Being subtle and simple can sound to be so easy but it is actually a strenuous task to achieve when you want to express yourself in field of photography.
When you think of a painter and present him with a canvas, the idea of minimalism can be a little easier to execute as you have an empty canvas and put your thoughts on the canvas, but in photography to select a few degrees on you sensor from the available 360 is tough to create minimal experience.
Minimalist photography, for this reason is a tough but sublime genre to execute.
Having the idea so well presented that it just keeps your mind fixated on the central idea is just like hearing a perfectly executed melody.
The concept of less is more and the idea of concentrating on single element presented has distinctive visual experience or elicits an emotional response from the viewer viewed as an exceptionally intuitive and personal concept, entrusting interpretation and understanding to the audience the perspective of the art.
The single element can be colour, object, shape, texture concentrating on single one of them giving a visual appeal with certain impact.
'Winter in the Ore mountains' by Daniel Řeřicha
n/t by Dirk Heckmann
Photography techniques like high key, low key , abstractions , negative spaces are few ways one can make subtle images that can stand out with visual impacts. An idea can be complex but when it is shown in a simple way the message and impact it leaves can be long lasting. Having a simplistic composition and clarity in idea is basic step to achieve such an impact. A neat composition with vacant and bare spaces with minimum elements enables the audience to imagine and craft their own version of interpretation and comprehension, instead of including the photographer's own inputs and insights. Engaging the viewer with his own thoughts is, as we all know in most essential for creating successful art.
Describing few techniques to achieve subtle minimalism in images can filter down the process easily so just summarizing them with examples from our amazing gallery at 1x below.
High key images involve using an overexposed palette and overly contrast subject which can be a colourful subject standing out against a bright background. Easy way to achieve in camera is to have a positive bias in exposure so background can be washed out and elements stand out in contrast. Snow, white elements in architecture, single colour use against light background can easily create high key and minimal images.
'The Chapel' by Tom Meier
Low key images on the other hand uses exactly different technique thereby having a dark palette and a brightly lit small element creating stark contrast that may be used as a silhouette for an idea of subject. Negative exposure compensation on a bright sunny day in nature or backlit object can create a low-key feel in image.
'first, there was a violin....' by Ileana Bosogea-Tudor
Abstraction involves the use of creating compositions and visual impact with textures and involve using vision and thinking with use of elements mentioned before to create minimalism. That can be found in nature, architecture and in almost all genres.
'Triangles' by Hilde Ghesquiere
Negative spaces and positive spaces are compositional techniques where in former space is left barren and subject in left in certain corners for visual appeal and exactly opposite in positive spaces where area of interest is spread out in frame. Context of the subject matters a lot in this style of work. Again vision is most important for composing such images.
'Winter minimal' by Przemek Wielicki
The beauty of minimal or subtle photography lies in the fact that we can execute it from even out table top and doesn’t need to be out in exotic places. It can be executed in any genre where idea or a single element has more meaning.
Less is more can never be explained more beautifully in any other form.
Enjoy more beautiful work from 1x photographers below.
Stunning work from everyone who's work has been featured, thank you Yvette for organising and collating these minimalist images!
It is hard to define subtility, so I will quote C. S. Lewis “There are no variations except for those who know a norm, and no subtleties for those who have not grasped the obvious". Great article with excellent images to demonstrates it. I am honored to have one of my photos in it. Thanks Yvette and Swapnil for your impressive work.
Excellent and inspiring article about the kind of photography I love the most. Thank you
portfolio is full of superb macro shots of animals with beautiful light and pretty colours. These four brave ants, carrying heavier loads than them, like tightrope walkers on a wire, made me want to know more about how Ridho works. He kindly agreed to talk to us about it.
Congratulations on this picture and all the wonderful ones in your portfolio.
First could you tell us who you are and where did this taste for macrophotography come from?
Hello, my name is Ridho Arifuddin. I come from Indonesia, born and raised in a remote village in Kalimantan, located in Balangan district, South Kalimantan province.
I have been doing macro photography since 2013, when I accidentally joined friends involved in the Indonesian macro world mania community. Since then I have never stopped pursuing the macro photography genre.
Where and when do you take your pictures? …
I usually look for subjects around my house. Fortunately, my home environment is mostly forest, so in this forest I can capture a lot of various kinds of insects. I'm taking most of my pictures in the morning, because then, the light is better and the insects are still a bit tame.
Can you tell us in which circumstances you did take this one and some more about the way of life of ants?
For the photo 'strong' published and awarded on 1x, I actually prepared and arranged the set-up.
While in the original photo ONE ant was hanging down, I flipped it vertically to have it upside down so that the ant seems to lift the fruit.
When you bring something near the mouth of an ant, it will bite very hard and it is rarely necessary to take a picture again. I approached the fruit of the ant’s mouth and she bit.
