Today, we are excited to be featuring local Utah Landscape and Astrophotographer, Chance Allred. Chance has been a customer of ours for some time now and we are always amazed by his work. We decided to get to know Chance a little better and find out more about his photography journey. So let's begin!
Why did you decide to shoot landscape photography?
Landscape photography found me I feel like more than I found it. For work I spend most of my time in a very left brain world. My wife bought me a camera and after a few of my first shots I was absolutely hooked. Soon became my favorite hobby/passion. Being able to go to a more right brained creative place and visit mind blowing locations has been so fun. I love everything about it, learning, scouting, planning, visiting incredible places, shooting and post processing.
Where has been your favorite place to photograph?
So far I have three—Utah, the Dolimites and New Zealand.
Tell us a little about your post-processing style.
My post processing is still a work in progress. For the first year I was committed to learning 50% of the time and then practicing on my photos 50% of the time. I wanted to use proven thoughts and techniques while also finding my own process and style. Now I’m finally feeling comfortable with different techniques where I can visualize what I want to do and then make the edits without as much technical thought, moving to a more creative space. I’m pretty slo though...I like to work on a photo then think about it and come back to it three or four times. Sometime soliciting input from others I feel like have a good eye.
How do you typically plan for your landscape trips?
Half of the time it’s locations I’m already going to for other reasons. When this is the case I’ll start researching mostly with Google earth, 500 px, and Instagram posts I’ve liked and saved. And then find a time I can capitalize on golden hour blue hour or the night sky. The other half are locations I have dreamed of going to and just plan a weekend or a trip.
My favorite and most intense planning was the series “The Mighty Five and Neowise” shooting all five Utah national parks with nowise and one of the parks icons lined up. Finding locations where the comet lined up proved to be more challenging than we thought it would be and was an incredible adventure with my identical twin 15 year-old boys. Another reason I love photography, it’s great for quality time with my spouse and kids getting outdoors and planning getaways. With Neowise, when we finished all 5 locations also proved to be more rewarding than we had hoped for. We got really lucky three of the nights with small breaks in the clouds.
For this project we primarily used Google earth to find the location, PhotoPills for elevation angles, and sky guide for the comets exact location and elevations. Zion was the most challenging being that the park is so low we only had about 10 minutes where it was dark enough and lined up between two rocks. Thankfully calculations were accurate and the weather worked as well.
What does your gear bag look like?
Current Gear in my bag:
- Sony a7RIV
- Sony 12-24 GM (with rear filter set)
- Sony 24-105 G
- Sony 100-400 GM
- Sony remote
- RRS tripod 24l and L bracket RRS nodal slide (a lot of my work are panos vertical and horizontal)
- Backup or second body Sony a7RIII
For Astro and portraits:
- Sigma 14 1.8
- Sony 20mm G
- Sony 24 GM
- Zeiss 35 2.8 (when I want to pocket my camera in my jacket)
- Zeiss 55 1.8
- Sony 85 GM (my go to for portraits)
- Sony 70-200 GM
When I’m wanting to go lighter backpacking I’ll take these two lenses and tripod:
- Sony 16-35 GM
- Tamron 75 1.8
- Sirui tripod T-025sk (switched out the ball head for an even lighter one to get the tripod setup under 2 pounds)
What is one piece of advice for those looking to pursue landscape photography?
When your first learning invest time into learning from those who are already really good. By doing so you will be able to compress the learning curve in a much shorter time and end with better results. Some of my favorites to learn from are Marco Grassi, Josh Snow, Max Rive, Marc Adamus. To illustrate, I was self taught in golf and developed bad technique early on. For the next 10 years when I practiced I was ingraining some of those bad techniques. Later in life, I got good instruction but bad habits die hard, I wished I had learned correctly early and then practiced those techniques.
In photography I knew I wanted to take an approach where I learned solid foundational methods and ideas. With the hopes that as I practiced those techniques I could find my own style and workflow, also by using proven ideas that would hopefully help me improve faster. I still feel like I’m learning so much and only being in this a few years now am still a rookie. I look forward to keep learning, creating and sharing this beautiful world we live in through images.
We'd like to thank Chance for spending the time to help us get to know him better. To see more of Chance's work, check out his Instagram and stay tuned for Instagram Takeover in the near future.