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James Shadle's Blog

Photography is like a box of chocolate.

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Photography, nature photography in particular, is a lot like "natural Prozac". If you will allow yourself to get just a little lost in your "art", you will feel how rewarding and refreshing an experience it can be! Itís a natural way to recharge your Serotonin levels!

Millions worldwide feel the same way I do and are spending quality time afield with family and friends.

Nature photography has afforded me the opportunity better appreciate my Creator and His creation. It has also allowed me to observe and record places, things and events, I otherwise would have missed. Through photography I have also forged friendships and business relationships; I hope to maintain the rest of my life.

Once upon a time, being published in magazines like National Geographic Adventure, Popular Photography, Shutterbug, National Wildlife (to name just a few) or getting my first cover was just a dream. Itís no longer a dream, it is now a reality.

For many of my first years here on planet Earth, I assumed, that because I couldnít draw (not even flies) or paint, I couldnít be or wasn't "creative and/or artistic". Fortunately I was wrong.

Photography has become the creative outlet I never thought I possessed. Photography is art, and it is my art and passion.

Photography allows me to express emotion, to tell a story (a picture is worth a thousand words) or to "paint pictures" with light. I have felt the emotional impact that well crafted images by me and others can deal out. There are times that I have consciously set out to create an image with emotional impact, other times I must do it subconsciously. I say that because there are times I don't feel the impact until I sit down to review my images.

Through my art, I have the ability to express myself in ways that frankly, would be hard for me to do verbally (For those who know me, the fact that I might have a hard time verbalizing anything will seem absurd).

When I choose to, I can express overt or subtle messages with my photography. Sometimes the message I intend to send with an image can be complicated. Other times it can be as simple as "isn't this cool or pretty" or "check out what I can do"

A photograph should be, can be, and if you work hard enough, will be, what you want seen, not necessarily what you saw.

To create an image, and express what you want the viewer see, not necessarily what you saw, and to convey your message (as opposed to simply taking a snap shot) you must be in control. And unlike in the old TV show the "Outer Limits", we are "in control" of the creative process. We can control the light, the angle of view, the depth of field, the perspective and many other variables that help us create an image that will express our message. In order to exercise these "creative controls" and produce images we will be proud of, we must first learn some photographic principles and rules.

Rule Number 1: There are no rules! There are however, some principles and guidelines that in my opinion will allow you to create pleasing images, which in turn allows you to create your art.

Like all art, the quality of a photograph is very subjective. You must understand, photography is like a box of chocolate, (Iím not going where you think) some people like the soft centers, others donít, some like the nutty centers and again others donít.
But just about everybody loves something in that box. What is the common denominator? Chocolate! Most people will agree that chocolate is the common delicious denominator in the "box of chocolate"; most people will also agree that there are certain universal elements needed to make a photograph Ďdelicious".

It is my job as a workshop conductor and photography instructor to give my clients the recipe and instructions necessary to make their own metaphoric box of chocolate. It is completely up to them to make the chocolates centers taste the way they want them to taste.

My workshops are "designed" to cover not just the basics, and I mean basics (how to hold a camera) but also help my clients with the some of the most advanced techniques used in Nature and Wildlife Photography.

I am a very visual learner and visual person in general, so it should come as no surprise that my style of teaching is visual as well. My teaching style coupled with very small groups and one of a kind workshop locations will prove to be a unique learning experience, a learning experience that will have you out making beautiful images in the shortest amount of time possible.

New photographers will avoid the entire trial and error process one normally goes through learning a new art. And I'm sure an old dog can learn a few new tricks. Photographers with more experience may just add a new tool or two to their bag of tricks.
It is my pleasure to help "draw" out the inner artist in you!

Shoot Early and Shoot Often,
James Shadle
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Updated 07-29-2010 at 01:22 AM by James Shadle



  1. Gyorgy Szimuly's Avatar
    Any image file on this page is missing. Only the blue square with the white question mark is visible.

  2. James Shadle's Avatar
    How does it look now?
  3. Sabyasachi Patra's Avatar
    Why the image is appearing as a thumbnail?

  4. 's Avatar
    Sorry James I can only see an invalid link.

    Cheers Chris
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