Behind the camera lens: Amber Frank shoots nature
Jacob Waring—Opinions & Features Editor
With her Cannon EOS Rebel T6 in hand, Amber Frank aimed the lens at the fauna around Southern’s East Campus, intensely focusing on the trees, shrubbery and the pond near the baseball fields. She was not photographing for a class nor as an occupation.
For Frank, a senior sociology major, this is her hobby. Evidently, nature is often her favorite muse.
“I love nature a lot. So, that’s like a big focus, sometimes,” said Frank. “The trees, I was just taking a picture of, the flowers and just like, water. I like environments in nature.”
People are also subjects of her photography. More precisely, people in a natural setting rather than posing for the camera.
“Like, if they are just doing their thing. Not necessarily looking at the camera, I like more natural shots like that,” she said.
She is currently exploring different realms that photography has, and is seeing what niche best fits her.
She did not start out with a sophisticated camera but with a simple point and shoot, or her phone. It was a study abroad trip this past summer in Italy, and the ART 369 The Photographic Travel Journal course was the origin of her photographer journey. It was during that trip where she felt like she finally became invested in the craft.
“I like learned more about photography and got more comfortable with creative photography. Cause I always l really liked it but never really invested in it,” she said.
Frank gained ample experience during her studies abroad in terms of utilizing various techniques. Her professor during the trip, Jeremy Chandler, helped cultivate her skills as a photographer. Traveling to various Italian locales and interacting with her classmates allowed her to learn along side them as well.
Ultimately, that trip in Italy trained her eyes to be more attentive and was a beneficial experience otherwise.
“We got to experience a culture and capture it through our own eyes,” she said. “Like, [it] made me pay a lot closer attention to my surroundings as we were traveling from city to city. Like, taking pictures, I was like paying more attention to the people and everything that was around me.”
Frank said that her experience today is mostly going out every day and putting in the mileage with her camera and accruing experience over time.
“Like I am today, I just wasn’t doing anything, so I decided to get out there and shoot and practice the techniques and give myself that creative space to try to learn from it,” said Frank.
Her boyfriend Dan Taylor aids her in developing the technical skills that she is still learning about. She said Taylor helped make her feel more comfortable with photography, but she always had that urge to capture the things she sees.
“Towards the beginning of my college career I realized that I really like taking photos, even just on my cellphone,” said Frank. “I just started to grow into feeling more comfortable, taking it to the next level. I always really love art and being creative in that kind of way. I just decided to jump into it a little more.”
She is navigating through the idea of merging her major of sociology with her hobby of photography, as she feels the two do co-exist organically.
She is majoring in sociology due to her desire to work with people. She wants give aid to the homeless populations or work with children or families. She said she is drawn towards the social aspect of human interactions and would not mind doing research in that area.
“I feel like they do mesh because photography is about capturing moments between people and certain expression of people. I love studying the expressions of people. I feel like it like a mixture of interest, definitely,” she said.
She takes inspiration from Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde, who works with colorblind people. According to Frank, Wilde would aim through the lens of someone who is colorblind by shooting and editing her photos from a colorblind perspective.
“I thought that was like a really cool perspective to take photos from,” said Frank. “It was cool to look at her photography through that sort of lens. I find that inspirational in trying to find different perspective to take photographs from.”
Photo Credit: Jacob Waring