Category Archives: profiles

‘Our Cameras don’t have the Capability of our Eyes’ – Varun Aditya

Varun Aditya’s journey is one of dedication and perseverance. A journey that found his calling in photography and a passion that derived from nature. In this interview he takes us through that journey and more: Excerpts


How did photography happen? And how did you go about pursuing this dream?


I was doing my post-graduation in London and being an introvert, I always wanted to travel to open up. Aided by the fact that my parents were also travellers, that and the Western Ghats close to the Coimbatore where I resided influenced me a lot. I bought my first camera at the end of 2010 and shot London and posted that on social media platforms of those days. I started getting appreciation and that motivated me a lot.



Once while clicking an aircraft I accidentally clicked a bird in flight and got fascinated with the image. I tried recreating it, but realised that it wasn’t easy and that you have to follow their pattern. The more I started following nature, I started falling in love with it. That is how nature and wildlife started. In 2013, I started doing safaris, my first safari was in Bandipur, Karnataka and that is where I saw my first tiger, leopards and spotted deer’s and all these beautiful animals made me fell in love with nature. And that’s when I realised that this is my passion.



What inspires you about wildlife photography?


Nature, light and the animals. In my journey to understanding nature and photography, somewhere in between I fell in love with light, especially after my first safari in Bandipur. I play a lot with light and that is what inspires me when it comes to animals as well. And the more time I spent in nature with animals, I really started liking them a lot. As the saying goes ‘animals are better than humans’, I genuinely feel that they are more responsible than us. They do a lot more than human beings and I have really learnt from animals.




What are the practical difficulties that a photographer faces while shooting wildlife?


The practical difficulty that we face are unlike the other genre, except street photography. Wildlife and street photography are similar, nothing’s going to pose for you. Wildlife photography gets even trickier because the practical difficulty we face is that we got to be lucky, you really can’t create the scene. You have to wait for the scene, decide and be active with your presence of mind.


You get less than 60 seconds to shoot a cat in the Indian jungles since they are thick. Which means you have to be there at the right time, the right moment, right weather, right light and the right background. If these factors don’t align, then it is something that you have to master, which I am also in the process of doing. But in this pandemic, I have learnt that when you limit yourself with what you have then you can sharpen your creative skills. I worked on that during this lockdown and realised the difference it made when I did my first safari post the lockdown in Bandipur.



What level of research is needed before going out on the field? Is it important to know a lot about animal behaviour to get the perfect shot?


There is a lot of research that we do, but my secret is that I usually prefer to go to places in the off season. For instance, when I wanted to go Masai Mara, I went in the off season and got the idea about what I had to do for the next 10 trips. It is also advisable to go as per the weather conditions, I choose a place according to the weather, like if it is the best to go to Masai Mara is between August or September then I prefer going in November when no one would show up because of the rain. But now with global warming things are becoming unpredictable in terms of the weather as well.



Animal behaviour is important and I have learnt a lot from my mistakes over time. For instance, I would photograph lions during the day in Masai Marawhen they would only sleep. Since they sleep for over 18 hours during the daytime, they are awake in the night, which is the best time to photograph them. Similarly, capturing a cheetahwhile hunting. It is important to know that a cheetahalong with their cubs hunt a lot more, so tracking when was their last meal. This helps in being at the right place at the right time.


Another example closer to home when we track tigers and leopardsthen they always choose the same path most of the time. Or birds, they always visit a place at the same time, especially when they are feeding. These are the animal behaviours that we learn eventually from our experience which is very fascinating to learn.



How can you as a photographer help protect wildlife and conservation?


As a photographer, there are two ways that you can help in conservation. You can ask your followers to visit safaris since half of that price goes to conversation. You can also spread positivity with your pictures as a photographer. Another way to contribute is to donate to wildlife societies that work on wildlife conversation. As a wildlife photographer we can influence viewers with our pictures and I am proud to be such an influencer, since it really works.



Are there any species/animals that you will happily photograph again and again?


I am not a species driven person, to me an elephant or a pen or my mom is all the same. I try my best to capture that frame and convey a story. For me it is all about composition. But having said that, any monkey family gives you a lot of photography opportunity and that’s what I love about monkeys. Because whenever I find them they are always active, they do something or the other and support my frames. So yeah if I want to photograph any animal/species that will be any monkey.



