EWW: Wayne, what photographer, past or present, has been an inspiration to you and your work and why?
Wayne: Trey Ratcliff, known publicly as “Stuck in Customs”, was one of my huge early photographic influences. I saw his work early in the days of flickr.com and his style of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captured my imagination and helped me to see what was possible with modern photography. Also, I believe he’s a software engineer like me so our minds seem to work somewhat similarly and our selection of subjects can be similar. For example, in the early days, he was traveling the world for Google and he would go to all the amazing historic churches and museums around the world and capture them in their entire architectural splendor. I have been building to be a Travel Landscape and Architecture photographer ever since.
EWW: Excluding subject matter, what are the themes, in terms of style, that consistently run from one work to the other such as colors, perspective, lighting, movement, style, etc.?
Wayne: If I had infinite money and infinite time I would be traveling the world capturing the most glorious places our world has to offer. I would be capturing these scenes during the best lighting times of the day. So working hard during morning or evening light, doing my best to capture glorious sunrises and sunsets at these locations. I tend to use brilliant colors brilliant colors and lighting that make you sit up and take notice. My pictures tend to make people say wow.
EWW: Your work features 4 galleries on your website: architecture; Black and White; Cityscapes; and landscapes. Do you have one gallery that inspires you more than the others? Why?
Wayne: The one gallery that captures my attention more and more would be the landscape gallery. My intention is to become more and more of a world Traveler. I want to show up at the most glorious places around the world and capture the images that people dream up. I want to make people want to travel but if they can’t they will be able to enjoy these mesmerizing places through the incredible beauty that I have captured.
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EWW: How do you decide that an image should be in color or in black and white?
Wayne: This is a fun question because the answer can be somewhat complex. First of all, I generally have a good idea even before I capture the image if it will make a great black and white image. You can tell by the shapes and the range of contrast in the image if it will make an interesting black and white image. But believe it or not, sometimes I’m wrong. So I actually use social media to ask my audience what is their response to the color or the black and white image and sometimes the response blows me away.
For the most part only the most artsy of artsy people love black and white. The larger part of our population is naturally inclined to appreciate color images. So when you produce an image and have a color version and a black and white version, display it to your audience and find out that the audience prefers black and white you know you’ve hit a Black and White homerun. An example being the Weisman Art museum University of Minnesota
So the final answer is I use social media to ask my audience and I experiment.
EWW: Wayne, what comments would others make about your work?
Wayne: People frequently comment about the huge range of colors in my images. They often tell me that my images look like paintings or fine art. That is, of course, a huge compliment to me.
They comment about the joy and image produces in them. One of my close followers has told me recently that my style has changed recently to be more bright and joyful. There is some truth to that because I am purposely looking for the most beautiful glorious places on earth. I want people to see the Glory of God through the incredible beauty of his creation. That is my mission.
They also comment about wishing to be in the location that the scene is set in. I guess that is a very good thing if one is moving more and more towards being a travel photographer.
EWW: What comments would you make about your work?
Wayne: I have two types of comments for my own work. The first is when I’m so happy that I captured exactly what I had in mind and works out just perfectly and I’m so overjoyed.
My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture, I take action. The result is images that deeply touch a person’s emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams.
Light is always the magic ingredient that makes for a great image so if I am going to be photographing a landscape, cityscape or some architecture I also need to plan for the perfect light. That means watching weather conditions, knowing where the sun is going to be and then finally watching for clouds, smoke, haze or other conditions that will make an image powerful and unique.
There are times where is makes sense to just be ready for that opportunity when amazing conditions come even when I was not expecting them. The bottom line is planning and flexibility makes
for the best opportunities to capture amazing images. So I have learned to always be ready with all of the needed equipment to capture that image that I have been planning for so long.
The second type of comment is when you capture something that you weren’t even imagining. In those situations, I’m totally blown away and I’m so glad I went out working to capture what popped into my mind that day.
EWW: What do you see, or have experienced, as the most effective way for you to market and promote you and your work?
Wayne: I Am Naturally an online person so social media Works exceedingly well for me. Years ago when I was just beginning I was just placing my images on flickr.com and then people started contacting me to see if they could license and image. So being very prolific out in the social media World help spread the word very well and is allowed other people to spread the word for you.
Secondly though which is equally as important is to find local art dealers that have a sales staff that are selling directly into companies. Build relationships with these companies both by offering your products to them but also by acting exceedingly professional delivering your images quickly pricing them consistently just overall working like a professional.
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EWW: From what I can gather, you do use social media platforms. Which social media platform do you find to be the most successful for you?
Wayne: Yes, it is true I’m a huge social media proponent. It gives you access to audiences that you may have had no idea it existed. That being said the most important thing is actually your website and your blog. You have to have a great website and you have to be creating great content on your blog. Then, you can be sharing that content on all the social media platforms of your choice. My favorites are Pinterest, twitter, and Instagram. Instagram is my absolute favorite. It allows you to build an incredibly large diverse audience of supportive encouraging and buying contacts. Social media gives you a way to build trust with your audience as they get to know both you and your work. You have to be personal in the social media realm so that people really are getting to know you and it makes buying art from you a very easy step. I love Social Media!
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview. Do you have any final thoughts about you and your work, which you think would be important for others to know about?
Wayne: I am in a transitionary point in life where my wife and I are now empty-nesters and time and money will be freed up so we will have more and more opportunities to be traveling the world engaging in our passion for traveling and capturing that beauty. I look forward to the amazing Beauty that’s going to be captured over the next few years. And I look forward to sharing the beauty with the viewers but I also will be sharing my knowledge with students as we go along this next phase…