Featured Artist: Interview with Chad Berryhill
While there are many styles of painting, so goes the styles of photography. Chad Berryhill’s eye catching light painting and HDR photography makes viewers wonder how he achieved his results.
1. How did you get your start in photography?
My professional start came in 2009. Lanny Dean, owner of Extreme Chase Tours, hired me as their lead guide/photographer/
videographer. He has been a professional photographer/videographer for 20 years and has been my mentor. I have to say what an amazing way to kick-start my photography career — running all over the Great Plains, viewing Mother Nature’s raw power. Everyone that has lived in Oklahoma long enough knows what springtime weather is like, and people from all over the world come to experience it.
2. What do you shoot with & what software do you use?
Believe it or not, I shoot with a Nikon D5000; Lenses: Nikkor 35mm, Nikkor 18-55mm, Nikkor 55-200mm, Sigma 10-20mm. The software used is: Adobe CS5, Nik HDR Pro, Topaz Labs Suite.
3. Share about your attraction to light painting and how does yours stand out from others.
My Light Painting (LP) attraction is its pure unlimited imagination and focus. You have to compose the shot in your mind and then accomplish that vision on an invisible canvas. The amounts of tools (light sources) are endless, from a flashlight to poi balls. You can also fabricate your own light source. LP is something the whole family participates in too. I have turned kids lose with glow sticks and have come out with some neat shots.
LP is great exercise too; in the photo below, my wife and I were throwing glow sticks around.
This one had me using both arms and legs at the same time.
4. What is your objective when you are manipulating photos/ what do you want viewers to experience when seeing your work?
Wow factor, attention to detail and just becoming lost in the photo. I want to produce a photo that reaches out and grabs you — a photo that makes you says, whoa!
5. Can you share about the editing process?
Sure! The beauty of LP and the new movement/practice is SOOC (straight out of camera). That means no Photoshop except to add a watermark and enter the file data. All of my LP shots are SOOC and one single exposure; I do not stack photos either.
HDR (high dynamic range) on the other hand is totally opposite from LP. First, I shoot three different exposures. My camera comes with a bracketing mode. It allows me to bracket up and down two stops. I am finding out that less is more. When I have a lot of light, I just bracket at one stop up and down so the first shot is neutral and the next two shots, the camera will auto adjust the stops from neutral.
After shooting my three photos, I open Adobe Bridge and take them straight into Nik software to stack and apply the HDR filter. I spend a lot of time here. Nik HDR has a ton of presets, and you can tweak the presets. On the other hand, you do not have to use any of the presets and edit full on. I have a few presets that I love and go to them first. Then, I do a little tweaking to make it my own.
If I am satisfied with the outcome, I will take the photo into Topaz Denoise5. All most all HDR’s have noise once you stack them and apply the process and Denoise5 is a wonderful tool to take out noise.Here is my most recent and favorite HDR photograph. I took this while the sun was high in the sky and did not have the option to wait for better lighting:
6. Is your focus more on the actual shot taken or how you manipulate the shot?
That depends, if I am shooting LP, it is how the shot is taken (composed). I do not always know when I will shoot HDR. I always have it in the back of my mind, and if I see something, I will give it a try. Not all subjects or scenes make for a great HDR.
7. Where can your work be seen?
chadberryhillphotography.com and the website is a work in progress. I had to build the website with three different sets of code and it shows!
8. What are some of you career highs so far?
Anytime someone tells me they are an admirer of my work. There is no better feeling. I will never get used to that.