Keep your creative stoke. Break the mold and your visual rut by shooting outside of the box. By Randall Levensaler

Randall Levensaler is the Art Director at Trail Runner magazine.

Variety is the spice of life. When shooting for editorial, tell the story by providing a variety of perspectives. Have a shot list that incorporates portraits, lifestyle, sports action and scenics.

Be original! Take the time to discern your personal creative vision and refine your post-processing style.

Learn from your work and evolve. Ask yourself why an image is successful or not. If you are unsure, ask your friends to help critique your work.

Over the past 15 years, Randall has gained a reputation as a top art director and designer in the outdoor industry, and has served as Trail Runner and Rock and Ice magazines’ art director for the past six years. Randall’s creative career started in photography before becoming a designer.

"James Bonnett can taste the finish line at the 2017 Hardrock 100, Silverton, Colorado—mile 86, day two, 8 a.m. As I hiked up to my location in the twilight of dawn, I decided to focus my efforts on one thing: the runners’ faces and their expressions as they ran backlit in the morning light of day two.

Shooting with one lens, an 85mm/1.4 at f2.8, I stood facing the runners head on from a distance. The lighting was good and the colors were vibrant, but it was the runners’ faces that told epic stories of perseverance and battles waged during the cold, wet night. I knew these photographs were destined to be shared in black and white."

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This is an excellent image and it also highlights Randall’s skill. It is very difficult to expose properly for the face and not blow out the background in such a shot. Two questions for Randall were you shooting full frame and mode were you using on your camera?