Last year, pictureline partnered up with Zions Bank to sponsor a contest in which one very lucky photographer would have an image featured on the back of the Zions Bank Community Magazine, a periodical sent to over 53,000 Utah locals. To have your photography viewed by thousands of people is a dream many aspiring photographers long for, which is why the contest was a hit - and one very talented photographer is definitely ecstatic to have been named the winner! Congrats Chris!
"I've spent the last 7 years playing with cameras, nothing ever serious, until a move back to Utah ignited a new-found passion for photography. I questioned, 'How can you live in a place, surrounded by such beauty and not be inspired to share it with others through images?' At the time, I was shooting with a Nikon D90 and a simple kit lens, but I really wanted more. I had found a great deal on a brand-new Canon 5D Mark II which was my first foray into full-frame imagery. To be blunt - I was hooked.
Eventually, photography started to become a chore for me, focusing more on getting that perfect image instead of enjoying the places it was taking me. I needed to slow down, look around and take it all in. I wanted to simplify. There were many times I found myself in a place without my camera wishing I had had it, but I would leave it behind because it was too cumbersome, heavy and a chore to bring with me. I wanted something smaller, so with some hesitation, I traded my 5D Mark II for Sony's newest full-frame mirrorless camera, the a7R. It was exactly what I needed; small, non-imposing and I felt more inclined to carry it around with me.
For me, photography is about where it takes me, and since devoting my time to it, I've been so lucky to see so many amazing things, and meet really cool people. I'm personally drawn to landscape photography because of the beautiful places us landscape photographers chase, and the frequent solitude and quietness you find yourself surrounded by. Landscape photography can be incredibly frustrating at times; for example, I recently traveled to Iceland for the first time, transfixed by the endless stream of mind-blowing images I had seen from, "The Land of Fire and Ice." I was welcomed to the little island just south of the Arctic Circle with a week of rain and overcast skies - a photographic nightmare. I had to remind myself that it wasn't always about the end result or the beautiful image, but about the journey and personal adventure I was experiencing.
The image chosen for the Zions Bank Community Magazine was shot at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Northwestern Utah. I had been out there a few times before, but had never seen the salt textures that made the normally flat and monochromatic landscape, much more dynamic. The Salt Flats are ever-changing, sometimes they can be completely uninspiring and flat and other times flooded or full of texture. This particular night, they were full of texture and the clouds were shaping up for a spectacular sunset. The image was taken with (coincidentally enough) with a Canon 5D Mark II, Rokinon 14mm and I sat the camera on a Manfrotto tripod in order to get a 3-image bracket."