Spotlight: Shayne Skower, United States

In our Spotlight feature, we ask our members some questions to learn more about what inspires their photography, the processes they use to make images, and the stories behind their favorite pictures.

Q: What’s the story behind this photo?

A: Shooting in the moonlight is my favorite way to shoot. The moon was full and shining brightly that night, so like always I set off alone to chase the light with my cameras. The calm of the moonlight on the coastline was always something I wanted to capture better. An hour later, I was hiking to the edge of an 80-foot cliff to get the right perspective of the illuminated coastline. I like this image because to the random eye it looks very simple, but it can easily fool the eye with just how much coastline appears in the image.

Q: Why do you take pictures?

A: In 2010,  I was lucky to have ended up living on the edge of a cliff in northern California, with amazing views of nature around me. The amazing daily scenic views gave me a sense of enlightenment and a nice balance after working long, hard days. I decided I would try to capture these moments as well as I could to try to bring that same feeling to the people who were not as lucky as I was to be living in such beautiful surroundings.

Q: What do you like to take pictures of and why?

A: I enjoy shooting natural beauty. I try to shoot nature in a way that I have not seen it photographed before. 

Q: Are you a self-taught photographer? If not, how did you learn to shoot?

A: I took photography in high school. I had already owned a film camera, but the class opened me up to using the darkroom and doing my own developing and definitely gave me a long-term love of photography. I was never taught any techniques other than basic rules that I tend to break more than follow, so I consider myself self-taught.

Q: What was the first photo you took? Or the first photo you took that was meaningful to you?

A: It took me a long time to give in to digital photography after growing up shooting film. The first day I went out shooting with my first DSLR, I went out to the Golden Gate Bridge to play around with my new camera, and one of the images ended up being published by Marin magazine in the bridge’s 75-year anniversary issue. It meant a lot to me and kept me shooting and gave me a new love for digital photography with the amount of images I was able to shoot that day for the first time.

Q: What do you want to say with your images?

A: I want people to look at my images and feel relieved, if only for a split second, to forget about the chaos in the world we live in, and feel at peace.

See more of Shayne’s photos in his Your Shot gallery