I got interviewed

I got interviewed by for a high school girl's visual and creative arts class. I thought that was pretty cool! Here are the questions and answers:

How did you get your first camera?
My mum bought me a 2 megapixel point-and-shoot camera around 2004  to take on holiday. My first "real" camera was a Canon 350D which I bought in 2006 and I've been buying more and more equipment ever since.

Why landscape?
Nature is beautiful and I like the technical and logistical challenges. Unlike most other genres of photography, with landscapes you don't have much control over the scene, namely the weather. You have to plan ahead by scouting locations, checking the weather forecast and the tide times to name a few obstacles. You might also find yourself waking up really early to catch a sunrise or staying out late for a sunset shot. And of course when you are in the right place at that right moment, you have to apply the correct technique to make sure depth of field is sufficient and the sharpness is there.

Why not other types of genres?
Finding the time to partake and master one genre is hard enough as it is let alone multiple. The skill, techniques and equipment can vary from one topic to the other. For example, portrait photographers need to have great people skills and put them in different poses. Rocks and trees don't really talk or move around much in comparison. I do enjoy taking macro photos for fun and would like to get into portrait and street photography as well.

Sources of inspiration?
Online communities such as 500px, Google+, Facebook and Flickr. I also have a small circle of local photographer buddies who keep me inspired. I'm self taught so when I first started out I would read a lot of magazines and participate in online forums.

Any influences?
Frans Lanting. I try to do my own thing though.

When you take a photo, what are the main factors you look for?
First I have to find an interesting subject and scene, after that composition and lighting are the two most important things for me. 

Using the various composition rules you can make the most boring scene look amazing. Conversely, you can have the most amazing scene and make it look awful if it isn't composed nicely. The rules I always have in mind are the "rule of thirds" and "leading lines". With at least those two it is hard to go wrong.

Lighting is also important, maybe even more so than composition. I generally take photos during sunset or sunrise as the colours of the sky and the reflections off the water/leaves/rocks are much better than during the day.