Shooting With The Masters – William Neill – Interview Part Three, Four and Five

January 20, 2016 ·

Kevin Raber
Spring-storm1986
Photo By William Neill

For a long time I have wanted to do a continuing series about well-known photographers and how they approach their craft. My concept was to shoot with respected contemporary photographers and through conversations, both in the field and afterward, learn more about their history, success and philosophy toward their craft.

We continue with the Masters Series with William Neill.  William is a frequent contributor on LuLa as well as a regular writer for Outdoor Photographer.  Two years ago I asked William to join us on a LuLa Antarctica trip where I got to chat with him and watch how he approached that particular environment.  William has shared a number of those images with our readers in a recent article, Antarctica Dreams.  It was on this trip that I hatched the idea of doing this series.

Several months later Chris Sanderson and I caught up with William and spent five days with him in Yosemite Valley and surrounding locations.   We were challenged with brilliant blue skies and sunny days—not my favorite light to shoot in. It was a valuable experience to see how William met these challenges.

In this 8-part video series you’ll watch William and I photograph a number of locations and discuss what we are seeing and our approach to capturing the moment.

We now present the remaining three interviews with William Neill.  These were made in our cabin right outside of Yosemite National Park. In addition to the sit down interviews be sure to check out the Shooting On Location Segments.  We hope you enjoy the first Luminous-Landscape Shooting With The Masters.

Image By William Neill
Image By William Neill

William Neill Interview Part 3 – Straight Shooter & Equipment

William Neill Interview Timeline Part Three

1:10 Modifications, discipline and positioning

2:18 Photographing in soft light

2:55 Seeing the end product

4:00 Use the tools to get the image

5:10 Bracketing is OK

5:55 Creative decisions

6:30 Do you use special tools?

8:00 Don’t let the use of tools be apparent

9;45 Too much to worry about overwhelms the creative process

10:20 Equipment evolution

12:00 Lenses that Bill uses

14:10 What’s in Bill’s bag

18:20 Bill’s tripod

Image By William Neill
Image By William Neill

William Neill Interview Part 4 – Project, Themes and Discipline

William Neill Interview Timeline Part Four

0:30 Projects

2:00 Thinking in themes

3:30 Defining a project

4:00 Patterns

5;15 Theme

6:00 Now that you have it what do you do with it?

7:50 Edit it – how do you edit it?

8;45 Ongoing process

9:18 The 5 star image

11:10 Perception of your photograph

12:30 Struggling with what you do with your work

14:25 Immersive imaging

16:15 Seeing what you are keeping

17:00 Condensing the essence of what made me want to take the picture

17:24 Decisive cropping

Image By William Neill
Image By William Neill

William Neill Interview Part 5 – Post Processing, Future and Antarctica

William Neill Interview Timeline Part Five

0:10 Post processing

0:56 Starting with Cibachrome

2:30 Bill’s computer gear

4:00 Backing up

4:15 RAW Processor – Lightroom

4:50 Keywords

6:30 Printing

8:30 Color profiles

9;30 Color blind

10:14 Local masking

11:40 Playfulness

14:20 Ansel Adams Quote

15:00 What’s Williams future?

15:50 Antarctica

Image By William Neill
Image By William Neill

William Neill, an American photographer and resident of Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a renowned nature and landscape photographer. Neill’s award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill has received the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography and is an emeritus member of Canon USA’s elite Explorers of Light. Neill’s assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a regular column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, Mirabaud, Bear Sterns and UBS Global Asset Management. He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder,The Tree, By Nature’s Design, The Color of Nature and Traces of Time. A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness and a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit.

William Niell’s Website

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Kevin Raber
January 2016

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Kevin Raber

Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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