This week we’re getting to know community member, Vaughn Bender.

Vaughn is a landscape and aerial photographer living in Manitoba, Canada. His interests range from photography to nature and he is also interested in traveling, technology, and hiking.

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How did you get started in photography?

“When was about 13 years old, my parents bought a new Nikon Fe film camera, but they never really used it as it was too complicated for them. So I picked it up and started shooting with it. I enjoyed taking photos with it. As a family we always took summer vacations to the mountains so I started capturing photos of the mountain scenes and really enjoyed that.”

What was your first camera?

“My very first camera was a Russian Zenit Camera; my brother-in-law had it and was throwing it out. I was just married and couldn’t afford much so he gave it to me, and I went down to the camera store and bought a couple of used lenses that worked with it. Eventually, my mother gave me the old Nikon Fe I had used when I was 13. My first digital camera was a Nikon D3200.”

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

“When getting back into photography, film was on its way out so after closing down my darkroom I need new skills in digital photography. I came across a fellow by the name of Matt Kloskowski. At that time he taught at CreativeLive with a focus on landscape photography. I gained what I know today from him in capturing landscapes and his workflow around landscape photography.”

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

“When I purchased my first digital camera I enrolled in an online course at New York Institute of Photography. It covered the entire range of photography (portraiture, infants, pets, wedding, landscapes, architecture, wildlife, etc.). Each had its own set of rules and techniques, they also taught to break those rules too. It was really interesting. My own rules I try to maintain is a form of rule of thirds, (and when to break those rules), tell a story and how to draw the viewer in and keep the viewer interested and eliminate distractions (keep it simple). Composition is the challenging part of Love, always learning.”

Join Vaughn and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Vaughn, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.