Then I took her and moved her to a branch I prepared before.
I repeated this several times so that it looks like there were several ants in the final result.
Which gear do you use? Camera, settings, tripod ...?What about the light? Natural or flash?Which post-processing?
To take this photo, I used a Canon 550D camera and a Sigma 180 mm f 3.5 macro lens, without using a tripod . I used my knees to hold my hands so they didn't move because my position when I was shooting was sitting squatting. For lighting, I mostly use natural light, usually in the morning between 07:00 to 09:00 because at that time the light is still not too harsh.
Before publishing an image, I always edit it in Photoshop, resetting the brightness, contrast and levels according to my taste.
Thank you very much for this interesting info about your work, Ridho!
's architectural photographs, mostly monochrome, are stunning and masterfully processed making visible what is not there in reality. She excels in playing with light to show emotions and creates stillness in all of her work.
I was gladly surprised when I recently saw her 1x portfolio and honoured that she accepted to do this interview. Let's enjoy and discover more about this talented lady today.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, dear Gabrielle.
First of all, many thanks for inviting me for this interview! I feel honoured!
In daily life I work as a music therapist and emotions are an important part of my work. Being able to “touch” someone through music is very special. I play piano and cello, and I always focus on sensitivity in everything I play. When I was able to purchase a camera from a colleague cellist from my orchestra in 2017, I started with photography. Capturing emotions in images became a new challenge.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
As a child I was already photographing for a year in primary school and developed the photos myself in a dark room. I did have a little bit of knowledge of photography, but that faded away. When I bought the camera from my colleague, I started full of enthusiasm, searching the internet and trying out camera settings. I soon noticed that long exposure photography in particular inspired me. My photos slowly but surely became more minimalistic and I converted my photos mostly to black and white. I started to combine the long exposure with architecture and I discovered that there was still a lot to learn for me in that area. Just as I often look for emotions in music, I do the same in photography. Playing with light is my most important tool for showing emotion in a photo. I try to create a kind of stillness in my photos by working from dark to light, and I deliberately use low light.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Music, art and creativity run like a thread through my life. As a child I drew a lot and made music. The musical parameters can also be found in photography and art. By searching for the essence of an image, I started to omit more and more. A number of “lost moments” in my life have influenced my photography. Loneliness is woven into my photos and enriches them.
What first attracted you to photography?
My enthusiasm for photography started in primary school as I told here above. In the years that followed, I mainly captured pleasant moments with friends and mainly some holiday snapshots. Many years later the idea arose to buy an SLR camera. Going out to make photos seemed nice and literally shifting the focus appealed to me. Then the offer of the digital SLR camera came and I was immediately sold. Playing with depth of field became the first challenge, and more challenges followed.
I divide into it and looked at the photos that inspired me. I tried to match the atmosphere and gradually developed my own style.
Describe your overall photographic vision
Aesthetics in photography is important to me. I always strive for a certain beauty in a photo. That is also what attracts me to the work of other photographers. My photos are not a reflection of reality. I try to make visible what is not there in reality.
Why are you so drawn by Architecture Photography?
The search for special architecture inspires me enormously. Due to the light of the day, the composition changes every time and I find it a challenge to do a building justice. An imposing building can give me an overwhelming feeling. That's the start of the photo. Usually I also delve into the history of the building and look up information from the architect. Then the photo becomes a kind of small project. Architectural photography offers endless possibilities, that fascinates me.
What is more important to you, the mood, /story behind your images or the technical perfection?
For me, the mood is the most important. Of course, technology cannot be seen in isolation, but I regularly deviate from certain rules. For example, I find blur in a photo at least as important as sharpness. My starting point is of course a well-taken photo with the right camera settings. In post-processing I then have the most possibilities to achieve the best result.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
When I go out to photograph architecture, the moment the building comes into view is a kind of gift for me. I often have to travel quite a distance for it and when a building looms up, it feels overwhelming.
Usually I prepare well when I start shooting. What is the best time, can I park nearby, what are the weather forecasts like? But I also shoot spontaneously. Recently I went for a skyline, and behind me, there was a building I thought was special in terms of design. So I also captured this.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I shoot with the Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens, and the Nikon D7100 with 50mm or 18-105mm. I mainly use the D7100 camera for still life.
I also use Nisi filters: 10 stops and 6 stops. I often combine these to 16 stops for slow shutter speeds. I also often use a polarizing filter (Nisi).
In addition, my tripod is indispensable: Benro TMA47AL with geared head GD3WH. This tripod head is crucial for me in architectural photography because the composition can be determined very precisely. Finally, I use a lowerpro backpack (flipside 300). This is always filled with the niche filters, cable release and camera so I can immediately go on the road and not have to pack my bag every time.
What software do you use to process your images?
