Interview With Jennifer Wu

Canon Explorer of Light, Jennifer Wu, shares her love for photography, the way she researches for locations and her post process techniques
Interview by Tiffany Reed Briley

Hey Jennifer! It’s great to catch up with you! We are excited to have you as one of the pro’s that we get to chat with for the RRS Interviews, Raw & Unedited.  To kick things off and get started, will you share with us how you got started in photography?

Well, like many kids, I started taking photographs when I was young. When I was five or six years old I started backpacking with my Dad and sister. Well, it was more like walking while my dad carried everything except my water bottle, stuffed animal and blanket. Anyway, I would take photographs of a lake we camped at or of the trees around it. Then, later on in high school I took a photo class. When I went off to university I took a variety of classes from biology to ceramics. I realized that I was taking so many photography classes (I liked it so much) that I decided to major in photography. I loved it! I kept shooting and choosing photography courses, in different fields of photography. I did portraits and weddings for a while and finally found my calling in nature photography. 

You were named as one of the very few elite photographers who are Canon Explorers of Light, can you tell us how that came about and being selected?

I was doing nature photography and ran into a Canon Representative in San Francisco. He said hello and I immediately recognized him. I used to buy my camera lenses, developing paper and film from him when I was at university. It was the store across the street from where I lived. I told him that I just got back from Hawaii and had a blast taking some night pictures. I sent him some of them to see. He asked if he could pass them on. I was thinking that he was going to show them to his mother. Then I received a call from Canon saying that they saw my images of the Milky Way and asked if I could get a photograph of the Milky Way with the light painted trees, just for them. I was so excited. This was in 2008 and I had been shooting night photography for a couple of years. Creating something different made me stand out from other nature photographers at the time. It wasn’t until later that digital night sky photography became popular. After that I did a seminar and workshop on shooting the night sky. I didn’t know it at the time but I was recommended by a Canon Representative to be an Explorer of Light. I then received a call from Canon asking to set up a conference call with some people with important sounding titles. I had no idea why they were calling. They called and asked if I would like to join the Explorer of Light Program. I screamed, I was so excited. They said, we will take that as a yes then!

We are seeing more and more females emerging as landscape/nature photographers as of late, but you have been doing this since 1992.  Tell us about the early days being a female in the field.

I really didn’t give a second thought about being a female in the field of nature photograph when I started. While there were not that many women landscape photographers, there were some. When I was doing art shows many years ago, I would ...

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About Author

Tiffany Briley

Tiffany Reed Briley currently lives in Charleston, SC with her husband. They own Charleston Photography Tours and The Photography Workshop Company. Tiffany is on staff at The Landscape Photography Magazine and Wild Planet Photo Magazine. Raised in Alberta, Canada she enjoys photographing the seascapes of Charleston, the majestic vistas of the Canadian Rockies, and is always ready for the next adventure awaiting her.


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    Andre Erlich on

    Jennifer is not only a great photographer but also a fantastic teacher. I enjoyed and appreciated her workshop on night shooting in the Death Valley immensely.

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    Great interview. Jennifer captures the light and composition we all seem to miss. If you get a chance to hear her speak at Canon Learning or Explorer of Light its magical!

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    Excellent article, I’m a big fan of Jennifer and her photography style! Night Sky is a great book, i keep it around and refer to it often. I hope to cross paths with Jennifer again one of these days!

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    Edward DeLorme on

    I remember meeting her once. A very interesting, intelligent and beautiful lady. Buy her book. It’s full of great night shooting ideas!!!

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