Next up on the Flylords Photographer Spotlight series is Abe Blair. Residing in South Lake Tahoe, California, Abe’s best know for his landscape style photography and “get it right in camera” photos. Where many might think post-editing may take place it rarely does with Abe’s work. Abe is an accomplished fly fishing and raft guide and resident artist at The Eadington Gallery in Tahoe City and South Lake. Check out the full interview below to learn more about Abe and his work.
Flylords: Who is Abe Blair?
Abe: I have been a professional photographer since 2000. I received my first film camera in 1994 and quickly began to take it snowboarding and fly fishing with me. After high school, I dove into the ski and snowboard industry as a photographer. In the summer I worked as a whitewater and fly fishing guide in the small town of Maupin, Oregon on the Deschutes River. I did this for about 12-15 years. Meeting my wife during the latter part of that career we moved to the Lake Tahoe area and I started to pursue fine art landscape photography.
Flylords: How long have you been shooting photos for?
Abe: I have been into photography for almost 30 years and paying the bills through photography for about 20 years.
Flylords: How would you describe your style?
Abe: My landscape photography style is known as in-camera creations that often look like they spent a lot of time in Photoshop, though I do not use it. “Get it right in camera” is my Mantra.
Flylords: What is your go-to camera setup and lens?
Abe: Currently, I shoot with a Nikon D850. For landscape work I usually use my 18mm Zeiss lens, and when on assignment for fly fishing my 24-120mm lens is always mounted to a camera.
Flylords: Favorite place to shoot photos?
Abe: My favorite place to photograph other than my beautiful backyard of Tahoe is in Alaska.
Flylords: Do you remember the first photo you had published?
Abe: The first image I had published was in Transworld Skateboarding back in 1995. Since then I’ve had hundreds of pages printed around the world in ski, snowboard, skateboard, fly fishing and landscape photography magazines.
Flylords: Do you have a photo that is the most meaningful to you?
Abe: This photo of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA circa 1999 is probably my most personal favorite because I think it showed the future of my landscape photography style before I even knew that it would become what I was known for.
Flylords: Any mentors in the photography space?
Abe: Without a doubt, Jeff Mitchum has been my largest influence and mentor in landscape photography, and growing up as a fly fisherman in Oregon Brian O’Keefe was the photographer who influenced and helped me get started in the fly fishing industry.
Flylords: Any advice for an aspiring outdoor photographer?
Abe: The best advice I can give someone about outdoor photography is to always put 110% into everything you do. Have a perfuse amount of patience and put any ego aside. It’s not a very glorious profession like some think but the rewards of travel and meeting super cool people really are amazing!
Flylords: Any advice for shooting in low light settings?
Abe: The advent of low light photography I feel is our generation’s “color film” it was changed the times of day or night that we can photograph. When capturing the Milky Way the exposure is the easy part ISO 6400 f2.8 for 20-30 seconds. The tricky part is knowing where it is in the sky.
Flylords: Favorite place to fly fish?
Abe: My favorite place to fly fish is Alaska and the second is anywhere on a warm salt flat.
Flylords: Have you mixed fly fishing with your professional photo career at all?
Abe: When I was a guide in Oregon I reached out to Brian O’Keefe about submitting to his new magazine Catch. 10 years later I am a staff photographer for Catch and have traveled the world for them and a few booking agencies. I have been very blessed and lucky to be able to make a living with a fly rod in one hand and a camera in the other.
Flylords: Bucket list destination for fishing and photography?
Abe: Last year I checked off both Jurassic Lake and hiking and photographing the Fitz Roy mountains in Argentina/Chile. Next on the list would be spending some time chasing anything with fin and fur in Africa.
Since 2012, Flylords has been a proud leader in telling the stories of anglers and guides from around the world. Through film, photography, and journalism we strive to make each story as unique as the person or place it’s based off. Our goal is simple: inspire the next generation to get outdoors and hit the water!