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Brad Monahan understands how to take an amazing photo and maximize the potential of a DSLR while combining it with his innate, artistic eye. When you look at one of his photos, you stop to appreciate every bit of it. / Image: Brad Monahan / Published: 11.22.16

Hiding In Plain Sight, Here's A Cincinnati Photographer You Should Get To Know

Pretty much everyone has a camera. They're in our phones, they're in our pockets, they're strapped around our necks or slung off to our sides; but not everyone knows how to make the most of their camera's capabilities. Not everyone understands how to frame a subject, how to manually adjust settings to get the right exposure, or how to apply edits after the photo's processed.

But Brad Monahan isn't everyone. He's one of the few who understands how to take an amazing photo, thanks to with his innate, artistic eye.

The results are staggering. When you look at a photo Brad's shared, you take a moment to soak it in. The color, the way it's framed, the depth, the technical proficiency, the scale... the EVERYTHING.

Needless to say, I'm a fan of Brad's work. So much so that we wanted to feature him for this month's Photographer Spotlight.

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Cincinnati Refined: Sum yourself up in a couple sentences.

Brad Monahan: I was born and raised on the West Side of Cincinnati, and I have lived in the Tri-State my entire life. In my free time, I love watching football, listening to music, and of course finding new places to photograph. I have traveled immensely the last eight years for my job which has given me a great opportunity to photograph some amazing places across the country.

CR: What’s your camera of choice?

BM: This year I made the transition to my first full-frame DSLR, the Nikon D750. The detail, sharpness, and dynamic range of this camera has allowed me to take my work to the next level.

CR: The one lens you can't live without...

BM: I never thought I would fall in love with a kit lens, but I have been blown away with the sharpness of my Nikon 24-120 f/4. It has turned into my everyday lens since I purchased my D750, and it rarely comes off my camera. It’s wide enough for landscapes, but it also gives you a little more reach for detail shots.

CR: Coolest/most memorable/favorite experience while shooting...

BM: The most memorable experience as a photographer was being able to accompany my dad and a few other veterans on their return trip to Vietnam. I will be forever grateful for the photos, stories, and healing that I experienced on that trip.

CR: How would you describe your photographic style?

BM: I consider myself very old school in the way I approach photography. I shot and developed my own black and white film for about eight years. I still approach digital photography in a similar manner, trying to get the best possible “negative” in one single exposure. I think my current style of photography consists of shooting dramatic sunrises and sunsets with lots of color and sun flare.

CR: What’s at the top of your photography bucket list?

BM: The top of my photography bucket list would be definitely be visiting Iceland. The waterfalls, Northern lights, black sand beaches... Those are all a photographer's paradise.

CR: Name the one thing in Cincinnati you could never get tired of photographing.

BM: The Roebling. I’ve had friends comment on my pictures and say, "This is beautiful and all but enough of that bridge already!" My favorite day of the week is #roeblingwednesday on Instagram — I love seeing all the different perspectives that photographers are able to capture of that bridge.

CR: Any advice for aspiring photographers?

BM: Learn how to use your camera in manual mode, always shoot in RAW, and watch as many videos on YouTube on how to process an image in Lightroom. I would also recommend surrounding yourself with people who share your same passion for photography. Some days I need a nudge or inspiration to keep my creative juices flowing.

CR: Motto to live by...

BM: Always treat others as you want to be treated.

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You're not going to want to miss Brad's photos, so scroll to the top and check them out!

If you want to follow Brad on Instagram (which is highly recommended) his screen name is @bradmonahan.
And for prints of his awesome work, check out his website.