Your image for Nat Geo’s Nature Photographer of the Year for animal portrait is incredible. How did you get that?


It was with my friend Arvind Ramamurthy who decided to go there. A place called Amboli, and it comes alive when it rains with a lot of frogs, snakes, etc. We went there to photograph the Malabar Gliding Frog and that was the first day out in the woods, we went there for three nights. We started photographing frogs and my friend spotted a Green Vine Snake, it was just 15-16 cm, very small.


The environment was beautiful and I decided to change to a wide lens from a macro lens. Others were reluctant since it was raining, but I don’t really care about the gear, I care more about the picture. So I shifted from macro lens to wide angle 16-35mm f/4 lens and I started photographing. It was really challenging as the picture was getting fogged up a lot because it was raining again and again, I had to clean the lens front element and click every time. The picture was foggy so I had to use the dehaze in the post-processing a lot which I don’t usually do. Thanks to the snake it stayed there posing for about 15 minutes.


It was a beautiful learning experience for me because that particular picture of Green Vine Snake, I named it ‘Dragging you deep into the woods’. I loved the image and the composition really conveyed the story I wanted.



Post-Processing of images has now become a common trend. Do you advise its use?


Post-processing actually depends on the image, I sit on an image for 5 minutes to an hour depending on what the image or the scene demands. I usually look for backgrounds and if I find the subject first then I follow two main rules, avoid what is distracting and include what is good. And the same thing in post-processing avoid what is distracting and enhance what is good, so it is an art of enhancing. It is really important to embrace the trend.


It was really tough for me to start learning post processing, but it is such a beautiful thing and altogether a different art of enhancing images. Our cameras do not have a capability of our eyes, our eyes have HDR, it can balance highlights and shadows and our cameras can’t do that. I don’t like cloning, removing or adding a subject. That is called digital manipulation and it works for people who like it. That is a different art. My peace comes in when I do what I love. For me it is the basic post-processing which includes highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, a bit of vibrance, I use a lot of brush as well and just the fundamentals. I would recommend people to use it, it is a good thing.



What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out and considering pursuing a career in wildlife photography?


My advice would be that passion will find you, don’t go searching for it. Be alive, keep thinking about what you are good at and keep trying new stuff, be adventurous. You never know what knocks your door and that can be your calling. The advice I would like to give being a wildlife photographer, to make a living out of wildlife photography is really tough. I spent six years jobless, a good portfolio on Instagram and Facebook and my website and I have one or two books as well. It took time and also it took two awards for me to get the confidence to do it professionally.


There are two ways to earn professionally in this genre. One is to teach and other is to collaborate with brands. I started teaching in 2016 by way of workshops and photography tours. And now with the number of followers that we have we approach brands that pay us.


It took me six years and it can be less for you with the world growing, be good at your work and try to be unique that’s the main thing I would say.



What are your favourite places to shoot and if you could recommend some places for our readers to shoot at?


I choose places depending on the weather, so the bunch of places that I can recommend if people are from North then I will suggest Jim Corbett in the end of April, May and June for the elephants and Kaziranga at the end of March or April when it starts to rain. I recommend Kabini for the beautiful trees and leopards and lot of cats. I recommend Kanha for the jungle since it is beautiful.


If you are looking for a National Park then it is Bandipur, Kabini as all the South India national parks are open throughout the year. I recommend Ranthambore for a lot of tigers in unique habitat, but I still to visit Ranthambore not in summer but in monsoon and winter season if you want some great photographs, starting from November to January the park is closed, sometimes they open the Zone no. 6 and 10 and maybe Zone no. 7 as well.

Interview with Cory Richards: Breaking down Ambition versus Reality

Not many can call themselves a Photographer and an Adventurer. Not because they can but probably because they won’t put themselves in a situation that stretches them to their limit and beyond. Cory Richards on the other hand seems like a photographer who is born out of adventure. Bhavya Desai speaks to him about his innate sense of adventure, his personal journey, mental toughness and his recent collaboration with a car manufacturer.
Excerpts:


What is the level of preparations that an adventure photographer undergoes ahead of any expedition?
These trips are months, if not years of making. Often times before a large expedition, like the one with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan I spent a few months in preparation, learning about the place I was going and doing research, then a couple of weeks of packing, making sure I had all the equipment I needed from a photography perspective. These things are logistical puzzles, some people would call them nightmares, some people would call them an absolute dream. I tend to think of them more as nightmares and I am always blown away by the capacity of the teams that come together and orchestrate these massive endeavours.
If you look back at all the time that I am putting into my next adventure, which I’m embarking on in spring, it is literally ten years of work. The acute preparation is around three months while the training period is about a year.

