We had the pleasure to interview the photographer karie Sue. Recent winner of the contest “My favorite space” convened by VIEWBUG.
Karie Sue is an incredible photographer who photographs fantastic places in the united states.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in a small farm town nestled in the beautiful Palouse Hills of Washington State and later moved to Oklahoma where I now live and travel from. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a desire for creative expression, whether it be music, art, landscaping, etc. And now I have found a deep love of capturing travel and life moments with my camera.
How did you get interested in photography?
Following a very difficult 3-year illness, I began full-time business travel with my husband. I bought my first DSLR camera in 2013 and it became a wonderful tool, helping me focus on beautiful things and places that I would discover while traveling across the US. In a way, photography became a type of personal therapy, and I soon found myself setting out on a journey of seeing magical beauty all around me that I used to just pass by without noticing.
How would you define your general style photography?
I feel so incredibly grateful to have this constant opportunity to travel and experience so many gorgeous locations all across the US, both in cities and in nature. My general style would be considered “fine art, travel photography” or like a “visual diary” of both travel and life. However, my style is still evolving and I see it kind of like a stain-glassed window of multi-color hues with ever-changing light filtering through.
Describe your ideal photographic situation
The one thing I love more than anything is a scene with amazing golden, warm light… either early morning or late day during golden hour! I am a true “light chaser!” To me, light is more important than the scene itself! But to have that light coming across an epic view in nature, like a rocky canyon or gorgeous green valley or even a flower covered coastline is a dream come true! I am truly a fan of seeing God’s artwork found in nature being on display with gorgeous light!
Your images are deeply personal. When and how did you first begin using photography to process your life experiences?
I have always longed to connect the human and the natural elements, and believe these connections spark reactions that tend to bring out the best of both. I firmly believe these places were made for us, and us for them. They change us, they make us wonder, they lead us to ask questions. I long to see change and be changed.
It was actually my Mom who suggested that I add myself in the frame, facing away from the camera and into the scene in order to make the images more personal and bring a human and personal element into it.
What, in your opinion, is the most important to consider while shooting landscape pictures?
I believe composition, camera angle and light are three of the most important things to consider when shooting landscape images. And also looking for leading lines or foreground details will help guide the viewer’s eye on a journey through the unique story of the place, time, and subject(s) captured by the image.
Would you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?
One of the most important things I consider as essential is to carry a tripod with me everywhere! Even if it is just a small one that packs easily.
I usually plan around weather, time of day, and lighting conditions. It’s also important to be aware of colors or type of apparel for locations so it doesn’t compete with the beauty of the natural scene, but blends in and compliments it.
I tend to shoot a lot of self-portraits with my back facing the camera. I have found it gives the viewer opportunity to experience the view as if they were sitting there instead of me.
One extremely important thing to mention is…PLEASE, consider safety guidelines for yourself, your camera, and for others when shooting. A carefully-planned angle creates an illusion or perspective which produces the dramatic effect of appearing to be “on the edge,” but without the unnecessary risk of being anywhere near the edge of a cliff.
We are talking about postproduction process. How do you get to the final result?
I like to first open a photo in Adobe Lightroom, adjusting tones, colors, light and contrast. I then open it in photoshop and complete the process and sometimes add an Orton effect or some actions. I do use dodge and burn to bring out more depth in image. But I usually try to stay away from over-editing and compositing with my work. (that being said, experimenting with that is still fun!)… I always desire to bring out the best in my photos while still keeping them as real as possible.
What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I plan to keep taking images that tell a story, to keep traveling, and keep creating!
I have also been working on a personal project. I’ve now been to all 50 State Capitols in the US and found ways to shoot each one in my own unique style, hopefully to make the images more interesting. I also did interviews with many people while at each Capitol, to help reveal the character and charm of each State. It was so fun and I met amazing people along that journey. I am excited about launching a new blog/website to those images and this project very soon!
Finally, can you tell us about your personal experience in the VIEWBUG contests?
I definitely am hooked on entering VIEWBUG contests! It keeps me going forward and inspired by others too. Every time I have had an image featured, win an award or become a finalist… it encourages me to keep shooting, creating and thinking of fresh ways to shoot and keep learning more.