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Kat Dierickx | 03.25.2015

It's been exactly one year since John Cody became a Contributor for Outdoor Project. As of today, he has 92 published adventures and blog posts on Outdoor Project. Not only does he contribute his adventures, he is one of Outdoor Project's biggest advocates. He's referred a number of new Contributors, and he's always looking for ways to bring more organizations into our community. 

One of the requirements to be a Contributor for Outdoor Project is to provide great images that inspire people to get outdoors. John got into photography out of necessity while collaborating with a record label. He bought a Nikon D3200, though he admits he had no clue how to use it. Over time he found he really enjoyed learning about the camera, and photography has become a passion of his. After about six months of self-education, John came across Outdoor Project. He thought it would be a good outlet for his photos as he had really come to enjoy nature and landscape photography. Here are some images from his early adventures. 

The Narrows
Moses Springs Trail
Rio Del Mar State Beach 
Pioneer Park
Lava River National Recreation Trail

John's technical skills improved from watching YouTube videos and reading tutorials online, but he attributes much of his growth as a photographer to Outdoor Project. "Not only did it drive me to go out and gather submission content, it held the images to a higher standard," he says. In working with Outdoor Project staff, he learned new techniques to use both while out shooting and throughout the editing process that have improved his photographs.

Five Photography Tips from John

  1. Shoot in manual mode with auto ISO. This allows the photographer to manually set shutter speeds and aperture, but the camera will shift the ISO to choose the correct exposure based on these settings.
  2. Go out more, shoot less. The key is to consistently get out and shoot. When you do shoot, take photos that count, not hundreds. This encourages you to think about what you are trying to accomplish and ensures you won't just be on autopilot with the camera. If you can visualize what it is you are trying to accomplish, you'll get a better final photo and save your camera's shutter life.
  3. Like or follow quality photographers on social media. You will be constantly exposed to creative photos that may come in handy if your inspiration is stagnant.
  4. Research, research, research! The more legwork you put in before you go on an adventure, the more time you'll save trying to figure it out once you are there. This means you'll have more time for photos, exploration, and less map checking
  5. Strive for verisimilitude with every shot, unless you are intentionally doing something specifically artistic. This gives you a more accurate photo and makes post-production more efficient. Don't rely on Lightroom to fix your photos; rather, it should just enhance them or fix what the camera was not able to do on its own (such as capturing a properly exposed sky and dark foreground, or achieving a balance between highlights and shadows).

Here are photos from John's more recent adventures. 

Panther Beach
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Ubehebe Crater
San Luis Creek Campground
Monarch Trail

Contributing for Outdoor Project has become one of John's favorite pastimes. He always looks forward to seeing his adventures published and sharing those adventures with friends and family. It is John's desire to work as a professional photographer, hopefully in a field relating to conservation and travel. We're thankful for John's adventures, his passion for the outdoors, and his desire to share his knowledge with the Outdoor Project community! 

For more of John's adventures, view his profile on Outdoor Project or follow him on Instagram (@CodyChrome_Photography).


John, the Outdoor Project community has been so lucky to have you guiding us through such incredible destinations. The Core Team is grateful for all you do!! Thanks buddy!
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