Despite vigorous preparation factors like isolation, fatigue among others take one to the edge of their mental toughness. Do you think any level of prep can do that?
I mean you can’t prepare for the rapid shifts that may or may not happen in an assignment or an expedition, because all you can do is adapt to the moment as it unfolds. That’s the nature of expeditions or exploration. The only thing that prepares for that kind of decision- making is doing that decision-making. You will not know what those decisions are going to be or what is going to predicate them.
I found that pushing through hard things have been radically trained by small things that I do at home which include my day-to-day workouts that I really push myself through. That could be incremental like pushing yourself to do more reps? Those little mechanisms we teach our mind to do in our day-to-day lives have profound impact on your morality out in the field. Also, setting goals and achieving them, accomplishing small digestible goals. When you finally reach that end where you push through your absolute limit, it will be by breaking down that final goal into digestible pieces.


What are the practical difficulties that a photographer faces while shooting in such extreme conditions?

The practical difficulties I encounter are usually environmental. Either extreme cold or extreme heat, wind. For example, when I was shooting with Rolls-Royce, we were taking the Cullinan through the Empty Quarter and we were hit by a massive sandstorm in the middle of the dessert that thrashed one of my best cameras. That’s one of those things we have to adapt to and those are sort of the environmental challenges that I encounter. On the other hand, in extreme cold conditions you are trying to keep things powered up, like your camera battery. But really, the things that are hardest are the mental hurdles, being away from home, being away from loved ones, being in life-threatening situations and accessing the risk and breaking down ambition versus reality. Those things are much more taxing, they don’t have the same acute challenge as the environmental hurdles that I often face. They are bigger life decisions and often require more attention.


What is that one thing that you cannot do without when it comes to these sort of expeditions?
Apart from a camera, any camera, it doesn’t have to be the best thing in the world. It can be a phone camera. But otherwise, a kindle or reading tablet, for me, is pivotal because it allows me an escape and allows me to stay educated and keep my mind engaged. That’s one thing that I find really powerful, keeping your mind active when you are on these long expeditions or explorations.
Having a way to diversify your thought process, be it through music or reading, so you are not constantly fatiguing your brain thinking about the objective. Another thing that is very helpful for me is my meditation practice. Again, it gives my mind a hard reset. It is something I can do on a daily basis that requires nothing but my own willingness to engage with it. I think it functionally helpful in engaging the creative process as well as to continue to foster that curiosity throughout the expedition.


What is the best and the worst memory from your expeditions/shoots?
I think usually the best is usually is the worst. Because usually a really difficult situation that comes up or something that is really impactful ends up pushing you towards growth. I can point to one that is very well known, and that is the avalanche on Gasherbrum II years ago. That was one of the most unpleasant, horrific, scary experiences of my life. But it was also a moment that pushed my career into a new trajectory. It opened a lot of doors, it made me examine myself and my own experiences with climbing and my identity and pushed me down a path towards bettering myself.
Here’s this moment that was horrifically frightening, a near-death experience, it put me through a cycle of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I also got divorced. I started drinking too much and all of that ends up being this gateway into this new life, which has allowed me to grow and push beyond certain areas in my life I never thought that were possible. It has allowed me to excel and evolve as a human.


Given the current challenging scenario globally, how do you think this will change this genre, especially since travelling might be challenge for some time to come?
I don’t know that it will change the genre. I think what it is going to do is slow it for a certain period of time. I think we are going to see a dramatic reduction in the rampant travelling that we were enjoying for so long and honestly, it is a healthy pause for the planet. I think it is a healthy pause for all of us, but I don’t think it will change the genre. I think we need to be more intentional with the trips we take, with the stories we want to tell. I hope that if it changes, it would move us to adventures with purpose versus adventure for adventure’s sake.


