Judy Tseng simply loves beauty. To her 'life is Art' and she expresses it in her wonderful collection of images. She masters nature photography as well as still life photography. Let's find out more about the charming lady behind her work through this interview.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
My life is simple. I am from the Silicon Valley California and retired since 2015. I love beautiful things. I like to collect things that I find pretty, even the smallest gift box. I love flowers and I have a garden that blooms with beautiful flowers in the spring.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
My photography has not been influenced by personal experiences.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I take inspiration from what I see on 1X. Seeing the photos from other photographers shaped my view on photography.
What first attracted you to photography?
When my daughter was little, I used to dress her up and take a lot of photos of her as a way to document her growth, though at that time I used a disposable camera. Eventually that led me to take photos of other things in life. After some friends became interested in photography, my husband gifted me an SLR, saying that he wished to see me take some good photos so I started learning photography and editing. It eventually became a passion and hobby.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
To me, life is art. The things you see every day are unique and cannot be repeated so I capture whatever moment captures my eye.
Why are you so drawn by still life and nature photography?
It’s hard to say, but nature casts a spell on me like a magician and draws me in. The way it attracts me makes to wanting to capture what I see. And whenever I’m viewing photos on 1X, I always find a lot of beautiful still life photos, which has led me to try it out for myself and perfect it.
What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
It depends. When I take photos of wildlife, I pay more attention to the story: what are they doing? What will they do next?
As for still life, mood is more important. There’s always room for improvement and there's more that can be learned so I don’t hold technical perfection as high on importance.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
For landscape photography, I do some research on locations that I want to take photos of and what I want to capture. Whenever I feel like going somewhere, I always check the weather first. As for wildlife, sometimes locations can be scouted, but most of the time you play the role of an observer, carefully watching your surroundings as you can’t expect to find animals to stay where you think they'd be.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
For the landscape and still life I use Nikon D810 and D850 and the lens 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200
For the wildlife shooting I use Canon 1DX2 with 500 F4 lens.
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Adobe Photoshop and Camera Raw to process my images.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
For the camera raw part, I use it to change the white balance, temperature, exposure, contrast, highlights, and shadows if needed. Then in the photoshop I will use Nik collection to do some editing.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Still life and Nature Photography and how do you get started?
Never leave home without a camera, you never know what you will find. I started doing still life and nature photography because, as mentioned before, I love to capture the things I find beautiful in life.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I’m greatly inspired by Phillip Chang who is an amazing nature and wildlife photographer. His images always have a story behind them. It’s my goal to be able to take unique wildlife photos like his.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
Phillip has a lot of amazing photos so it’s hard for me to choose just one. But as mentioned before, they make me aspire to capture moments that tell a lot of story.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I like to do still life and nature photography so I will continue to do those and while improving my technique along the way.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
My favorite photo is my first still life photo (Faded memory) that was published by 1X. I like it because I was able to capture and edit it into a vision in my mind. I felt my skills in editing increased as I turned a photo into an old painting.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I am very proud to be a member of 1X. There are always lot of things to learn and I have gained a lot of knowledge from this community.