Ed King is a self taught photographer with a desire and drive to continuously raise the bar and try new techniques and concepts in and out of the camera. Although he has had no formal training in photography, the love and appreciation has always been part of him.
A father of 3 and married to his childhood sweetheart, photography and art is a family affair, so much so that even his youngest daughter looks forward to standing along the beach to be the first to enjoy the sunrise with her dad.
"Writing about photography excites him just as much as taking the pictures, I can almost feel the experience of the shoot as I work through my words." ~Ed King
Tell us about something about Ed King Photography?
My name is Ed King and I live in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the United States, also known as the Ocean State which makes for good subject matter when you are a seascape photographer. I run a website called www.02809photo.com and I am very active in the photography circles on Google Plus and Facebook.
Seascape Photography for me is just more than just pictures, there is a peaceful connection I have with photographing the sea and I try to show that in my work. In all honesty I didn’t start as a seascape photographer and I actually struggled to find myself in photography, for awhile I captured everything but the sea and never really felt any connection other than snapping the shutter. I love the fact every day is different and the sea can show so many different personalities depending on the tide, time, season or weather.
Can you make a brief description on the pictures in this set?
“Let yourself Go” - This is one of my most popular images and gives the viewer a good sense of the calm and tranquility even the roughest of seas can produce at the edge of light.
“By Moons Light” - This shot I was graced with a full moon and a soon to be rising sun with the pre-dawn light which produced the stunning colors along with the long silky exposure.
“Scituate Light” - This image quickly reminds me about the cold morning with sub zero wind chills and the feeling of sharing this experience with a good friend and fellow photographer Frank Grace of Trig Photography who you can see captured close to the light itself. Again my favorite time of the morning with the transition from night to day!
“The Mighty Sea” - Getting up close and sometimes wet feet comes with the territory of being a seascape photographer. Times like these that make it all worthwhile, the picture is great but the rush and feeling I had when working on this image was breath taking.
“Good Morning Newport” - This is another very popular image locally for me and one that was a point of transition where I started to really feel a connection with my seascape photography.
“Cotton Candy Sky” - This was a sunset shot here in my hometown of Bristol, Rhode Island and on this particular even I was relaxing and enjoying the show of color with my wife and youngest daughter.
"Nobska Light" – When researching this shot I noticed the sun would rise in a great spot to provide a natural glow in the early morning light. The feeling of clicking the shutter and looking at the histogram knowing my planning and patience worked in my favor this particular morning. Someone once told me when you mature as a photographer research is key and patience is a must but also knowing when to come back another day to complete your vision is what makes you stand out. Luckily for me this day and the 90 mile drive each way worked in out but it doesn’t always turn out that way.
"Dynamic Bay" – I always mention what has helped me in my work is to observe and compose even when I don’t have the camera in hand. On this particular evening I had no intention of shooting but after a quick glance out the window I noticed conditions and textures in the clouds that I enjoyed before. I quickly gathered my gear and headed out the door with my wife and youngest daughter towards a local stretch of shore in a local state park. Although the shore composition works here the clouds are the icon of the image and the amazement of watching this develop.
"Pastel Bay " – There are many summer mornings we’ll take an early morning drive no matter what the weather calls for. This shot was taken in Newburyport, Massachusetts, just as the rain showers had diminished and the front showed signs of breaking. I find pushing myself to be ready is half the battle of an interesting composition.
Point Judith Blues – I love working the pre-dawn light and I really enjoy opportunities to add a silhouetted structure. This particular light is located in Point Judith, Rhode Island.
"Reflections of Gold" – This was shot along the coast of Rhode Island, there aren’t many opportunities to capture rock formations along a sandy beach. This particular area reminds me of some of the west coast seascape pictures I have seen, although I have never traveled out west I was inspired by other photographers for this composition.
"Sea Grass Sunrise" – There are mornings that are made for just sitting with the camera and listening to the sea birds and watching the sun break the horizon. No rules, No deadline just making images for myself.
"Silence is Golden" – This image was taken in Middletown, Rhode Island and even though I shoot this location quite often, I have never walked away with an image that has been a duplicate.
"Stepping Stones" – One of my favorite images and this is one of the many that hangs in my living room. I named this image Stepping Stones because of the feeling I had that very early morning as I looked out over the Sakonnet River in Middletown, Rhode Island. This is a good example of a same location different personality type image, this image was taken very close to Silence is Golden but yet they are both unique.
"The Look Out" – Seascape images for me is about emotion and connection, I try to keep the mindset of great images can be taken even in cold, raw, windy and sometimes rainy conditions. Newport, Rhode Island.
What’s your creative process like? I love the transition of light so I start my sunrise and sunset shots early, I scour the shore for composition and even after I find what I like I continue to scan for new opportunities. I use neutral density filters and will usually do the majority of my edits in Lightroom, I’ll also bracket exposures from time to time in order to help bring what I see to life in an image.
Where do you find inspiration and why you like photography? I find inspiration from the world around me, photography has given me a vision, I star gaze, watch clouds and study patterns of light even when I am just driving down the highway. I find inspiration in learning to be an observer of subjects like water, clouds, light, shadow and textures. I find inspiration from those who take great pictures and those who work hard to obtain the skills to complete their vision. I enjoy photography much more than just the images, if I spend 7 hours and come home with one picture that I am proud of it was still a great day connecting with the environment and feeling that sense of calm which has seen to accompany my seascape work. I enjoy being able to share my love for photography with my wife and kids, even though they are not photographers there are many mornings they accompany to watch the sunrise.
What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work? The biggest tip I can give a photographer who enjoys my work is to get yourself out there and take pictures, learn the various aspects of what it takes to capture what you enjoy. I’ve had people say “wow I have never seen colors or clouds like that” but yet they only shoot after the sun has broken the horizon. Learn how to use your camera in low light, know where every button is and what it will take to make necessary adjustments on the fly and at times in low light. Think in composition and constantly look through your camera to see what it will look like flat.
Watch your back, very dramatic lighting situations can actually take place when you look away from the sun. Take the time to know how to read your histogram; the LCD can be very deceiving. Practice and practice more, ask questions and share your images. Find what really touches you as a photographer and the images will follow with work and share what you learn along the way.
Can you name one great photographer that inspires you with his works and why? I have to say Dan Ballard, his world wide work is amazing as his attention to detail. I don’t know Dan personally but I have followed his work ever since connecting on Google Plus. Dan’s work inspires me even though he is not specifically a seascape photographer his work is truly amazing and I hope one day to take part in one of his workshops and relate that back to my own vision.
If you have something else to add just tell us. I am actually going to be working on putting a video together on my seascape work to include an actual shoot from start to finish which you can look for in the next month or so.
Dear Mr. Ed King, thanks for accepting the challenge to be interviewed by the Photography Office Team. We consider the resulting article a great one, while the vivid seascapes shared are truly inspiring. Good light and good luck with your workshops and future projects.