While covering war-affected or unfortunate areas, how do you as a photographer isolate your emotions to capture the moment as is?
Honestly, there is a lot of emotional feedback, especially when you are in an area that is affected by conflict or you are in a more impoverished area. First and foremost, I try to interpret the experience by not shutting myself down emotionally and feeling what comes up for me. Quite often, those feelings are amplified or sourced from my own ignorance, my own naivety, my own privilege. So again, the emotional upwelling, when it happens, is kind of a source of information, so I never try it shut it down.
Infact, I try to use that emotion to move me towards a better picture. If I can feel and engage with the emotional response that I am having, that can direct me towards more meaningful photography, and more meaningful art. The art should be informed by the emotion, and not outside of the emotion. If I am affected, ultimately the goal is to photograph what it feels like, not what it looks like. That’s the key for great photography. I don’t mean to show people what it looks like, I need to show them what it feels like. If I can accomplish that, then I think I can accomplish something more transcendent. The only way I can do that is to be in touch with what it actually feels like: good, bad, hard, heart- wrenching at times. But those things are informative.


Any tips that you would like to give the upcoming and young talent?
Actually, you are absolutely right, there are more story-tellers on a much more global scale than we ever have. I used to think this was a very euro-centric endeavour, and I think that that is tied to the history of how the world was when it comes to exploring. I am being kind in the way I am describing that right now. I am excited to see the very faces in the diverse group of story tellers that are coming up all over the world.
My encouragement is the same with any young storyteller: Find what you are actually passionate in talking about, not what you think looks good or getting likes on social media. Find a story or stories that move you, genuinely move you, that really does ignite your limbic resonance, or your emotional response. Pursue those. Find what drives you and find a cause that you are passionate about and pursue those. If that is adventure, then great. But make sure your adventures have some purpose behind them. Try to find that purpose and with that driving force, pursue them all the way to the grave and keep pursuing them beyond when you think they are already done. Pursue those long, big stories. But pursue what you are actually passionate about, not what you think is going to get you recognition or likes, not what you think is the thing to pursue in that moment. That’s not helpful, what’s helpful is your passion.


What was the objective of collaborating with the Cullinan and did a camouflaged SUV help during this adventure?
I don’t think the wrap of the Cullinan helped at all, in fact if anything it made us more visible. The wraps are designed to make the car more difficult to photograph. The car itself, absolutely facilitated an amazing adventure, a global exploration that I could never have anticipated. The fusion of National Geographic and Rolls-Royce in this context made a lot of sense. What we were doing was trying to test how far the car could go. We were essentially field-testing and trying to break it. We didn’t break it, so it says something about it. We were also using it to facilitate truly a global exploration of the Scottish Highlands, into the Empty Quarter, in Middle East and all across the American West. It was really about testing and seeing how far I could push the automobile and the drivers, to see how much the car can take. It was just a luxurious and comfortable ride I have ever had on any other assignment.


What are your weapons of choice?
My weapons of choice are always Nikon. I love their Z system, they are the mirrorless cameras, their big D-8 cameras are amazing as well. Those are my workhorse cameras, the Z6 and the Z7. The Z6 is really great for videos and the Z7 is unmatched in terms of mirrorless performance in terms of still photography. They are light, they’re robust, they are unbreakable. That is my arsenal. But again, I always have to promote, you don’t have to have the best and the greatest. You can shoot film, you shoot on your camera phone or whatever you want. Just shoot. If you don’t shoot, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, to quote Wayne Gretzky.

Pictures influence my work, not the photographers – Rarindra Prakarsa

From being a graphic artist to becoming a full-time photographer, Rarindra Prakarsa has had a journey that transcends from analogue to the digital era in photography. He speaks to Asian Photography about how this journey happened and also how pictures influence and inspire his work and not photographers.



How did you get into photography and what was the reason to choose this genre?

I started photography when I was in college and took up graphic arts. One of the subjects in that was Photography. During that time it was the analogue era in mid 90’s. I didn’t have camera at that time and would borrow it from my lecturer and friend. These were completely manual cameras and I wasn’t sure what I liked. But I really liked two subjects: Photography and Graphic Arts.

At that time, I liked street photography a lot and also journalism since I worked in a newspaper as graphic designer. Some photojournalists in my office influenced me on how interesting it was being in field taking picture for news. But later I realised that I couldn’t be a photojournalist, since I wanted my pictures to be seen by many people, since I love taking pictures of people and their environment. I converted my equipment to digital cameras 2004 and started developing my style. Internet was really helpful to promote my work and get the response for the style I was developing.




