How did you get your start in photography?
I started my photography journey during my engineering studies in computer forensics. What started as an HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging project for a police investigation, very quickly became my biggest passion. I started to experiment taking pictures, exploring every genre, and very quickly found myself more and more passionate about photography.
Since then, many things have changed. I left a 9-5 job in consulting and created my dream job, co-founding the Swiss School of Photography. I love the fact that as an instructor and during my photo tours around the world, I can explore the most beautiful locations and share my knowledge and great passion for photography.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
My favorite genre is landscape photography. Having a camera in my hands motivates me to explore our wonderful world and go that extra mile to wake up early and visit remote places while traveling.
As a naturally curious person, I’ve also pushed my knowledge exploring and experimenting with many styles and techniques: from portraits to products, from aerial to food photography.
The latest two big additions to my passions are aerial and automotive photography. With drones I have discovered a new world of possibilities taking aerial shots. Cars have been always a passion for me and merging them with photography and videography has been a natural and amazing evolution. Drone photos are part of my @mixyourshot Instagram channel, while Cinematicars – my automotive project – lives on @cinematicars.ch channel and website.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
The biggest obstacle has been giving up a good and stable income, that my previous job in consulting was giving me, to invest all of myself in my photographic passion. For many years, photography had been a side activity, but in 2017 things happened that pushed me towards the next step. In the span of a few months, I’d been awarded the prestigious Trierenber Super Circuit Gold Medal for the category of Travel Photography, received 4 honorable mentions at the International Photographer of the Year contest, and was awarded one Gold and two Silver prizes in the categories of Landscape and Cityscapes photography for the Moscow International Foto Awards contest. That was the final push I needed and from then my life changed.
Who and/or what inspires you most?
The most exciting aspect of my job is to travel and explore new locations searching for the next amazing shot. The beauty of nature is what inspires me and pushes me to wake up early, walking long distances, and spend nights in the cold. All for that moment of discovery. All for the sake of getting the best view at the right time.
That keeps me passionate as a landscape photographer. But that’s not all. I’m very lucky that my life companion @nikkie.one is an enthusiastic photographer like me, if not more, who enjoys exploring and capturing images of our world. So it’s never a lonely job for me. We explore places together and push each other to go the extra mile for our next capture.
What is your approach? Is there anything, in particular, you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?
Landscape photography is the perfect combination of planning, skills, and technique (and a bit of luck). Amazing outdoor scenery is nothing without the right light. For my shots, I plan the season, the time of the day, the location, and hope for that glorious and dramatic light. For my style, I love to capture long exposures shots, where the passing of time and movement is captured in the form of smooth water trails and soft, colorful, fluffy clouds in the sky. I use this technique to shows the passing of time and to also give a relaxing feeling to my shots.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Since my days as an engineering student when I was writing my own software for image processing and going through the pain to elaborate tone mapping and white balance algorithms, I deeply understood the importance that color has to the human eye. Colors make us relax, appreciate a sunset, recognize a brand, spark an aspiration (think about that red sports car), make us proud when seeing the national team colors on TV, etc. There is a lot of science and a ton of information behind color and its management. That’s where Datacolor plays an important role. Datacolor takes its vast knowledge of color management and offers products that make it easy for us photographers, artists, and scientists to acquire, maintain, and reproduce colors with the highest accuracy, particularly with its monitor calibration devices.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Invest time and effort into learning all that you can and practice a lot! Don’t try to do it all on your own – look to other photographers for inspiration and guidance and invest in your knowledge. In my case, it took me years to gather all the experience and information I needed to get the photos I wanted, while my partner learned all the basics from me within a few weeks and mastered her skills within a few months. The primary reason I opened a photography school is that I wanted people to skip a lot of the pain of trial-and-error and focus on the techniques and knowledge that counts. Nevertheless, whether you learn from a book, a Youtube video, or an in-person course, make sure to put your new knowledge into practice!