David Thompson is a landscape photographer currently based in Las Vegas. He has lived in the Southwest United States for most of his life, and has the opportunity to photograph many amazing within a relatively close distance to home. David’s portfolio includes beautiful photos from around the world, with a heavy dose of the Southwest.
I recently had the opportunity to interview David about his work. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the insight he provides, as well as the inspiration you’ll receive from his photos that are showcased throughout the interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.
My name is David Thompson, and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I consider myself just an ordinary guy that has a deep passion for landscape photography. I picked up my first camera in 2004. Being that I enjoyed traveling, I wanted a camera to capture my travels. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was shooting film and was basically shooting in full auto, pointing the camera at anything and everything hoping I’d capture something decent. I failed miserably at film. It wasn’t until 2008 when I got my first digital camera, and that camera completely changed my life.
Do you have any formal photography training?
I don’t have any formal training at all. I am completely self taught.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I would describe my style as elegant and surreal with emphasis on subtle details.
Do you enjoy other types of photography aside from landscapes?
I do enjoy travel/documentary style photography. I like seeing the cultures and peoples from other countries. That type of photography is fascinating to me.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another photographer?
The best advice that I received from another photographer, was from Cecil Whitt. Early on when I was trying to find myself with my photography, Cecil stressed to me that with the “art” of photography, it is a journey. He mad it clear to me that it takes time to be good at this medium and to take my time and be patient with the “journey”.
Can you tell us about any of your favorite locations in the Southwest that aren’t that well known?
The Southwest is such a huge area. There are so many locations I really don’t even know where to begin. A couple locations that I enjoy is the Bisti Wilderness and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. These areas are so unique and one could spend weeks exploring these areas.
What are your most essential gear/accessories?
I’d say my most essential gear and accessories has to be my cell phone, gloves, and 150mm-500mm lens. My cell phone has all my location info stored in one shape or form. From GPS coordinates to previous hiking tracks/routes I’ve recording, the info is all there in my phone. For some odd reason, I always keep 2 pair of gloves with my backpack. I really don’t know why but I do…. it’s a strange thing, and I’ll admit it, I’m weird.
Lastly, if I’m not flying or doing super long hikes, I like to lug my Nikon 200-500mm aka “the bazooka” with me. That lens is super sharp, and shooting at those longer focal lengths has opened my eyes to other scenes that I may not typically look for.
Do you have a dream location that you have not been to yet?
I think if I had once place I’d like to visit I’d have to say Norway, but not the main tourist areas. But the areas that the locals see and photograph. The scenes that are off the beaten path. I think that would be my dream trip.
Aside from photography, what hobbies do you have, or what do you like to do for fun?
Outside from photography, I’m somewhat of a homebody. I like spending time with my family. Watching movies and sports. I’ll get out and play basketball with my son. And I love to travel.
What do you have planned for 2018?
My plans for 2018 are to basically keep doing what I’ve been doing. Try to be as creative as I can with my work. Continue to refine my processing and vision. Do more traveling and visiting areas that don’t have tons of people visiting them. I’ve taken a very strong liking to aerial photography with the drone, so I’ll be doing as much exploring as I can with that. I have plans to visit several areas here in the Southwest later on in the spring which I’m looking forward to. Hopefully do some more teaching. And that’s really it. I just want to keep growing/evolving as an artist and continue to have fun.
Connect with David
If you’d like to see more of David’s work or get in touch with him, please use the links below.
All of the photos in this post are © David Thompson, used with permission.