Bill Fortney - Outdoor Photographer & Author

Editors Note: You can catch Bill Fortney at this year’s Photoshop World in Las Vegas.

Bill Fortney is one of America’s premier photographers specializing in Landscape, close-up, nature, Americana, and travel. In his 44 year career, Bill has been a High School teacher and football coach, AP rep, Medical photographer, and Marketing Public Relations person. Bill was an official photographer for the Washington Redskins during his sports photography years.

In 1991 he and his wife Sherelene founded the Great American Photography Weekends and for 12 years he ran the field events for the company, leading over 250 events in every major national park and in Africa, Europe, Canada, and the Galapagos Islands. Bill is the author of five photography books, including his newest – America From 500 Feet II. His original America From 500 Feet book done with his son Wesley is the largest selling aerial landscape book, on America, of all time.

Now retired after 11 years with Nikon Professional Services, Bill teaches workshops through his company His Light Workshops. Once called in a newspaper article “The Will Rogers of Photography”, Bill is a committed Christian, and much sought after speaker, presenter, and workshop leader.

‘I’ve done a lot of different things photographically, but today I shoot for fun and I teach because I love seeing other people get excited about it.’

When asked in a Photofocus interview earlier this year with Melissa Niu: ‘Where do you start? When you go out to a mountain range where there’s beauty surrounding you on all angles, where do you start? What do you look for?’

‘…whether it’s a National Park or a city street, a photographer has to let what’s around them overwhelm them. They have to look at it and feel the beauty of what’s around them. The patterns, the color, the texture…if you’re in a beautiful forest or there’s a wonderful waterfall, or a river or the ocean…it’s not hard to be overwhelmed by them, because they’re so starkly beautiful to start with. But everywhere you go, you have to train yourself to not just look, but to observe. To really look into what’s there. Now thousands of photographs start to appear in your consciousness…I not only want to shoot that whole scene, I want to shoot this little part, and this little part, and this little part. And I want to come back when the light’s different and shoot it again.’


Bill Fortney Classes: Las Vegas

If you’re planning to be in Las Vegas for the 30th annual Photoshop World conference (Sept 3-5), be sure to look up Mr. Fortney’s classes.

5 Secrets to Getting a Great Start in Photography! Wednesday Sept 3, 3:15pm – 4:15pm — The Five key things you must know to start learning the craft of photography. Becoming a great photographer requires a plan, and this is the plan!

Photographing Americana Subjects: Thursday Sept 4, 5:00pm – 6:00pm — A successful approach to photographing all subject Americana, from rusted cars and trucks to old barns, historic locations and antiques. Learn the tools, and techniques to improve your Americana photography. A special emphasis on close-up and tight compositions, and the tools and techniques for making winning images.

Enter promo code PSWFOCUS414 to discount $50 OFF a full conference pass. For more information, head over to the Adobe Photoshop World 2014 Instructors page for a complete list of this year’s expert panel and the topics covered in more detail.

Bill Fortney Gallery Samples

To view more of Bill Fortney’s work, please visit For more information regarding upcoming (2015) workshops, please click HERE.

This Post Sponsored by: Be a kid in a camera store. Rent lenses, cameras, lighting and more from the original and best online photographic and video equipment rental company.  Use PHOTOFOCUS10 in the checkout special instructions to receive 10% off your next rental.

Photoshop World, the ultimate Photoshop, Photography & Lighting Conference.  Las Vegas, NV, September 3-5.  Use the promo code PSWFOCUS414 to discount $50 OFF a full conference pass. Learn more in three days than you have in three years! 

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to access, manage and share their photos on the go. You can easily view images with their iOS app or in your personal Google Drive account, and you can even star/flag images in the app and sync the changes back to Lightroom on your computer. Be sure to also check out the Lightroom Learning Center to learn new ways to work in Lightroom. Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try free for 10 days by visiting Photofocus.

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDRsoft.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Bill’s amazing photography is matched by his teaching style! Great article Mark.


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About Mark Morrow

Mark Morrow is an active Virginia-based photographer with specialties in a wide variety of domestic and commercial projects. Always an avid student of the craft, Mark enjoys sharing insight and inspiration with enthusiasts and aspiring pros on his blog, podcast and as a contributing author here at [email protected] |


A Photographer You Should Know, Inspiration, Photography


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