How would describe your work?
My photography has been a way of exploring where I live, and exploring where I travel when I have the opportunity to do so. In the last four years Ive moved three times, and photography has come out of getting to know my new surroundings each time.
What is your favorite subject to take photos of?
I would have trouble identifying only one favourite subject. I love being challenged to capture the beauty of different regions. I often hear complaints about the drive through the Saskatchewan prairie, but Ive found some beautiful landscapes there. I grew up in the QuAppelle Valley in Saskatchewan, a lush river oasis cutting through the stark flatness of the Canadian prairie. Growing up in that environment has given me an appreciation for the contrasting beauty of different ecosystems. Ive been blessed with the opportunity to live in and photograph the Canadian west coast, the Canadian Rockies, and the Prairie Provinces. Each of these areas has a distinct beauty all its own.
What is the most challenging thing about shooting landscapes?
Landscapes are the easiest and the most difficult subjects to shoot. They dont generally move much, so I can go back if Im not happy with my shot because the landscape is still there. However, the static nature of a landscape demands that I somehow see it in a new way, either by finding a new perspective, or catching the scene in different weather or light. The great thing about trying to find these new perspectives is that I discover places that I would never otherwise find.
What are your goals for your own photography career?
I would like to branch into portraiture at some point. Everyone has a story to tell, and I want to learn how to share peoples stories through photography. However, I dont think that I will ever be able to stop taking landscape shots. I am passionate about the beauty of local landscapes. I hope to find new ways to celebrate where I live with the people around me through photography.
Who/what inspires you and why?
Landscapes, landscapes, landscapes. I love to see new places. That inspires me. Freeman Patterson once said in an interview, If you have a boot fetish, photograph boots until youre sick of them or until you become so good at it that footwear manufacturers and fashion houses come knocking on your door - be who you are! My fetish is landscapes, and Im not sick of them yet. There are a lot of good landscape photographers out there, but I try to follow the local photographers. For inspiration, I would encourage any photographer to become a part of a photography community, whether that be a photo club, or just taking opportunity to rub shoulders with the photographers near you.
How were you initially introduced to Lensbaby lenses, and how do you use them in your photography to help realize your vision? differentiate your work?
I first purchased a Lensbaby three years ago, after moving to Surrey, BC. I saw a few examples of Lensbaby photos on Flickr, and saw right away that the Lensbaby could add a new dimension to landscape photography. In my opinion, landscape photography isnt always about one particular focal point or singular subject, but about how the elements in the frame work together to create a cohesive scene. The Lensbaby allows me to make some of the elements in the frame a little quieter, making room for the element I want to feature. And, of course, the Edge 80 optic is great for capturing landscapes in a tilt-shift-style. Lensbaby lenses have really helped me to see landscape photography in a new way.
Share an interesting (PG-rated) interesting fact/story about yourself that is not directly related to photography but has shaped who you are as a person and artist.
I grew up as a musician in a family of musicians. The arts have always been an important part of my life. I pursued music as a career for a few years when I was young, and I have watched my brothers do the same. There is not a lot of money in music for the majority of those who pursue it full-time, and often the audience is fickle and fleeting. However, through this experience Ive learned that the arts play a vital role in self-discovery, in celebration of who we are individually and corporately, and in exercising a perspective of gratitude for being alive. The arts can help to give expression to what defines us when simple words are not enough.
Find Patrick Kelly on Flickr here.