September 4th, 2018

Capturing Movement in a Still Frame

Published in RAW Features

By Natalie Saar

The naturalist and author John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” That phrase can easily be used to describe photographer Mike Beach’s relationship with the outdoors. Mike, an Ohio native, discovered his passion for nature photography early on.

“I became interested in traveling and backpacking as a teen and a camera quickly became a necessary part of my gear. At 19 years old I built my first darkroom and learned to process and print from black and white and color film. By this point, photography was nothing less than an obsession for me. If I wasn’t shooting or printing, I was studying other artists or planning my next shot and composing images in my mind.”

Take one look at Mike’s photos and it’s clear he puts a lot of time, energy, and effort into composing the perfect shot. That’s because his objective is “to offer my experience and unique perspective through the art of photography. My ultimate goal is to share with my viewers the magnificent glory of this world as I see it.”

After all of these years of practice, there are a few tricks behind Mike’s still, yet very alive, images. He shares, “I shoot primarily during low-light hours to capture a wide range of warm tones. I look for contrast in color, luminosity, shapes and subject. When composing an image, I chose a composition which makes it easy on the viewer’s eye to travel through the frame. Anchored objects in the foreground with leading lines to on off-centered subject are my favorite composition formulas.”

     

Scrolling through Mike’s Instagram, it’s easy to see his love of nature coming through as clear as day, but there are also a few cityscapes. It’s fascinating to see how even though a city is busy and bustling, he’s able to capture a measure of calmness. Though, nature still remains one of his favorite subjects to photograph. “I prefer to shoot landscapes because of my love for nature. The natural world brings me a sense of belonging and astonishment like no other. My intention when shooting nature is to share with my viewers the wonder and awe I experience.”

Mike is currently preparing for RAW Cleveland presents CONNECT on September 11, 2018, which takes a lot of planning. One of the toughest decisions is choosing which photos he wants to present. This can be an interesting challenge for artists. “My most valued pieces are often not the favorites of my customers. I try to include a mixture of photographs which receive the most attention with photographs intended to artistically challenge the viewer to see scenes with a different perspective.”

With a lot of hard work and stick-to-itiveness, Mike is making a name for himself in the photography world. He has over 11k followers on Instagram and is creating more amazing images by the day. If you’re a photographer looking for ways to get your career off the ground, he has some advice: “Produce photographs instead of pictures. The increased interest in photography has the ability to assist your intentions of standing out in the industry. Technology today is incredible in that it allows so many to take great pictures with little thought. But pictures are not photographs. Master composition and exposure of unique perspectives and you’ll stay ahead of the game.”

To view Mike's prints and ask him questions for yourself, get tickets to the Cleveland showcase.