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3 Minutes with Photographer William Neill

William Neill has long been an iconic nature photographer with work spanning classical landscapes to contemporary nature abstracts. A long time contributor to Outdoor Photographer magazine and an active blogger on William Neill’s Light on the Landscape Photoblog his photographic roots go back to working with Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park. Deeply knowledgeable and inspirational he is today’s guest on “3  Minutes with…”

Describe your photography in 100 words or less.
I am a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty I see and feel in Nature. I have been a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, have been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters. I worked as a staff photographer at The Ansel Adams Gallery for five years. My limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. I received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, the Sierra Club honored me with their Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography.

3 Minutes with Photographer William Neill
Aspen and approaching storm, Conway Summit, California 2010
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, 1/45 sec at f / 16, ISO 400

What gear/software do you use?
For twenty years, I used a 4×5 view camera and transparency sheet film. Currently, I use a Canon 1DS Mark III with an assortment of lenses. My favorites are the 70-200mm zoom and 90mm Tilt Shift lenses. I also used Canon’s 24mm TS, the 16-35mm and 24-105mm zooms and the 50mm Macro. I carry LowePro camera bags and use a Gitzo Carbon 6X tripod. Using filters has never been a big part of my approach to nature photography, but I do use Singh Ray’s Vari-ND filter often for long exposures and the creative blurs in my Impressions of Light series. In terms of software, I primarily use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I occasionally use HDR processing and Nik software. I edit and mange my files in Lightroom, make global adjustments there before making any local adjustments and masking in PS.

3 Minutes with Photographer William Neill

Almond Trees in Bloom, Kern County, California, 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, 1/4 sec at f / 4.5, ISO 100, FILTER: Singh Ray Vari-ND

What’s one quick tip that you’d give people interested in Nature photography.
Photograph those subjects or locations about which you feel most passionate. Trust your instincts to find a creative vision. The world is full of repetitive imagery, and it takes hard work and experimentation to rise above the ordinary.

3 Minutes with Photographer William Neill

Sunrise surf, Carmel, California 2010
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, 10.0 sec at f / 32, ISO 100, FILTER: Singh Ray Vari-ND

What Photography Sites or Photoblogs do you Recommend?

View more of William Neill’s work at on his web site and in his latest iPad app William Neill’s Yosemite Volume One.

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Jim Goldstein
Jim Goldstein

is a San Francisco based professional photographer. An author as well as a photographer Jim has been published in numerous publications including Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Popular Photography and has self-published a PDF eBook Photographing the 4th Dimension – Time covering numerous slow shutter techniques. His latest work and writing can be found on his JMG-Galleries blog and on 500px

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