Your photographs have a cinematic and drawing feel to them. How do you manage to achieve this?

There are two moments that have influenced my work and my style. First was the movie ‘Last Emperor’ which featured beautiful light and cinematic art, and the second was after attending the painting exhibition of Water Spies, which influenced me on how he created the depth,

composition, light and colours.



I was trying to apply what I have seen from those arts. I was thinking that the key to achieve that taste is lighting. Of course, I am confidently speaking about this after mastering composition and all the basic photography. Next on my list is perfecting all the pictures with post-processing, making them more dramatic and colour matching.


One with The Monks – Jimmy Nelson

From running away from home at the age of 16 to having his peculiar styles in portraits, Jimmy Nelson epitomises everything that you expect from a travel photographer. Humble, hardworking and overall an affable guy, his photographs communicate the subject’s sense of being. In an interview with Asian Photography he speaks about his process and how patience always pays off.


How did you get into photography?

My journey with photography started in my childhood as my father was a geologist and spend his time away from us. I was a young child and I remember these communities and different parts of the world. I was taken out of this side of the world and put in boarding school, so I was confused between both the worlds.

But becoming a photographer was an accident. At the age of 16, I ran away to Tibet and stayed with the monks. With a small camera, I was trying to find a way to reconnect with myself and the experience that I had in my childhood. And in many ways, I’ve spent the whole of my life since then trying to reconnect with it. It’s not the photography which thrills me, but it’s using the camera to see the others and present them in a way that we’ve never normally seen them.



How did you develop an interest in photographing portraits of tribal and indigenous

people?

Well, I just described in my previous answer the interest started when I left home and went to Tibet to stay with the monks. And trying to find a way to reconnect with myself and that experience I had in my childhood. I used to capture photos of everyone who was nice to me. And that’s how I developed my interest in photographing tribal and indigenous people.




What is the most difficult and rewarding part of being a photographer for you?

Today everyone is a photographer with the growing technology and people capturing images with their smartphones and basic cameras. Everyone captures their own vision. For me this a challenge as well as good to see people evolving with the technology. I am happy that I capture something different and unique from the rest, but I don’t know how far it will go looking at the rise in technology. So the rewarding part is of course the work I do to make myself happy and the difficult part is that there is competition.



Éclat, Bollywood and a Very Long Journey – Dabboo Ratnani Gets Candid

Dabboo Ratnani is a name that is synonymous with celebrity and fashion photography. Celebrities swear by him and so do designers and fashionistas. His annual calendars are a thing that everyone waits for through the year and the who‘s who of Bollywood feature in them! We spoke to the brilliant and charismatic Dabboo regarding his journey of 25 years in the industry. Excerpts:
 

What do you think are the key learning that you have taken from your career over the years? You will complete 25 years in the industry this year. Are you thinking of something special to celebrate it in terms of photography/project etc?

Yes, this is my 25th year in the industry and it is going great. It has been an amazing run. I am still enjoying as much as I used to. I still take shoots like as if it is my first day at work. I feel that fire, the energy. I enjoy it as much as I used to in day one of my photography. So even when I shoot today, I always think ‘let’s try something new today. Let’s try something different, let’s try a new angle, maybe a new lens, maybe a new camera, a new lighting accessory, something that keeps me excited’. I feel that it has kept me going, something that keeps me really fired up with regards to my shoot, my profession.

One thing that I stress upon is that nowadays people have better access to equipment than what we had but that will not make you a brilliant photographer. It is not only about the equipment, it has a lot to do with the aesthetics of a photographer, it has a lot to do with how a photographer frames the shot, how he sees the model, how he is going to style the model. People are so worried about equipment these days – whether it should be a mirrorless or a DSLR, or should it be a medium format and so on. It has a lot to do with the vision of the photographer, the concept, the whole feel – everything is created by the photographer.



Having been in this field for so many years do you feel exhausted sometimes? How do you motivate yourself at such times?

