One on One with landscape photographer Mital Patel
Home and Childhood
"Born and raised in Texas.. grew up in a family that embraced travel experiences. Early on as a child, my parents had taken me to many places (India, England, New York, Orlando, etc..). Being an Indian American, we still had a lot of family living in India that we would visit often."
If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?
"One home would not be enough! Each place is so unique with it’s own beauty. I tell my friends that there’s a reason why I am living in Dallas, it gives us a better appreciation of the beauty elsewhere. I would hate to live in an incredible place, but get spoiled with the beauty and not value it as much. Don’t get me wrong, Texas is a great place."
What sort of Photography genre do you specialise in and how long have you been a photographer?
"I have focused more heavily on landscape photography. I would say I have been aggressively shooting landscape since 2014. Prior to that, I was just shooting “blind”."
Did you go to school to study photography?
"No, but have learned quite a bit from other photographers by attending a few photo tours and workshops."
What or who got you started in photography?
"I got my first camera, a Canon AE-1, when I was 12. It was a gift from my dad. He was our family’s official photographer since before I was born. We’re big on tradition, so as my parents’ first born, I was next in line for the duty. I learned how to use a camera shooting my family and our community."
How would you describe your photography style?
"I think I am still developing my style, but if i were to give you an answer today, I would say my images tend to be a little more dramatic with a tad bit darker edit."
What camera gears do you use and whats your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera ?
"I am shooting with Nikon D810 with the trinity set of lenses - 14-24; 24-70; 70-200. Also, just picked up an 85mm 1.4 to dabble in portraits. My favorite accessory might be my 10 stop filter. I love being able to make my skies much more dramatic with the long exposures."
If you had to choose one lens for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
"As of today, I would say my 14-24. I really enjoy shooting landscapes. It allows me to be out in nature and to harness that peaceful state of mind keeps me “alive”."
How important is post production retouching in your final images ?
"It is very important since I shoot in RAW. It allows me to express my vision and emotions through my images."
Can you briefly explain how you achieve your photos from Raw to the final image.
"I first import the photos in to Lightroom, have all of my images organized in their libraries. I go through my photos and rate the images that i wish to edit. I then start making some basic “camera raw” edits in lightroom. I then export the file in to photoshop for further editing. There are many different adjustment panels that i use which is dependent on the photograph."
MAC or PC ?
Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?
"I have been eyeing the Mac Pro. I would love to get some retina friendly dual display monitors. I recently just purchased the wacom tablet, and love using that. It has made my editing much more efficient and easy."
What are your go to settings for shooting outdoors?
"I like to shoot at ISO 30, f/18, and shutter speed would be depending on the scene, and circumstance."
What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such imagery?
"Social media, other photographers, national geographic, and the “land” itself.. seeing in person the places, and envisioning how the scene could be photographed."
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
"Shooting in the arctic regions of Iceland and in Canada. I like the challenge of harsh weather. It keeps us in check that no matter what, mother nature wins."
Where would be your dream destination assignment?
"New Zealand and Australia."
What do you think of the photography industry at the moment and where do you see it in 5 years from now?
"It has become very mainstream, and more popular than ever. With the ease of cameras, technology, and social media, we are blasted with hundreds to thousands of photographs daily... its hard to tell where the industry will be in the next 5 years.. there is so much innovation happening."
A photographer who inspires you?
"Ansel Adams, Marc Adamus..."
A website and/or blog you visit often?
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
"Don’t get frustrated with the results of your photos when comparing to others, keep shooting - lot of trial and error"
How do you find new places to explore for your image style?
"Well, i’m not generally picking a destination to fit my image style. I like to go and visit places I have not seen. Either I do really well because some of my favourite shooting styles/scenes are available, and sometimes its a real struggle because its a totally different type of shooting than what i’m used to. I just try to make the best of it and hopefully come to learn another shooting style."
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