I wrote this back. . .

1. Why is photography important?

Each person who answers that question would answer a little differently but for me photography is important because it takes you to places you’ve never been. I love almost any photo that is older than 50 years because I like to feel like I have glimpse into the past. I like to think about how my photos will be viewed in 50-100 years. And when I am shooting something like a waterfall I can print that and put it one my wall. I can’t go to my favorite waterfalls everyday but I can look at the picture anytime.

2. What captures the viewers’ attention?

Bold color or contrast. Smiles, beautiful eyes.

3. What are the traits of a good photo?

There are a million ways to take a good photo. For me the best have an honest feeling– something true to them. I guess I’m not too interested in photoshop for that reason. Also– I love photos that have a good yin yang feel– some parts sharp, some out of focus.

4. What are tips to keep in mind while in the field?

When you are out shooting just have fun with it and don’t let anything stifle your creativity. Shoot from every angle. Interact with the subjects. Look for great light. If you see something you like while you are driving around pull over.

5. What makes a photo memorable?

Catching a fleeting moment is always memorable. Also– zooming in on a detail that would otherwise go unnoticed can lead to a memorable photo.

6. How does each setting/feature of a camera affect a picture?

With a camera there are really two main settings that affect your work– aperture and shutter speed.

I always recommend getting yourself a lens with a wide aperture like a 50mm 1.8 (about $100). That way you can see what it’s like to have blurry backgrounds. You can also go the other way and set your camera at it’s smallest aperture and experiment with extremely sharp photos.

Shutter speed is another way to get unusual effects. Set your camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed to 10 second at night and notice the blur of moving objects.

Or set your shutter speed to 1000th of a second and take pictures of water drop suspended in air.