Written by guest photographer: Greg Goodman

Travel photographer Greg Goodman gives you a peek at some of his current travel projects, takes you on a virtual photographic trip around the world and shares with you his love for Adjust.

If this Pro Insights column were to begin with an interview, it would go something like this:
Pro Insights: Why do you travel?
Greg Goodman: Because my passion is documenting our world through photography.
Pro Insights: Why do you love photography?
Greg Goodman: Because it gives me an excuse to travel.
Pro Insights: What subjects interest you most?
Greg Goodman: Anything that demonstrates how our daily lives are mirrored around the world.

Pro Insights: Tell us more about your website:

Greg Goodman: My Web site – Adventures of a GoodMan – is filled with storytelling from my travels, multimedia presentations, and carefully edited photography. It’s a virtual trip around the world and the online magazine of my life. Whether I’m at home or on the road, I hold my photography to the same standards. It doesn’t matter that I have a fraction of the time to edit the images when my wife Carrie and I are bopping from town to town. That’s why I rely on Topaz to help me make the most of my time on the computer and allow us to focus on what’s important: exploring our world and working on the Symmetry Project.

Pro Insights: Symmetry Project, what’s that about?
Greg Goodman: Travel has taught me that all people, regardless of where we live, have the same core needs and responsibilities. We’ve all got to eat, sleep, work, take care of ourselves, get from here to there, raise a family, and talk to our friends. What fascinates me photographically, are all the many different ways that the same things can look around the world. When I’m on the road, I photograph almost everything I see: buildings, kitchens, beds, schools, hospitals, transportation, homes, phones, trash cans, water pipes, laundry…you get the picture. The Symmetry Project combines these photographs into a completely unique form of collage, which demonstrates that regardless of where each image is from, the core concept is the same.

The creation below is called 25 Cents: Local Calls. It explores our basic universal need to communicate.

Are you feeling hungry? The Placemat Symmetry Project pieces (below) was created from 48 individual images! Each image has spent some time in Topaz’s digital darkroom.

Pro Insights: So, how would you classify the shots you capture?
Greg Goodman:Generally, each of my travel photographs can be classified in one of the following categories:
1. The perfect shot: Planning (or luck) has led me to the perfect location at just the right time of day to take advantage of that magical sky and light. I’ve got time to wait, and I’m going to use it!

2. The “make the best with what I have” photograph: Most of my travel photography falls into this category. Clouds? Rain? Harsh midday light? Shadows in the wrong places? It doesn’t matter; I’m probably not coming back later. So I adjust my camera settings, frame the scene, and take what I can get.

3. The “from a moving window” snap: Literally, I have at most 1/200th of a second to give it my best go. Auto is my best friend in these situations, but it often gets the lighting wrong. Luck be a lady tonight…

I’ll pat myself on the back for those rare times that I set up the perfect shot. For the rest, I previously spent hours using Photoshop to enhance colors and details, bring up shadows, make skies pop, dodge, burn, and individually adjust every part of an image…all those little things that come together to make an image great. Then came Adjust. I’ve found that Adjust is a powerful asset to my digital darkroom because it allows me to do most of that work [that I used to spend hours on] in just a few seconds. My personal favorite filters (used quite often) are found in the Vibrant Collection: Dramatic, Gritty, Vibrance, French Countryside, Crisp, and High Contrast.

I’ll be honest, even after using Topaz Adjust, I still find myself adding on stacks of masks and layers to take the image even further. But that’s because I already have a wonderful starting point to work from that didn’t take me hours to get to! This allows me to maintain a creative edge and still have time for more shooting.

See more of Greg’s work in the Topaz user gallery!

About the Author:
Greg Goodman has spent much of the past eight years traveling our world and following his dream of only doing things he’s passionate about. Professionally, that includes travel photography, digital art, Web design, online marketing, and the Symmetry Project.
Greg’s photographic work has appeared in numerous galleries, exhibitions, and publications across the world. Most recently, he was invited to present his story of travel, personal growth, photography, and LOVE during Photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany.

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