Tag Archives: Woods Wheatcroft

Au Vol. 7: Connections

Our photographers are solitary in many ways, and their adventures are often only shared with one or two others. Despite the number of solitary subjects in Au Vol. 7, there are connections being made in every image, on every page. The moments captured reveal the triangular nature of outdoor photography: the connection between the subject, nature, and the photographer. When Rob Hammer captures a solo trail runner cutting across a lonely ridge, or Alasdair Turner photographs a young couple sharing a first canoe trip on an Alaskan lake on their wedding day, Aurora contributors connect us from our far away places to the beauty of man (and woman) exploring nature, and making connections of their own. It’s why Michael Wilson hiked the Appalachian Trail and took portraits of the people he met along the way, and why Craig Moore goes out to stand up paddle on Lake McDonald at sunrise. They take us where we’d like to go and introduce us to who we’d like to meet, and in that way, we are all connected.

Au Vol 7 Cover Large

Immerse yourself in some of our best imagery: https://issuu.com/auroraphotos/docs/au-vol-7

PDN Great Outdoors 2015 Contest Winners

Trying to choose which images to submit to a contest can be difficult.  Even more so when the images aren’t technically yours, but rather from many different excellent photographers, at the top of their game.  It gets even more difficult when that contest is completely in your wheelhouse, like the PDN Great Outdoors contest is.  Choosing out of the thousands of high quality images in a highly curated collection is like choosing which species of bear is your favorite bear.  How can you possibly pick just one?

Therefore, we were thrilled to see two images we chose were judged as winners in their categories!  Chris Ross’s shark image took first place in Beaches & Underwater, while Ryan Deboodt’s feisty orangutan was a winner in the Animals & Insects category!  On top of that, three other photographers that Aurora represents (Keith Ladzinski, Jason Lindsey and Woods Wheatcroft) won, highlighted by Woods winning the grand prize in the Action & Adventure category.

You can see all of the winners in both the professional and amateur categories here or in the August issue of PDN magazine.

Staying Creative with Woods Wheatcroft

For the past ten years, Woods Wheatcroft has been delivering unique images with a singular vision and heartfelt creativity to Aurora Photos. Woods’ work blends humor, sentiment, spirit, and spontaneity in a style that stands out from the pack. Recently Woods passed the 3000 image mark in the highly curated Aurora Collection — a testament to both his longevity and the quality of his photography. We took the occasion to ask Woods about his style and the methodology that brought him from 0 to 3000.

Click here to see a selection of the “Best Of” Woods Wheatcroft OR browse all of Woods’ 3000 images.

Aurora Photos: Your body of work is an interesting balance between candid found moments and situations that you create, and yet your style is consistent through and through. How do you maintain that consistent style when shooting with these different methods?

Woods Wheatcroft: The consistency of style and the blending of the methods is a result of trusting my eye and plaicng myself in situtations that ring true to me. For example, I stopped shooting sporting events because there is no reflective truth in the subject matter for me any longer… Candid moments are about being prepared and sometimes lucky and trusting that the moment that happens is front of me is the one intended for me to capture. The candid moments find me like they find anyone else. Being ready, having your camera with you and timing are all crucial ingredients. In the situations that I create, I work with close friends and willing creative people to create a controlled environment then allow it to come apart. As the controlled arena dissolves, there are inherently candid moments. Those are the ones I’m after.

[Au]: In addition to humor, there is a heartfelt sentimentality to much of your work. What other messages or meaning do you try to convey through your pictures?

WW: I like to generate an element of comfort in my pictures, trust if you will. I like the subject to be comfortable, open, free, trusting. I consider myself an affable person. Make people feel comfortable in front of the camera and that translates to how the photo, the moment, the image feels in the end. You can always spot discomfort and stiffness… I believe as photographers we can break that down. We have our tools. So when you ask about other messages and meaning in my photography words that come to mind include: lighthearted, openness, free spirited, fun and genuine.

Little boy, age 5 flying a paper airplane in a big wide open field.

[Au]: Can you talk a little bit about your process — when you are coming up with a concept for a set of images, how much of the shoot is scripted or really planned out for a given situation. How much improvisation happens in the course of shooting? Are you ever surprised by the results?

WW: I create a controlled creative space at first and then bust out from there. So it is scripted in some sense, in that i provide the scenarios, but really truly I am after the in between moments as it either comes together or breaks apart. Thee is always lots of improvisation. Tons. I’m after the surprise, so yes, I am always surprised by the results.

[Au]: Your photographic style is distinctive. I feel like when I’m looking through the Aurora archive, I can spot a Woods Wheatcroft photo almost immediately among other images. What advice would you have for other photographers on developing and nurturing their own style?

WW: Do your best to create the most honest reflection of how you see the world through how you live your life. Share this truth and intimacy. Many of my photos look very genuine…that’s because they are…and that’s because what i am doing or what someone very close to me is doing at that time is really what is happening!! And of course, the advice I was given a long time ago… Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. One of the only ways I see to hone your style is to practice and for photographers that means shooting. A lot. A style will eventually rise to the top of the pile.

A couple on a tandem bike.

[Au]: You did a great portrait project of people and their bikes. Do you have a favorite bike story?

WW: There’s no one favorite bike story other than the fact that the longer I worked on the bike project, the longer it took to get a portrait. I really started to get to know the people and it was an awesome feeling to dive in and befriend total strangers on their bikes and celebrate a mutual love of the freedom of two wheels.

[Au]: If you weren’t making pictures, what would you be doing?

WW: If I weren’t making pictures I would be making something else: food, art, shelter, friends, memories, and more experiences that take me down this precious road of life.

Click here to see a selection of the “Best Of” Woods Wheatcroft

Click here to browse all of Woods’ 3000 images

This Just In: Beach Bypass by Woods Wheatcroft

Little girl on a beach looking through binoculars while a four wheeler speeds by on the horizon. Mexico © Woods Wheatcroft

Woods says: This frame was captured on the beach in Baja with my daughter. She likes to style herself. We brought binoculars to look for whales and pelicans from the beach. So while she was looking around with the binoculars a local passed by on a four wheeler. It seemed to create a spontaneous juxtaposition, the two subjects converging having very little to do with one another. Even their spatial relation to each other suggests very separate worlds.

I would say over the years my eye has become tuned to capturing spontaneity–often with an ironic and humorous twist. I can’t say I go out looking for spontaneity (you can’t really), rather moments happen and I have started to see them just before they happen enabling me the opportunity to click the shutter.

To see more stock photography by Woods Wheatcroft, visit Aurora Photos.

To see Woods’ assignment portfolio, visit Aurora Select.