Thanks to everyone who entered our ISO contest! We were blown away by the entries you submitted for a chance to be featured on ISO—there were so many talented photographers and beautiful images. It was a difficult choice, but there could only be one winner…

Congratulations to Dale Johnson! We asked Johnson a few questions to get to know him and his photography a little better.

How did you get started in photography? Tell us a little about yourself.

I received my first camera (Nikon FE) as a high school graduation present from my parents over 30 years ago. After taking some classes at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and several workshops from some well-known photographers, I was hooked. I moved from 35mm to medium format and then to large format (4×5) film photography with my own darkroom to print my images. I made the switch to digital in 2006 and love the precision one now has in controlling the look and feel of an image. For my day job, I’m an engineer for Boeing in Seattle and have a position that has me travel the world to meet with foreign Civil Aviation Authorities. I have been to some amazing places and always try to make time to spend an extra few days getting out to explore with my camera. My 500px account allows me to share those travels with others.

Masai Mara, Kenya by Dale Johnson on

Your stunning photo “Masai Mara, Kenya” captivated our judges. Please provide some insight into this particular photo—what’s the story behind the image? How did you capture it?

I was back in Nairobi Kenya a few weeks ago for work and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a quick 3 day, 2 night safari in the Masai Mara National Park. Around camp, the Maasai would escort us to our tents and carry a spear in case any animals got a little too close. Seeing the spear and traditional clothing made me want to capture an image with the Maasai in their element. The sunset on our first evening was incredible and so for our final afternoon game drive, I made sure that our guide brought his spear along as I was envisioning a silhouette against the sunset. As the afternoon wore on, clouds started moving in and completely covered the sky, so I though my plans for a sunset were a bust. As we were driving back to our camp, the sunlight burst through the clouds, with amazing rain clouds overhead. I set up my tripod as low to the ground as possible as the rain began to fall, but I was able to get my shot before the light disappeared.

What do you enjoy most about photography? What does photography mean to you?

As an engineer, I enjoy the whole process of photography, from thinking through the best camera settings to capturing the shot that I’m envisioning to the post-processing, where I can further refine the final image to reflect my vision of what I experienced. My photography provides an outlet for me to share my experiences of the people and places that I am fortunate enough to visit.

Want to see more of Dale Johnson’s work? Follow him on 500px.

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