Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Interview with Landscape PhotographerJason Bartimus

Jason Bartimus
Landscape Photographer

Good morning, Jason, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  We are happy to have you here from beautiful Hawaii.  What is your area of artistic expertise? 
Landscape Photography

What is your favorite art medium? 

How did you get started in photography?
I have always had some sort of interest in photography, but it became a serious hobby after a trip to Italy and Greece in 2009, both amazing places for inspiration.

I've been to Italy and agree it is very inspirational.  Do you have any formal training in art, photography? 

Turtle Bay

 Me, either.  You don't need it.  Your work is gorgeous.  What one tip could you offer us for taking better photos? 
First off keep it simple.  Don’t get bogged down with the technical stuff.  Yes you need to know the technical things but first and foremost dig deep into composition.  Study the great painters and learn how theycreated a scene.  Framing is by far the best thing you can learn that will help you in making great shots.  The frame is where you create the mood, tell the story, and keep everything in balance. Composition is not just about leading lines and the golden ratio.  It is also how you include or take away things from the frame or how the subjects interact with each other.  I think of the golden ratio and leading lines as kind of a basic framework that can be used as a guide.  But as you really work the frame you may find that the general frameworks do not apply. Composition is not limited to just the frame either.  Composition is also how you see and use light.  It is how you create contrastand use shadows. Even your colors and tones affect the overall structure of you photograph.  Composition should not be limiting.  Sometimes you will need to put more emphasis on one or the other, but remember that composition is framing, light, contrast, tones and color. So in summary I would focus first on learning how to frame your shots using the general guidelines of composition.  The most important thing that will help is obviously practice but even moreimportant than that is looking at a ton of great photos.  Master the ability to quickly see and find why the photo works or not.  I have looked at so many photos that I can be confident with what works and does not.  A really good composition with all the elements in place will have an aesthetically pleasing flow almost like rhythm in a poem.  In a way the photo begins to sing to you.  I don’t mean to be corny buy it’s true.

Oh, honey, you are talking to a romance writer.  I love that kind of stuff.  That's great advice, Jason.  i'll try it.  Favorite food.   
Bacon and eggs.  I love a good breakfast.

Tea or coffee. 

Pizza or ice cream. 
Definitely Pizza.

Where would you like to visit?  
I would love to go to Ireland, Egypt, Jerusalem, a few parts of China, Bali, and back to Italy to name a few.

Favorite musical artist.
I am very eclectic with my music tastes but if I had to narrow it down then it would be Beethoven, simply timeless.

Do you listen to music when you work

Usually classical or a moving instrumental.  Music is very helpful to me when editing and shooting.

What makes you laugh?
British Humor and random humor.

How old were you when you started creating art? 
I actually first started creating poetry at a young age. In many ways a photograph is like a poem.  Photography came later in my life.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
The places I visit.                                                                                                  Eternity Cove

What do you do when you get artist's block? 
Usually if I have an artist block is because I am bored with my subject matter.  So I explore other subject matters and see if I can create interesting projects out of seemingly boring environments.  There is always something out there.  Ideally a great way to get out of an artist block is to travel. But the real answer to this is that with photography you do need to take inspiration anyway you can get it.  Another way is by limiting yourself to only certain equipment.  What I have done in the past is to only shoot with just one lens for a long period of time to make it interesting.

Who is your favorite artist? 
As far as photographersthis may seem odd being that I am a landscape photographer, but Elliot Erwitt is by far my favorite. Next would be Steve McCurry, his work has been very impactful to me. Then it would be Henri Cartier Bresson, and Saul Leiter.  Among some of the others are Art Wolfe, Michael and so many more modern artists, but those are the ones that come to mind quickly. I recently have discovered Edward Clark (A past LIFE photographer), the list is always growing.  As far as painters I really enjoy Albert Bierstadt, Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet and of course Rembrandt.

What is your favorite painting or sculpture? 
I don’t really have answer for that one.

What’s the last book you read? 
The Art of being Unmistakable

Describe your perfect evening.
 A good dinner at home, watching a movie with my family or out photographing during the sunset.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
There have been many influences in my life and I cannot list just one person.  But I can list two and that would be my Mom and Dad.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
This would be Carl Sagan without a doubt. He is a brilliant combination of philosopher and scientist.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a professional photographer? 
Make what you love to shoot your focus and don’t make it about the money.  You can make a living taking photos but even better is to take photos as a way of living.  Very corny I know, but what I mean is that unless you really like the grind of running a business, make sure to protect your passion ofphotography, which may mean keeping it as a hobby.  I approach it backwards a bit. The best solution is to take your passion and figure out how to make a serious income without compromising your passion.  This means it may be a much slower process.  Just because you are passionate about photography doesn’t mean it equates to enjoyment of being a professional photographer.  The only way it works is to find the right path for your photography to flourish.Again it may not mean professional photography.

Follow Jason on Pinterest.  Do you have any other links for us to follow you?  Check out this site for prints of Jason's gorgeous work!


  1. Thank you for being with us this morning and sharing some of your beautiful Hawaiian landscapes with us. Your work is fantastic! Come back and see us again in the fall. Wishing you continued success in all your endeavors.

  2. Great photos, want to be there.
    Laura M.