Rockies Insider guide to amateur photography tips with Raynor Czerwinski

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010

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Amateur photographers should start with reflections, and always be armed with a camera ready. Photo by Czerwinski.

Colorado photographer Raynor Czerwinski moved to Crested Butte, Colorado, to blend his passion for the natural outdoors with his artistic skills behind the shutter.

Eight years later Czerwinski has a personal and defined style on display at his local gallery as a professional natural outdoor photographer, and is our latest insider to drop some tips on good and bad habits for amateurs shooting in the Rockies.

From the source: Good and bad habits

One good habit Czerwinski whole-heartedly supports is simple: Go easy on yourself. Spending all day eager for a good shot is basically asking for frustration, when in reality it’s okay to return empty-handed.

“Your creative side is your stronger and weakest side,” says Czerwinski. In the end, he adds, just go gentle on yourself.

Another good habit to acquire when shooting is always remaining calm. Breathing, walking around, scouting the area for different viewpoints can help keep the mind not only open but also relaxed.

“You can get really gripped when you’re out there and the light is only good for twenty seconds,” says Czerwinski.

One bad habit Czerwinski encourages others, including himself, to stay away from is falling into tunnel vision. Going out to find a certain, must-have shot makes it difficult to keep an open mind for other possibilities.

“There could be an elk behind me in the river and I think I can’t shoot it because I’m trying for another shot,” says Czerwinski. “Be open to possibilities around you.”

Best scenes for amateurs: water settings

Czerwinski says the best places for amateur photographer to shoot in the outdoors are places with fun reflections.

Ponds, puddles and lakes are ideal for reflections, and rivers are nice because the running water easily lead eyes into the frame.

“Trails are good because it draws your eye through the forest,” he adds. “I like to stay near water when I shoot. Reflections are more striking, and you can get some great shots with the clouds.”

Czerwinski does not recommend diving into wildlife photography right away, as time and pricey equipment play an important role when shooting animals outdoors.

“While you’re out shooting landscape, if you see wildlife take photos but don’t spend days waiting. Always have a camera on you, and your chances of getting wildlife shots will be that much better,” he says.

Check out more of Czerwinski’s photos at

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