We have selected East Coaster, Sam Morrison, along with SamAlive, as the hosts for this week’s Niche Hashtag Project! Tag your Instagram shots with #NicheSamsSunsets from now until Thursday for a chance to be featured on @niche’s account.
Read on to learn more about Sam Morisson’s backflipping goals and in-depth editing tips for new mobile photographers…
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what are your passions, what do you do for a living?
SM: I grew up in New Jersey. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2013, I moved to Brooklyn. I am a Digital Production Artist and Strategy Consultant. My goal is to do a backflip on each of the 7 continents. In 2012, I travelled around the world, hitting 22 countries on 5 continents. I plan on traveling to South America and Antarctica before I’m too old to do a backflip.
What sparked your interest in photography?
SM: My parents took more than 100,000 photos of me and my sisters growing up. My Dad was going to Moto-Photo twice a week to develop the photos. We have 200 photo albums that line the walls of the basement in my parents house now. Somewhere along the way I learned to get behind the lens, instead in front of it.
What are some of your favorite photographs that you have ever taken?
SM: http://instagram.com/p/pjEtjojV0Y/, http://instagram.com/p/o8wL0tjV9Z/, http://instagram.com/p/k43SPljVyy/
Who are two other Instagrammers that inspire you? Why?
SM: Always a difficult question to answer, and it changes depending on when you would ask me. Right now I am such a fan of @thiswildidea. I think he truly understand the art of storytelling, and does it better than any of us are doing on Instagram. Another would have to be @ioegreer. Every time I see his photos in my feed, I automatically know it’s him before seeing the name. His photos seem very magical and romantic.
Do you have any simple editing tips for someone just starting out in mobile photography?
SM: When using the iPhone, I mostly use the native camera app to take photos. The HDR setting brings out a good deal of detail in the shadow and highlights that would be lost if you didn’t use it. If you’re phone is a little older, or bogged down by low memory, don’t worry about using HDR, sometimes it lags and is too slow to capture a sharp image.
I start my mobile editing process in SnapSeed. I do general adjustments, like brightening the image’s shadows, adding a little bit of negative Ambiance to smooth unwanted details, and adding some structure to make the image pop. From there, I bring the image into VSCOcam and select a preset filter (Usually C1, C3, or K3). This is where I do most of the toning for the image. I like to give my images a little bit of purple in the shadows. I sharpen my image in VSCO, and then send it off to AfterLight. In AfterLight, I bring up the highlights a little more, and tint them red. I make the mid tones a slight shade of green, and the shadows blue. From here, I crop the image in SquareReady and then it’s off to Instagram to come up with a witty caption! Obviously this process is different for each photo, depending on the composition, lighting, and subject matter.
Follow Sam Morrison on Instagram, here, and watch out for our interview with SamAlive this Wednesday.