About Jason Yeager
Whether I'm recording my own experiences (such as capturing a scene, documenting an achievement or remembering the good times with family/friends), or living vicariously through someone else (by researching a foreign place, planning an adventure, or learning something new), I've enjoyed the photo's utility and intrigue for as long as I can remember.
I'm a visually-oriented person, and as such, I feel that I can understand more from a image than from a lengthy narrative. Additionally, I feel like I can express myself much easier and more thoroughly through a visual medium than by words.
The impetus of my heightened interest in photography came while attending an art show in mid-2008. While musing about the show I arrived at a large panoramic print, composed of numerous single images, of a majestic landscape. My first thought was of how captivating it was. And my second thought was "Hey, I think I could do that".
Between having experience using Photoshop in architecture, and taking a photography elective while in college, I was able to work out the basics of how to reproduce this effect, but that was then filed in the back of my mind for some time to come.
This collection of my work grew out of the frustrating void left from being laid-off from my architecture firm for the second time in 12 months at the beginning of 2010. I began with a mid-range point & shoot camera that I had bought to document my architectural work while I was in college. Back in mid-2009 my cousin needed to drive cross country to go to college, and without work commitments, I offered to help drive.
I had driven cross country once before (when I was heading to college about 10 years prior), and in the years since I wished I had taken photos along the way (like I had done on other trips) as a means to reminisce about the adventure. So, I brought my camera and intended to take a photo journal of the trip across the country as seen from the car window.
As we started the trip, I took photos quite whimsically, shooting the highways, bridges, city skylines and interesting landscape features. Then we got to Utah. Utah is beautiful. As we approached one specific view area I couldn't help but notice how colorful and expansive the vista was, and I told my cousin we have to exit the freeway so I could get out and really take some decent pictures. That was when that idea of composing a panoramic image from many smaller ones came back to me. I walked to the edge of the canyon and started snapping photos sequentially from left to right until I had the whole view saved.
After finishing the trip, I eagerly unloaded the images from my camera and went to work on merging the photos from that view point into one image. The result was a crude representation of what I had seen, but the potential was palpable and encouraged me to try again.
From then on, my interest in photography has galvanized into an obsession, and I'm continuously refining my technique. I've gone from shooting 8-bit .jpg to 16-bit .raw files to create images with greater color depth and striking contrasts; from letting Photoshop auto-stitch my images together to manipulating the process in PTGui myself for a tighter control over the type of projection, vertical distortions and horizon line; going from single exposure images to multi-exposure HDR composites using Photomatix for further amplification of the colors and contrasts; from enhancing the post processing results through the use of a variety of built in image-adjustments in Photoshop to using specific plugins such as Topaz Adjust to reduce noise and increase the image's "pop". Then subsequently overhauling ALL of my composited photos every time I found a way to enhance them, working towards the best representation of what I saw at the time I took the photos.
As the results improved it inspired me to shoot more. Snowboarding excursions led to photo opportunities. Trips to visit friends also became photo outings. Soon I was planning vacations around where I wanted to take pictures.