Intro by Chamira Young
After getting through 2020, there's no question that all of us will face challenges in our lives. What matters most is what we do with those challenges. In today's post we feature photographer Greg Wickenburg, who turned an overwhelmingly difficult life circumstance into creative inspiration. When Greg was 17, a car accident rendered him a C5 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down, and with only partial arm movement and no use of his hands, fingers, waist, or legs. Fast forward to today, and as a photographer he creates his own unique workflow and makes double eye-catching, award-winning double exposures that really stand out from the crowd. Talk about inspiring!
Check out the post below and gain insight into Greg's workflow. It's so cool to see his unique creative process as he uses both the the SP 150-600mm VC G2 and the 18-400mm VC HLD. Also, click on the images below to learn more about these great lenses from the Tamron team!
Greg Wickenburg uses the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 and 18-400mm VC HLD lenses to seamlessly merge silhouettes with nature.
By Jenn Gidman
Images by Greg Wickenburg
When Greg Wickenburg was 17, his life changed dramatically: A car accident left him a C5 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down, with only partial arm movement and no use of his hands, fingers, waist, or legs. Greg had always enjoyed photography as a spectator, and in the '90s he picked up a film camera in the hopes of launching a new hobby—but having to finagle the camera and other equipment was challenging. "I couldn't hold the camera right, couldn't change the settings myself, couldn't zoom in and out," he says. "It got so frustrating that I eventually just quit."
Flash-forward more than 20 years later, into a time when digital cameras and other technological advances have settled in to the imaging landscape, and Greg saw another opening to jump back into his long-lost passion. "Two years ago in December, I saw a picture of a double exposure online—a photo of a silhouetted face filled in with pink blossoms—and became inspired all over again," he says. "I realized that if I could do the double-exposure process in-camera and not have to mess around with Photoshop too much, this could be my path back into image-making."
That's exactly what Greg has been doing since, creating award-winning double exposures that merge silhouettes with wildlife and nature scenes (you can check out more of his work at www.gregwickenburg.com). "I've been mostly self-taught, and one of the first things I had to do was determine which cameras could do multiple exposures, since they don't all do so," he says. "Once I got my Canon 70D, I went online and watched YouTube videos and tutorials to get up to speed on how to do them. After that, there was a lot of trial and error on my part, because you can't know how to piece the images together correctly until you actually do it yourself—it took a lot of practice on my part."
Early on in his double-exposure adventures, Greg found himself drawn to wildlife, which proves challenging to photograph, and which necessitated lenses that he could adapt to his unique workflow. "I can't change lenses while I'm out there, so I need versatile zooms that allow me to capture a variety of images," he says. "My power wheelchair can sometimes scare wildlife if I get too close, and I've also had instances when my wheelchair has become stuck in mud or gravel, so I need zoom lenses with longer reach so that I don't have to venture too close, or too far off the path."
Greg's two picks from Tamron: the SP 150-600mm VC G2 and the 18-400mm VC HLD. "The 18-400 is by far the lens on my camera most often, due to its terrific range," he says. "I can use it inside my home, in my yard, and when I travel further into my neighborhood. I'll often use that lens to take the first shot of my double exposures, which is typically a silhouette of a person. Then I'll tap into the 150-600 when I go out to take wildlife and nature photos and need a slightly longer reach."
Read the rest of the post here!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.