This post is part of a series featuring photographers who are taking advantage of Lattice, PhotoShelter’s new platform to help you get discovered by curating boards on topics you care about.
Excited at the opportunity of finding inspiration in the way other PhotoShelter photographers are using their cameras, landscape photographer Bill Ferris jumped onto Lattice as soon as it was released. His active use of Lattice has led him to be featured in 7 boards on various topics from Astrophotography to Architectural Detail.
We chatted with Bill about his experience in making one of the most popular boards on Lattice, National Parks – which now features over 100 images from more than 25 different photographers, with new photos getting promoted weekly – and to find out how Lattice is helping him explore uncharted territory in photography.
PS: What do you like about Lattice?
BF: I like the creative inspiration that comes from reviewing other photographers’ works. On a regular basis, I’m discovering photographs that inspire me to explore new ways of using a camera to capture the personality of a place. Whether it’s the season, the quality of light, composition or placement of the camera, PhotoShelter photographers love to experiment and step away from the traditional shot. They’re not afraid to take risks with their photography. I love it. When I see that fearlessness in a photograph, it gets the creative juices flowing.
You’ve used Lattice to curate a beautiful board on National Parks. What made you decide to do a board on it?
I’ve long felt a deep connection with wild places and my affection for national parks was cemented the summer after 6th grade. My parents decided to move the family from southern California to central Wisconsin. We made the 2000+ mile trek a grand adventure, traveling by Volkswagen Campmobile through Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Today, living with my family in northern Arizona, I spend as much time as possible exploring and photographing the magnificent natural landscapes to be found in the national parks of the Four Corners region. When Lattice was announced and the PhotoShelter community was invited to submit board proposals, I jumped at the opportunity.
When you originally created the board and were choosing images, were you looking to convey a specific aesthetic or did you want to showcase a range of photography?
The mission of “National Parks” is twofold: first, to feature photographs of amazing landscapes from around the world and second, to showcase and generate sales for the great photographers in the PhotoShelter community. By curating a board that features amazing images of spectacular landscapes, I’m hoping “National Parks” becomes a place editors visit when looking for that perfect image for a project. Diversity of location and image quality are critical to the success of the board. The elements that attract me to a landscape image are magical light and an interesting composition that reveals the personality of the place. I started by selecting several photographs from my gallery, choosing images that convey the diversity of parks I’ve visited and reflect the quality I’m hoping to attract. That was the easy part. The challenge was figuring out how to get other photographers interested in contributing and having their work featured on the board. The strategy I employed was to search PhotoShelter for images that captured my interest. When I found a gallery displaying the quality of work I was seeking, I contacted the photographer by email to introduce myself, the board and invite them to submit. It’s important to me that a photographer takes that step to submit their work for consideration. That makes a person more invested and ensures the board is receiving images photographers considered the best example of their work.
While making the board, did you think about the sequence? If so, what were your considerations?
In all candor, I’ve only recently been giving thought to organizing the images into a sequence or theme. My first goal was to generate submissions. When I started the board, I had no idea if anyone would want to share their work. Now that the board features more than 100 amazing images, I’ve begun thinking that a reshuffling is in order. I’ve not settled on a theme or strategy…but it’ll come to me.
You’ve promoted around 60 images from your board’s stream to the board. Were you prompted to do this from the daily digest emails or were you circling back to the board regularly on your own?
The daily digest emails are really helpful. They are a constant but gentle reminder that a successful board needs regular attention. The time demands aren’t a burden – not even close – but a few minutes several days a week allows me to keep up with the submissions and promote new images. This benefits the board, greatly. Adding fresh images on at least a weekly basis gives people a reason to follow the board and return on a regular basis to see what’s new. I also feel it’s a responsibility I have to the photographers who submit their work. They’ve taken the time to select and share their best photographs of stunning wilderness landscapes. The least I can do is show them the respect and courtesy of reviewing those works and selecting images to promote in a timely manner.
When deciding which images you would promote from the stream to your board, what were you looking for? Tell me about the general theme between the images that made the cut.
The first thing I look for is the “it” factor, an image that makes me wish I had been there to experience the moment. Words, alone, can’t fully describe what that is, but – like most people – I know it when I see it. Other qualities I look for are diversity of place. It’s really exciting to see an image or series of images from a park in another part of the world. If a photographer submits images from someplace I’ve never been to, someplace I’ve never heard of, I always give them extra consideration. “National Parks” was created to showcase stunning landscapes from around the world and I’m dedicated to achieving that. I also look for images that compliment each other. For example, there are several photographs of Delicate Arch (Arches National Park, Utah USA) on the board. Each shows this natural arch in a different season or from a different perspective. I also look for diversity of environment…desert, forest, mountain, arctic, ocean. It’s important to me that the board reflect the wonderful diversity of environments available on our home planet.
Did you share your board with your networks (social media, email etc)? If so, which networks?
Ah, I knew there was something I was forgetting. Seriously, I want to thank you for asking that question because it’s prompting me to give thought to expanding my use of social media to get the word out. Not just about “National Parks” but about Lattice, in general, and other boards I follow.