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Kathleen Clemons 2015 Interview

Kathleen Clemons is a photographer from the coast of Maine. Primarily a nature photographer, Kathleen is known for her creative use of natural light and unique compositions.
image taken by Kathleen Clemons

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a natural light photographer and teacher from the coast of Maine. I teach online classes throughthe Bryan Peterson School of Photography ( I am on the staff of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and recently taught a flower photography class for I also teach in person location workshops, and do private mentoring as well as presentations for groups and clubs. My photographs are licensed by Corbis and Getty. I have a degree in Education, and being able to combine my love of teaching with my passion for photography brings me great joy.

How long have you been a photographer?

I have been serious about photography for about 12 years.

How would you describe your style?

Selective focus is my favourite way to photograph. I love being able to control just where the viewer's eye goes in a photo, and I love blur! My images reflect how I see my subjects; my goal is to allow the viewer to see them as I do when they look at my photographs. I have been attracted to selective focusfrom the day I first learned about shallow depth of field. It really represents the way I see the world. Thisis part of the joy I have when shooting with a Lensbaby. I see small details when I look at a subject, and try to photograph in a way that shows a viewer how I see.

image taken by Kathleen Clemons

What camera equipment do you use to create your beautiful photographs of flowers?

I shoot with a Canon 5DMK3 and create my flower images with my Canon 180mm f/3.5 lens and Lensbaby lenses. I love my Lensbabies!

If you had to choose one lens, which one would it be and why?

It would probably be my Lensbaby Velvet 56. It allows me to get very close to my subjects without adding anything extra, and I can create images from very dreamy to tack sharp with strong detail, all with one lens.

What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such awesome imagery?

Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere. The natural beauty of this world is a constant source of inspiration; I am a photographer with a passion for nature photography. It's nature that provides the curves, contrast and colour that I am driven to capture. I am fascinated by the patterns, lines, textures, colours and designs in the natural world, especially in the macro area.

What are your creative methods for creating images?

I love to explore subjects with my camera, and always love seeing how little in focus I can get away with, dancing on the edge of including just enough detail. I also love to play around with images in Photoshop; using filters, combining layers and adding textures is great fun.

image taken by Kathleen Clemons

How would you describe yourself and your personality? And how does your personality affect the way you take photos?

I photograph because it has become a large part of who I am; itʼs my passion, as well as my escape. Itʼs my way of showing the world how I see and experience it; it's how I share the song in my heart and ultimately how I found my voice. At this point, I don't think you can really know me if you don't know my work. People always tell me that they see my personality in my work, and I do believe that the camera sees both ways. Everything I have experienced in my life is in my photos.

Who inspires you?

I love to see what my photographer friends are shooting; I check their websites, blogs and Facebook pages often, and I find inspiration from artists of all kinds, not just photographers. I really like to try new techniques, and get very excited when I have come up with something new to try in camera, or in post-processing. I have been making textures for Macphun software, and I am loving that process. Now that Lensbaby makes a lens for my phone, the LM-10, I am shooting more with my iPhone. I am enjoying posting those photos daily on Instagram (@kathleenclemons) and seeing what other people are posting there as well. I always tell my students to ask themselves, "What would happen if…?" and to then go and try it, and I try to follow my own advice and do the same; it keeps my work fresh and keeps me growing as a photographer.

Who are your three favourite photographers?

I love the Impressionistic photos of Freeman Patterson. My friend Donna Eaton creates amazing landscapes and the beauty of Sue Bryce's portraits of women takes my breath away.

image taken by Kathleen Clemons

What have been your biggest challenges and achievements?

I taught a class for Creative Live last month ( Teaching to a camera was a new experience for me and I loved the challenges that provided. I am doing another video class on macro photography for in a few weeks. My biggest challenge with my work is to continue to capture my subjects in new ways.

What are your plans for the future?

I have an outline for a book I want to write. I want to travel more, write some new classes, teach in new locations and continue to grow as a photographer.

And the last question. If you had one wish...

That would be for all the people on our planet to treat each other with respect and love, despite our differences.

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