It has been an amazing 25 years. I wouldn’t say I get exhausted, but I think travelling, watching movies or listening to music helps me to create and think differently every time. So, I feel that you need to inspire yourself. You need to find an inspiration, whatever that inspiration may be! It is very relative and may be very different for every person. I love watching movies, videos on the internet, I love watching TV shows. I get inspiration from everything and I think one must draw inspiration from wherever they can. So even something like walking down the street or at the gym on the treadmill – wherever I get some me-time, I am constantly thinking of concepts. So you should always be open. I think photography is pretty much in Manisha and my blood stream now! Our mind is always working around ‘Okay what can we do next for the shoot’. Every place we travel to, we are always looking- ‘Oh, we must come back for a shoot here’. It doesn’t exhaust me but if it does exhaust anyone, I think you need to find your outlet and inspiration.



What really goes on behind all the glitz when it comes to shooting and executing a shoot with a celebrity since most people feel it might be very glamorous?

Most people feel that shooting celebrities or a model or a fashion shoot, or a location shoot or an outdoor campaign, people feel that ‘Oh, wow! You travel to these exotic locations, you visit these amazing palaces, wherever you are shooting, you are really enjoying your life. It is so cool that you are hanging out with models, with actors.‘
But people do not realise the amount of stress and hard work that goes into it! Right from planning the whole thing, the whole responsibility, the pressures that we go through at a shoot – when it is outdoor – it could be the weather, it could be the sun, taking care of the whole crew, there is so much that goes into every shoot. Specially with celebrities, time management is very important. Photo shoots are just one of the things they do, they have so much more that they do in a day. You have to capitalise the maximum amount of time you get from them. There are times when we are time bound, there is pressure, there is so much going on. One has to be really really quick specially with shooting fashion and celebrities – you do not want to miss the moment.



In the last 2 years what is that one memorable shot (captured/viewed) that has really moved you?

I shot a photograph of Tiger Shroff hanging from a crane at a construction site which is one of the most memorable shots that I have taken in the last two years. The whole feel, the mood, the lighting, the impact of the shot and the way his attitude is, his body language, everything is completely beautiful in that shot. The response that I got when I published it in my calendar as well was incredible, because everybody, usually on a desk calendar, prefers to see more of close-ups and mid shots where you can see the celebrity clearly in front of you and in this case it was a full length shot and he isn’t even looking into the camera and although it is a full length shot, you can easily see it is Tiger Shroff. It was my first photoshoot with him ever, and he was a real sport!



Read the full interview in Asian Photography Magazine’s August Issue.

Travel Engineer – Eric Rubens

Eric Rubens is a San Diego Area, Southern California based self-taught photographer photographer, filmmaker, traveler and electrical engineer who enjoys traveling the world. Eric joined instagram in 2012 and he has built an audience of over 400,000 followers on his Instagram channel @erubes1 along with hundreds of thousands of followers across his other social channels. He loves travelling the beautiful world, meeting new people, and the experience of living every day like it’s the last day. He shoots a lot of lifestyle, swimwear, portraits and adventure photography, His clients include Disney, BMW, LG, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, AT&T, Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Mercedes Benz, Toyota USA and many others.


  1. How did you get into photography being a full time engineer?

    I was working as an electrical engineer and looking for a creative outlet everyday after I got off work. Luckily I worked about 15 minutes from the beach in San Diego which made it easy to catch the sunset every day. I’d go for a run, surf, or just shoot almost every day! I was pretty fortunate to start sharing my work on Instagram and before I knew it, people were sharing my sunset shots all throughout Southern California. What started as an after work hobby somehow snowballed into the job I have today doing photo and video projects around the world.



  2. Does the engineer in you have an affect on the photography you shoot?

    Even though engineering and photography seemingly use different sides of the brain, Ive always thought there were more parallels than people realized. Looking for angles, lines, and calculating settings and their effects on the picture all require a bit of a technical understanding. One of the things I love most about photography is how everyone views the world differently. Taking photos is my way to share the vibrancy and electric energy I feel each time I visit a location.



  3. What are your sources of inspiration?

    I’m inspired by the people and landscapes which make each destination unique from one another. When I’m on the beaches at home, there’s a genuine enjoyment amongst the people around me and it’s my job to try to capture that energy in a photo. Same goes for when I travel. I love trying to convey the feeling of the destination through my work. In terms of outside inspiration, I’m drawn to those who have a unique eye. I enjoy following photographers who are able to visit a place I’m familiar with, but through their creative eye capture it in a new way.



