Liquid Dreams – Jennifer Lehman

I stumbled across Jennifer Lehman’s pictures the other day and really liked them. I thought it would be good to find out a bit more about them and her methods. So I did. And here it is.

The Fading Sea

How did you first get into photography?
I started digital photography a few years ago when I needed an inexpensive hobby. I love to explore the outdoors. I thought it might add another dimension to my trips to start documenting them for myself and then sharing the sights with friends and family. I bought a small point and shoot camera and started taking it with me to the parks, mountains, and gardens. Over time I began to focus more and more on looking for things to photograph and practicing framing and perspective. Later I was given an entry level DSLR (Canon RebelXS) as a present. I did my best to learn all the functions and software and to try to take some quality photos to share in honor of the thoughtful gift.

Where is your fav place to take photos?
My favorite place nearby to take photos regularly is the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. It’s a wonderful park along the Delaware River on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is filled with tall forests, large waterfalls, pretty wooden walkways, and abandoned historic farm buildings. I am in awe of the damage to that area caused by recent storms and floods, especially Hurricane Irene and the heavy October snowstorm. A great deal of the huge park is closed or detoured now because of the tremendous amount of fallen trees, dangerous hanging branches, broken bridges and washed out trails and roads. The power of nature is astonishing.

How do you get the shimmering effect on water?
Well, if you find some shimmering water in daylight, you can freeze the effect with a very fast shot. At night you can use a long exposure(slow shutter) to bring out shiny light reflections on the water’s surface. For waterfalls and creeks I prefer to try for a softer, flowing look.

Dream Boat

What is your fav camera?
The new Canon EOS 7D I was given for my birthday. It seems to work beautifully for landscapes and colorful night photographs. It does so well with balancing high and low tones that I haven’t had the need so far to use blended multiple exposures to even out the light in a scene. I sometimes get a chance to borrow the Canon EOS 5D MarkII and I think that camera is a real treat to use.

Jennifer LehmanIs there anywhere you would like to take pictures of?
I guess I could think up some exotic location in another country, but lately I have been dreaming of returning to Maine in the Spring to photograph the coast and Acadia National Park. My boyfriend and I met through photography and it has been great to share the same hobby. It would be amazing to pack up our equipment and travel together to explore the great National and State Parks in the western US. The alien looking landscape of Death Valley in particular really catches my interest.

Do you do much post production on your photos?
I always adjust my photos. I never call them finished straight out of the camera. I think part of the fascination with digital photography is to be able to add my own subtle or unsubtle touches to the scenes. It is just my personal choice, but I never use HDR/blends/layers and quite rarely add only slight textures and vignettes. The amount of other alterations depends on the subject and the atmosphere of the photo and the desired effect.

I do try to avoid things that strike me as cheesy or cliché though, and generally lean more towards classical looks to suit my taste. I will crop, rotate, smooth, or clone any image if it seems to need it. I have a lot of fun with software.

What tips do you have for taking a good photograph?
One basic tip for landscape photography I suppose is just to use a good tripod. They can feel a bit bulky to carry around in the outdoors, but the stability helps prevent blur and gives you more options to adjust and control the light in your image. It also helps a lot to have a few basic filters for your lens, such as a circular polarizer.

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As far as subject matter, I would suggest taking photos of things that really interest you and capture your imagination. Share something of yourself and how you feel about your subject through your photos. I think the best advice I have been given is that if your photos don’t look pretty to you, go stand yourself in front of something prettier. A great location can make a huge difference.

Photos copyright ©2012 Jennifer Lehman
You can see more of Jennifer’s pictures HERE

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