Honorable Mention Aug-Tim Grey, Landscape Photographer

Our Honorable mention for August goes to Tim Grey who we met through Twitter. His bio caught our eye when it mentioned “Currently serving in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Japan. I enjoy recording my travels one capture at a time”. We thought we’d contact this inspiring photographer who serves his country and uses his time to capture and record his travels across Japan, a beautiful country in itself. We hope you enjoy his passion and that it inspires you to great things as well!

Mt. Aso II_Honorable Mention Tim Grey

1. Tell us about yourself and how you landed in Japan?

My real name is Tim Grey, I am from the northern part of the state of Idaho in the USA.  A very beautiful place settled in the rocky mountains. Currently, I live in Japan with my beautiful wife Tabitha, and annoying dog Ryu.

I joined the United States Navy five years ago, mostly to pay for school and travel the world. My first duty station ended up being not to far from home in the state of Washington on Whidbey Island. A very beautiful place when the sun showed its face. I worked there as a aviation electronics technician on navigation and communication equipment for about 3 years before receiving orders to be stationed in Sasebo, Japan on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

2. Where did your passion for photography start?

Well for many years I enjoyed graphic design and photo editing but really never had picked up a camera. After receiving orders to Japan, I knew that I would be deploying out to sea and get to explore many countries. I figured if I was going to live in Japan and deploying to different countries that I should have a nice camera. I decided that I wanted to pick up a DSLR. As I do with most technology, I like to completely understand it as to get the most use from it.

So instead of picking up a entry level DSLR I went for mid range and purchased the Canon 60D with a 18-135mm kit lens. I then proceeded to the book store and purchased 3 thick books. The mix of technical and artistic elements of photography grabbed me immediately and I began soaking up as much information as could. That was a little over a year ago. Since then I have been developing my passion by recording my travels one capture at a time.

View from Fuji_Honorable Mention Tim Grey

3. How does the military life contribute to your photography?

The main way the military contributes is letting me travel to so many different places. Traveling really lets me see so much and gives me so many things to shoot. Just in the past year I have been to South Korea, Indonesia,  Philippines, and Japan where i live now.

4. Your favorite kind of photography?

I really do enjoy all types of photography. It is all very enthralling to me but if I were to pick a favorite I would have to say landscape photography. Something about capturing vast and unending views of what nature has to offer really intrigues me.

5. Your favorite photo thus far?

I took this photograph at Glacier National Park in Montana at the end of a dock on Lake McDonald. The mountains in this photo are 13 miles (20km) away .This photo was really I think what got me into landscape photography. I took this in the morning when while the lake was calm and everything was quiet. It’s hard not to appreciate a view like this. When I saw this I immediately got that itch and knew I had to capture this.
Tim Grey Honorable Mention

6.What kind of photography equipment do you use?

I am still using my Canon 60D body but really would like to upgrade to a full frame sensor eventually. As for lenses, I have a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f/1.8, and a Sigma 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye. My workhorse lens would have to be my Tokina as I love to shoot wide. I have a assortment of filters I like to use including a B+W CPL and a B+W 10-stop ND.

7. Any tips for aspiring photographers?

Don’t give up. Be persistent in your learning experience. As with many skills, the more you work at it and train your eye, the more natural it will come. At the same time have fun with it, you will learn much faster if you are enjoying yourself. Explore and shoot things that intrigue you.
Avalanche Lake_Honorable Mention Tim Grey

8. What advice would you give for landscape photographers? 

Try to add a focal point when shooting landscapes as they are an important in keeping your photograph interesting while it is being viewed. This can range from a boulder to a building. Practice the rule of thirds to draw the eye in immediately to you focal point. Having a good foreground also can help give feeling of depth and perspective.

The best light to shoot in for landscape is usually dusk or dawn when it is a golden color, but don’t let this limit your creativity. When i shoot in the day I always use a circular polarizer filter to create scenes that are crisper with deeper color tones and contrast. For sunsets/sunrises I would recommend a graduated neutral density filter so that your sunset/sunrise isn’t overexposed. Don’t always think a cloudy, overcast day isn’t a good day for landscapes. Use this to create a mood to your shots. The reduced light is also great for shoot long exposures.

Setting your aperture to small can result in a loss of image quality. So before throwing your aperture to f/22, look up the resolution chart for your unique lens and try to get maximum edge sharpness. Remember that different focal lengths on your lens will have different edge sharpness results. For example my Tokina 11-16mm lens when at 11mm has the best edge sharpness at f/11, but when I zoom in to 16mm it is at f/16.

For shooting long exposures a sturdy tripod will keep your camera still, but when you go to push the shutter down on your camera you create unwanted movement. Investing in a remote shutter is a must.

9. Anything else you’d like to add?

Just something to think about: When you take a photo, you record a moment in time. Although maybe sometimes similar, never again will that exact moment be possible to record, because it has already passed.


If you would like to know more about Tim Grey then you can contact him on the following links:
Deviantart: Tim Grey
Flickr: Zeniel
Twitter: TimmyGrey
Thank you Tim for the interview, all of the best for you and your photographic and military career!

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Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators,Game Developers and VFX artists in South Africa.

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