Getting Out in the Ozarks: Nature Photography

By Jennifer Kielman |

Published 02/20 2014 08:27PM

Updated 02/21 2014 05:52AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Photography is an art and for one Springfield man it's a passion.

"It’s just really beautiful out here,” says Jim Mayfield, a professional photographer. “You look up at that tree and then in the clouds."

Mayfield is a well-known freelance photographer from Springfield, with more than 40 years photography experience.

"I like nature and I like taking portraits of people,” he says.

Mayfield’s photography is stunning, which makes him the perfect person to teach photography basics.

"A lot of times, I just get in the car and go for a drive,” says Mayfield. “I drive country roads."

But this time, Mayfield takes KOLR10’s Jennifer Kielman to Busiek State Park, between Branson and Springfield, for a lesson on how it's done.

"I always have everything in my bag that I need, so I just pick my bag up and my tripod and I’m ready,” says Mayfield.

Mayfield says the best time of year to shoot this type of photography is actually the winter.
He says the season provides the best light and, for him, lighting is everything.

"It always has to do with the light,” says Mayfield. “The way the light hits the subject, just the nature of the light."

Another thing that's important is interesting clouds, he says.

“If you're out in the wild and you take a picture and it has blue skies, it's not going to be very exciting,” says Mayfield. "If you really want to take nice pictures and you have the money to spend on a really nice camera, I’d go with Canon or Nikon. They’re just real comparable."

If that's the case, he says expect to spend around $1,500. And if you're serious about the new hobby, just call it an investment.

If that's too much, Mayfield says you can find a camera in your budget that'll do the trick, along with lighting kits, lenses and more.

“I've got, oh, three different lenses that I like to use,” he says. “But I usually keep two with me all the time."

And a tripod is also good to have on hand, Mayfield says.

Mayfield says, for him, photography is a personal thing.

“It's really kind of like a meditating thing,” he says. “You're close to nature. You kind of get lost in it."

It's a hobby that's relaxing, and one that he enjoys.

"You can stand there and watch things change by the instant,” says Mayfield. “The clouds move. The water moves. Anything usually around water I can usually find something that stimulates me."

And, in the end, it could the perfect picture for your living room wall.

If you have a great idea for our new series "Getting Out in the Ozarks", simply shoot Jennifer Kielman an email at

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