is the wireless Profoto B1’s and A1 studio lights.
3. Where is your all-time favorite location to shoot and why?
It’s really hard for me to narrow down only one favorite place to shoot, mainly because I like variety and switching things up, and enjoy various locations for the different challenges they present and their unique beauty. If I had to choose one place though, it would be Lake Powell, Utah. There’s something special about the sheer sandstone cliffs rising hundreds of feet above the water in the middle of the desert. The sun glistens off the lake and creates abstract patterns reflecting on the walls. It’s very surreal and extremely peaceful as you shoot in the stillness surrounding you with the faint sound of waves breaking against the shore. It’s a humbling experience as you feel so small against the grandeur of the place.
4. What’s the shot that you're most proud of?
This photo of Reflection Canyon in Lake Powell is probably one of my favorites. Not for the technical execution per se, but because of the memories behind it, the planning involved and the difficulty in reaching this place. As you make the final approach over a large sandstone hill, you’re exhausted from the 9 miles it took to get there, the full sun exposure, and the weight of the extra water you’ve had to carry. Then, Reflection Canyon hits you as you go over the crest, and there it is in all its splendor.
5. Besides building your photography business, what else motivates you to continue taking pictures?
Setting photography aside, I’m an avid canyoneerer and backpacker. I love being deep in the backcountry, away from people, clearing my head, rejuvenating my spirits, and exploring places I haven’t been before. There’s an insane amount of wild places still out there whispering secrets to those who find them. If photography wasn’t in the picture, I’d still be out enjoying wild places. Photography enhances my memory of a trip and helps me hold onto the good times with family and friends.
6. What is a piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in photography?
Study the fundamentals of photography. Get to know the exposure triangle and how your camera’s sensor is affected by shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. Learn the rules of composition and telling a narrative through a captured scene. There’s an increasing trend of people starting out that learn post processing and edit photos to perfection after taking the photo instead of learning how to control surrounding conditions in the camera. If you spend more time on the computer and not behind the camera, your images will look like everyone else using the same trendy editing techniques. Nature is imperfect, abstract, and unrefined. Photography is an art of capturing the beauty right in front of you, at that moment in time. It takes time to learn and is never mastered. Don’t rush the creative process. Take time to develop your own unique voice and style.
You can check out more of John's work on his website here or follow him on Instagram at @john.haymore