  4. As a content creator, how much time you spend on planning, shooting, and editing?

    When it comes to planning out pictures, I spend less time than most others in my field. When I’m traveling to a new destination, there’s obviously quite a bit of effort that goes into researching which places to visit and what the best times to go are. When I’m at home, I wing it almost every time. There’s too many variables that I have no control over like surf conditions, changing light, subjects in shots, etc. which make planning a shot not really realistic. I also think the more you plan an exact picture and have expectations for an outcome, the more likely you’re letdown if conditions aren’t how you thought they’d be. I have a really run and gun style. I very rarely shoot with a tripod and I love running around and getting as many different looking pics from a variety of angles as I can. Editing is when I have the real fun. I love pushing the boundary of light and color in my work. I’ve always been drawn to neon colors and trying to recreate that energy in my pictures is always the goal!



  5. What are the three new things you learnt in the past year about photography?

    I’m always learning new things about photography as I travel. I’ve learned that expectations doom trips. Go in with an open mind and eagerness to explore and you’ll never be letdown! I also learned that the people you surround yourself with are more important than the destination. I’ve had the best times ever in mediocre destinations and conversely trips to bucket list locations that weren’t that fun due to the people on the trip. Always build memories with those you care about! Finally, I learned to be appreciative of where I call home. I’ve been to remote islands and on top of some of the wildest mountains in the world, but I’d still pick a beach day at home with my friends and family.



  6. What are the best memories behind some of your favourite photographs?

    I love capturing my friends and families in travel photos. Having a person in the scene really helps me remember the people I was able to share my experience with. Sometimes when I’m home and can’t find someone to shoot with, I’ll default to landscape photography. As fun as it is capturing a sunset photo at the beach, I’d much rather grab the pic with a subtle human element to it.



  7. In order to be a good travel photographer what are the other areas of knowledgethat are critical apart from photography?

    One of the most important things is the ability to be flexible and adapt to changes quickly. Very rarely do trips go exactly as planned. There’s road closures, random thunderstorms, language barriers, and a myriad of other challenges that stand in the way of you and getting the shots you’re hoping for. You have to be able to pivot quickly from original plans and make new ones instantaneously. This all goes back to the important of having fewer expectations and living in the moment.



  8. What’s the story that you like to communicate with your pictures and how do you get your photographs to do that?

    One thing I like to preach is the beauty in each day. Whether it’s a morning walk, taking a break in the middle of the day, or even just catching the sunset after work, I think it’s important to take a few minutes to yourself each day. There’s enough stressful things in life and I don’t think we all take the time to relax and take a deep breath. I try to have my photography be a visual escape for someone having a stressful day. Whether someone scrolls by for a quick second on Instagram or takes a minute to look at the scene, I hope to help people unwind a bit from the business of life and provide inspiration for anyone who needs it. I try to push my edits a bit more surreal to capture this. I emphasize light and color and try to transport someone to a relaxing and dreamy world.



  9. What are the top 3 things you look for in a great travel photograph?

    I think it’s important to tell a story. Anyone can take a photo, but there a far fewer people who can captivate you with their work and make you think for a second. Building on that point, I look for photos that make me pause. We live in a world of quick attention spans and people scroll so fast through their phones. Photos that make me stop and think are the ones I always come back to. Finally, I look for creativity. Everyone knows the view at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park or Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park. I don’t think people should stop visiting these locations just because they’re overshot but I love it when someone can capture that view in a refreshing and creative way.



  10. What are a few tips you would give someone who wants to pursue travel photography

    Start local and grow from there. Your own backyard is a great launching pad into the world. Next, go on road trips with your friends. This is an easy way to break in the feeling of being gone for days and the challenges of travel (keeping gear charged, being adaptable, chasing golden hour, etc.) Once you have a hang of some closer trips, it makes staying organized while traveling internationally that much easier.



  11. What is your weapon of choice (Equipment)?

    As an engineer, I’m in love with everything Sony does. I think from a product evolution and evolving technology standpoint, they are progressing faster than all their competitors. I shoot with the Sony a7riii and also use the Rx0ii. I mainly shoot with the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens but also use the 24mm f1.4, 12-24mm f4, 16-35mm f4, and 35mm f1.4. I also use a DJI Mavic Pro 2 for aerial work since the quality you get in that size can’t be beat.