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Interview with Featured Flickr Photographer Randy Herbert

Every month in our Photography newsletter, we feature the work of a new photographer who has contributed to our Photography Newsletter Flickr group. This month, we chose the photo Vibrant Gallardia by Texas based photographer Randy Herbert.

Peachpit: What inspired you to take this shot?

Randy: My wife was busy planting flowers in the garden this year and several of the plants had incredibly vibrant colors.  I'm in the middle of my second 365 project and the garden became the inspiration for several pictures over the summer.  On days when I don't have the time or am just not inspired to go searching for a photo, the garden always presents great opportunities to keep the project going.  I really liked the bright colors of this particular flower so it was an easy choice.

Peachpit: Camera settings?

Randy: This picture was taken with a Nikon D700 and 24-70 f2.8 lens.  The other settings are ISO 200, 70mm, f9.0, 1/500.  The shot was taken hand held and fortunately it was a day with little wind.  I always shoot in RAW format for maximum flexibility in post-processing.

Peachpit: Post-processing?

Randy:  I did all processing in Adobe Lightroom 3, starting with a simple square crop.  I wanted the flower to fill the screen so I wanted to crop it tight, about 50% from the full size.  Additional processing included a tweak to the white balance, then adjustments to black clipping (+2), Contrast (+20), and Clarity (+24).  It was fairly quick to process taking around 15 minutes.


Peachpit: Matte or glossy?

Randy: I do almost all prints in a matte finish.  I don't really like the glare of glossy prints; although I do enjoy at times printing with metallic finish because it makes the colors so vibrant.  I am very selective with this finish in an effort to avoid overuse.

Peachpit: Who or what inspires you?

Randy: I have been active on Flickr for the past two years and often find inspiration on a daily basis.  I have grown tremendously just by observing what other photographers do.  By studying pictures and the settings (when available), I often work to replicate the images that I like as a learning experience.  Flickr can be very addicting and I can easily lose myself for a couple of hours just browsing from one photographer to another.  In doing this, I have been inspired by many photographers there.  One of the first that I discovered was Dustin Diaz, who brought a very unique approach to his 365 and has a style that I would like to emulate much more in my photography.  A close friend of mine is fairly new to photography, but has an incredibly creative mind and comes up with some great shots.  You should check out Annabelle's photostream.

I enjoy landscape and urban photography and have a very long list of cities and landmarks that I want to visit simply for the photographic opportunities.  I have yet to plan a vacation purely around photography, but I'm not far away.  Although I enjoy going out and taking pictures with others, I treasure the times when I'm out by myself, typically with my iPod on, walking around and looking for inspiration.

I find it incredibly satisfying and humbling when others tell me that I have inspired them.  I have several friends who started 365 projects this year and claimed that I was the one to inspire them.  It has been so encouraging watching others, especially my own boys and their friends, get into photography and develop some exceptional skills.  I am amazed at the creativity of our youth today and look forward to watching them grow.

Peachpit: Who are you? Where can we find you online?

Randy: I am an engineer by profession, but have an incredible passion for photography.  I am based out of the Dallas area and have recently made my way into senior photography.  My son was a senior last year and I was surprised when the parents of his friends starting asking to hire me to take their senior pictures.  I am the official photographer of the Garland High School marching band and really enjoy attending the games and capturing the moments for these kids and their parents.

I am hoping very soon to establish an official web presence for my photography.  For now, I can be found on Flickr or Facebook.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in your newsletter and share my thoughts on photography.

Do you have a newsletter-worthy image to share?  Post it in our Photography Newsletter Flickr group, and you might just see it in the next issue!