Ian Shive, a young environmental photographer, has developed an iPad app that any lover of nature or nature photography will want to download.
“For less than a gallon of gas you basically get my entire life's work,” says Shive, who has photographed numerous national parks. “The app has so much content that it's like buying five of the best outdoor/nature magazines. There are hundreds of photos, galleries and an interactive photography gear-check list, which is useful for any aspiring photographers.”
While aimed at photographers and photographers-to-be, Shive explains that the app has a little something for everyone.
“If you don't aspire to be a photographer but love great images from the world's wildest places, you'll love it,” he says. “If you are looking to improve your photography or get pretty advanced with your outdoor photography skills, there’s a ‘how-to’ field guide that goes not only into the technical notes behind some of my best photos, but also goes deep into the thought-process of how I choose certain locations and compositions.”
Shive became a professional photographer “very, very gradually.”
“My interests have always been in the outdoors, and at first, I used to hike and backpack through all sorts of wonderful landscapes before I realized that I wanted to start sharing those experiences through my photographs,” he explains.
He started out taking photographs as a hobby, and eventually turned it into a full-time career.
“I've been to all 50 states and dozens of countries, and met hundreds of people, from ranchers in the American West to spear fisherman in Micronesia,” says Shive, reflecting on why he truly loves what he does. “Everyday is different. You can wake up and find out you are heading to the far side of Earth in a week. Where my day begins is never an indication of where it may end.”
Shive is now sharing what he has learned, not only through the Ian Shive Photography App, but also as a teacher of photojournalism at the University of Southern California.
Those not fortunate enough to enroll in Shive’s class can take away this piece of advice: “The most important rule of making great images is to use your camera to tell a story,” says Shive. “A pretty picture that doesn't engage the imagination is a two-dimensional image. A photograph that makes you want to know ‘What happened next?’ or ‘What's around the next bend?’ is one that strikes our imagination and leads us into the story.”
No matter what you aspire to do, Shive believes passion is an essential ingredient in success.
“While I may have the greatest job around, it's still a job and a business, and it's important to remember that no matter what career path you take - whether it's as a photographer or a lawyer - you must be passionate about what you do, otherwise you will always struggle to find happiness in your career.”
Download Shive’s app on iTunes here.