Life Changes make a well rounded photographer.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”  ― Woody Allen

It has been so long since my last blog post! To help you remember who I am I thought I would take a moment to re-introduce myself and share a bit of my travels.

Some time ago I was trying to find my niche in photography. I tried my hand at pinup and boudoir with varying degrees of success. I did landscape and travel photography with an emphasis on "Fine Art" whatever that means... Then urban, street and abandoned places. Now I am here in the mountains of Colorado living with wolves and horses and documenting a lifestyle that many only ever get the chance to read about.

What a long strange trip it's been...
Working with models and photographing people in general I learned an amazing amount about light control, exposure, depth of field and focal points. Hours and days and months spent trying learn how to control shadows and light through man made light sources. Then how to best expose your images. Oh man... so much to learn. Then on to Photoshop... Learning to work with layers, edit skin tones, bring out shadows, fix hair, balance colors and still keep it looking realistic. There were definitely times I was more successful than others.
Working with man made light sources helps you in the long run....
It was through these learning processes that I learned my camera settings, learned how to visualize an image first and then get it. I learned how to improvise to meet the challenges brought on by changing surroundings and how to find be the best angle and lens combination to use on scenes to achieve what I wanted.

Tricia had seen an image similar to this and
wanted to do a shoot inspired by it
Julia in a window during her maternity shoot

Off camera strobes helped to light this scene while maintaining
 depth of field for rocks in the distance.
While working with models I met amazing artists of different sorts. I was able to work with hair and makeup artists, other photographers that are true masters of what they do. Printers and publishers, art directors and editors of many different publications.... I learned to surround myself with people that were passionate about what they did and lifted each other up to higher levels of their chosen craft.

I had just started to settle into my role as a "people" photographer and was dabbling a bit in landscape photography, though mostly only while out scouting locations in to which I could place people at a later date. 

I then saw this article in my local paper about this award winning photographer and was blown away - Read it here

I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I could ever get a shot like that. It was a couple years (roughly) after that article when I met Larry and not too long after that we were on multiple day road trips together with nothing more than our cameras and a seemingly endless supply of instant coffee and Cheetos. To this day I am always amazed at how effortlessly he makes photography look and am humbled by him.

I learned a lot from my travels with Larry. I graduated from viewing scenic landscapes with the intent of putting people in the foreground to finding natural formations for my foreground subjects. 

And then there were the stars....

Stars over Mount Jefferson Oregon by John Ramer Photography
Oh the stars.....

My experience in photographing people brought a depth to shooting landscape photography for me that was unexpected. Looking at shadows, judging light for foreground and background and working with modes and editing tools I had never thought of using previously.

Hug Point Oregon

 Seascapes quickly became an addiction. Chasing the light and tides were challenging and so very rewarding when you were able to place yourself in the right area at the right time.

Southern Oregon Coast Sunrise

As I became more and more involved with Landscapes and Seascapes my collection of camera gear expanded to allow me to obtain the results I began to visualize in my head... My portfolio became considerably better as my wallet became noticeably smaller.

Thunder Rock Oregon long exposure

Looking for reflections and lines in water as they constantly changed was as an exciting time for me as anything before!

Twin Rocks Oregon Sunset Reflection

Photographing the Oregon Coast was challenging and rewarding. I learned so very much while living there. I was set to try and make a living doing coastal travel photography and fashion/pinup and boudoir 

Then I moved....

When I moved inland I was faced with some tough decisions. Do I try and break into a hustling fashion scene? Work on trying to establish myself into an already saturated landscape/fine art market?

Branching into new directions is not an easy task... Looking at things entirely new again. 

Urban settings brought new levels of light control into my portfolio.

Finding new locations and learning new techniques in urban settings

Traveling around the city at night offers some exceptional viewpoints

Finding clubs and gatherings in larger cities can offer scenes like this one.

Local tourist attractions are a great way to hone your eye
 trying to photograph them in new and different ways.

Battling crowds at local festivities to try and capture a
moment is a great way to meet other photographers 

Street musicians can offer and energy to your photos that can
otherwise be difficult to capture

Burnside Skate Park in Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon Red Door Meet by John Ramer Photography
Street protest in Portland

Concert photography added a nice energy to my portfolio

One of the things that I failed to consider is the abandoned places I started to find while exploring urban areas... It was thrill seeking to find and explore places that were left empty for so long...

An abandoned warehouse in Portland Oregon

Empty rooms....

Street art makes its way indoors

Nobody is home

Dirty kitchen

Sleepy time

I never felt too at home in the city... Too many people and not enough personality. I missed feeling an intimate connection with my subjects... I developed friendships with the people I was photographing, I had a history with most of the landscapes I photographed. The urban scenes had a certain  energy though symbolized such waste and excess to me. My art was growing stagnant and I felt the lure of something far away...

I found it... in a big way.


Arrow howling at Mission: Wolf by John Ramer Photography

Arrows gaze at Mission: Wolf by John Ramer Photography

Farah at Mission: Wolf by John Ramer Photography

Illiamna at Mission: Wolf by John Ramer Photography

Max at Mission: Wolf by John Ramer Photography

I am currently living and working at Mission: Wolf. Photographing and documenting activities of the animals and humans here.

Much like my life, my photography has never stayed according to plan. Being able to improvise and adapt as new challenges and obstacles present themselves has been key to my evolving not only as a person but also a photographer.

So this post has ended up being a bit of a "Show and Tell" on my behalf. My goal is to share a bit of myself and  my background  Now as I have settled into my latest role I look forward to using my time to help teach what I know and share what I have learned.

If you like wolves or even just images of wolves please be sure to visit Mission: Wolf
From their website - 

"Mission:: Wolf is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational wolf sanctuary in the remote Colorado mountains. We focus on sustainability, operate on solar power, and build with recycled materials. Our community of volunteers from around the world invites you to visit us any day of the year or see our travelling ambassador wolf outreach program nationwide.

I cannot recommend supporting them enough. An animal sanctuary and nature center that really practices what they preach!

Until next time my friends!

John Ramer
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