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Friday, March 09, 2007

P&P Blogger Profile: Clayton Spangler

Clayton Spangler of The C Spot and www.ClaytonSpangler.com

I've been shooting for a little over 20 years; I started out by shooting illustrative images for books. I was also a studio portrait photographer for a while (at another company) and honed my skills with lighting, technical skills and working under tight deadlines. I became a digital lab manager for the same company (different division) and was involved with the nuts and bolts of working with the commercial lab side of the business.

I think this was an important step in my photographic education. I got to meet and see some of the best photographers and their work. Some had a great influence over my work as it stands today.

I now work with a company called Photographic Production Services as a Certified Photographic Consultant. Seeing what a great lab is capable of and knowing how the end product is made is key to getting the best results for my own work. I also own my own company called Clayton Spangler Photographic Design (www.claytonspangler.com)

I belong to several different professional organizations; the Professional Photographers of WV, Professional Photographers of America, the Society of Photo Finishing Engineers, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, as well as the Society for Certified Photographic Consultants. This allows me to keep up on the ever changing world of photography as well as trends.

I have been privileged in being a speaker and instructor with several workshops and trade shows over the past few years. I enjoy this as much as the students and participants - it pushes me to keep creating and learning - to stay "relevant”.

Why do you blog?
Since my website is more “portfolio oriented”, I need an outlet to talk about things that aren’t always “business related” I want to share; to just connect with people who are interested in some of the same things I am. Blogging is a cool way to do that.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, which ones would they be?
That’s an easy one-
On Location with Rick Lee-he is one of the most prolific and creative guys I know. David Honl – A photographer who lives in Istanbul and has great insights on a lot of subjects and situations. And although this isn’t technically a “blog”, the whattheduck.net website by Aaron Johnson- is my favorite -Way too funny! (plus he updates his comic strip everyday)

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
So long I don’t remember (laughs) – I think around Adobe 4.5

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
I shoot primarily with Canon digital cameras and equipment.
Although I’ve been seen shooting with some pretty cool Fuji cameras a time or two.

Mac or PC?
PC – but don’t hold that against me! I can speak MAC

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
Does the Video Ipod count? I LOVE that thing! It’s my portable entertainment system away from home when I travel. I watch my movies and videos, listen to music; I’ve even done impromptu slide presentations on it.

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
One of those cool softboxes they use to light up car shots with – about as big as a garage and they cost twice as much! Of course then I’d have to have a studio big enough to hang it…

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
Learn the basics; crawl before you try to walk, that sort of thing. Digital has made photographers of us all, but not all of us photographers. If you can’t work the camera to get the best results possible -but have to rely on the camera to tell you what to do - then your personal vision will not take place, nor be communicated effectively. A photographer has to have a clarity of vision, a passion for the craft. Be able to MAKE a picture instead of just TAKE a picture. You have to be a story teller with every shot, or the idea fails.

What inspires you to create?

Light – I see light and shadows like some people hear music. It makes me want to be a part of it. I connect to how light and shadow forms shape and textures; and I am driven to capture the images I see running round in my head.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Balance –Don’t forget about the important people in your life, other things beside photography that need to be taken care of. It’s so easy to forget that too. I am the kind of person that can be out driving somewhere and will say “Oooh, let me stop and make a quick photo of that interesting (insert person/tree/brook/scenic/ here) – the lights almost right!” and then an hour later I’m still not done. Trust me You may enjoy the moment, but the person beside you may get a little tired of the indulgence.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
Near the ocean – I was born near one. Although I love the mountains around here (WV).

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like riding my motorcycle. I have a “crotch rocket” as they call it, and I love the winding roads around here!

What talent would you most like to have?

To be able to play classical guitar.

Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Happy
What is your least favorite word? Boring
What turns you on? My wife
What turns you off? Inconsiderate people
What sound or noise do you love? The wind blowing
What sound or noise do you hate? People yelling at each other
What is your favorite curse word? Rat Fuck Bastard
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? An expedition leader to somewhere /anywhere
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Telemarketer
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Come on in! I’ve got some people I’d like you to meet…

*Note: If you would like to participate in the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with your blog's URL and he will send you a profile to fill out. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting.