“In a perfect world I’d tell you that photography was my occupation, but for now it’s my passion and my creative outlet,” says Lance Lawson, a photo hobbyist working in emergency medical services. Lance has lived in Huntington Beach all his life. I’ve been in management for most of my 30 years in private EMS. The first years of my career I had the privilege of operating an ambulance in and around our fair city, and even responded to a call involving an injured Sheriff on the HB pier during the OP Pro Riots in 1986.”
We discovered Lance on Instagram as @itsthelawson66. Turns out, most of his shots are taken with a DSLR. He said: “Although I do shoot a bit with my iPhone, there’s a better chance you’d find me on the beach with my Nikon D3200. I occasionally use a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS for close crowd work as well.”
Scroll down to enjoy Lance’s snapshots of Huntington Beach and his thoughts on photography.
Surf City Family (SCF): How long have you been using your phone to take pictures?
Lance Lawson (LL): I have always been fascinated with photography, so as soon as technology offered phones with decent cameras on board, I was sold. The past few years have found me much more serious about photography though. I’m shooting something every day. I’ve been told that it’s not necessarily the equipment one uses, but the ability to convey the feeling of the moment captured. I truly believe this to be true, and it’s something I strive to achieve. I always aim to give the viewer the true feeling of the instant of time I caught with my camera.
SCF: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
LL: I love shooting seascapes and sunsets from all over the SOCAL coastline. I try to include people in most of my work as well. If you think about it, people are exceptionally interesting to observe on a beach at sunset. They are in love, or laughing, or playing a game. Maybe they’re crying or reflecting on the day they’ve just experienced. What I get from people on a beach at sunset is pure, regardless of content.
SCF: What are your favorite editing programs?
LL: I use Photoshop 7 on my computer, and Photoshop Express on my iPhone. Express is an amazing phone app that enables some fairly extreme editing. It’s not for face swapping or turning your friends into angels, but I use it with great regularity. If you are using the free app, do yourself a favor and pay the couple bucks for the upgrade. The free app is cool, but the premium app has features that I utilize every day.
SCF: What advice would you give to someone who wants give Phoneography (phone photography) a try?
LL: With regard to Phoneography, the first bit of advice that comes to mind is this. Don’t zoom. Using the zoom feature on a phone camera blows out the integrity of the shot. It robs the emotion from the subject, and more often than not, in the time it takes to mess with the settings, the moment has been missed. Let it fly and edit the photo later. Also use a third party app such as “Full Pic” when posting to Instagram. It allows the full shot to be posted, and avoids the forced square crop. When I catch a moment, I want to choose which parts make up the whole. It should be my decision what makes the cut and which ingredients are eliminated. Lastly, shoot the things which make you feel. Your viewers will connect with the work through a shared emotional chord.