Lightroom classic and Photoshop are the programs I work in. In addition, I use two plugins: Artisan pro and Silver Efex Pro. These plugins are indispensable for me for converting and editing to monochrome.
Can you tell us something about your workflow?
The first step is to import the photos into Lightroom. Then I look at exactly what I want to show in the photo. I do this by drawing a radial filter over the photo, inverting it and underexposing it. This makes me see for where I want the light. When I know this generally, I export the photo to Photoshop. Then I select all parts in the photo and edit these selections with the Artisan-panel after I convert the photo to black and white. Then I fine-tune the photo in Lightroom. And the most important thing: sleep on it overnight and then see if it is okay. That night's sleep works wonders. I immediately see what still needs to be adjusted.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Architecture Photography and how do you get started?
My advice is to do it yourself. See what appeals to you in the photos of others. Try to find out what is special for you. And ask other photographers for advice or go with someone to shoot. It is educational and fun to share knowledge.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
There are many photographers who inspire me, but I would like to mention a few explicitly:
- , what a fantastic use of light and gray tones in excellent compositions!
- for his wonderful use of light.
- because of his excellent view of monochrome images.
- because of her beautiful photos AND because of her during a lecture she gave a few years ago, I discovered 1x!
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
The work of Graeme inspires me a lot. His use of light and dark and the chosen buildings are fantastic.
The use of light in this photo is so beautiful and excellent applied! The subject is sober and the light makes it very special.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I want to delve even further into architecture and other forms of photography. Recently I tried to edit in fine art colour. A very intensive, but fascinating way of editing. May be once in a while for a change?
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why is it special to you?
I wanted to photograph the basilica in Oudenbosch when bad weather was predicted. The basilica against a dark cloudy sky seemed perfect to me. But the storm came earlier than predicted and it was raining cats and dogs. The weather forecast kept changing in more rain, and after waiting for more than an hour, I took the photo sitting in the car, from the open window. It was only one photo I took, but I went home very happy!
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1x as a home base for your work?
When I discovered 1x, I was amazed by the incredibly high level of photography. What a beautiful and amazing photos! I was inspired and became more critical about my own photos.
A few months ago I took the step and posted my first photos. The photographers I admired for their work commented on my photos, I was so surprised!
1x keeps me critical, the contact with the photographers all over the world is great and I can learn a lot by looking at their work! 1x is an enrichment for my photography!
Van harte proficiat met dit artikel Gabrielle. De manier waarop je met licht speelt is een bron van inspiratie voor ons allen. Bedankt Yvette voor het brengen van dit artikel :-)
Hartelijk dank Luc! Ik was compleet verrast en ben erg blij met deze waardering!
Excellent work I would say and I am always very impressed what skills can be achieved in such a short time after starting with photography! My full respect! Thanks for the interview to you, Gabrielle and certainly also thanks to Yvette for the editoring!
Thank you very much for your nice comment! Much appreciated!
Architecture presented in a minimalist way. Accentuated by islands of light. An art that you have mastered to perfection and that inspires me.Congratulations!
Thank you very much Stephan for this comment!
Truly exceptional are your architectural images, intricately designed with a lot of effort in grayscale, also powerful and distinctive. Congratulations dear Gabrielle.
Thank you very much for your comment, much appreciated!
Very happy to have met Gabrielle here in this interview and thru her images. I see in her images the inspirations and sensitivity of her work, life and her passionate art for photography all combined to create the beauty she captures. Very nice
Thank you so much Joe! You summed it up nicely!
Dank je Gabrielle om je visie te delen!Heb aardig wat tips kunnen lezen waar ik wat aan heb.Gefeliciteerd met dit artikel.
Dankjewel Ruurd! Mooi dat je er bruikbare tips uit kan halen! Ervaring en kennis delen blijft leuk!
Thank you so much, dear Gabrielle, for this very inspiring interview and for your excellent splendid works. And thank you, dear Yvette, for another your impeccable article. Have a happy new week . :)
Thank you Francesco! My pleasure!
Thank you Francesco ;-)
My pleasure, dear Gabrielle... :)
My pleasure, dear Yvette... :)
Bravo! Very special architectural photography. Thank you for the introduction.
Thank you very much Dorothee!
Very nice article Gabrielle, love the story but above all, the images.
Thank you very much Maurice, and thank you for some inspiring photo moments!
Thank you Gabrielle for your very inspiring story and magnificent photography, architectural photography is my passion too! And thank you too very much Yvette for your incredible effort in organising and presenting this excellent feature.
Thank you very much Wayne!
Thanks, Wayne !!! It's my pleasure to present our talented members in the magazine, believe me !
Geleficiteerd Gabrielle met dit mooie artikel!
Thanks for the interview Gabrielle and Yvette. Very enriching. Excellent photography and mood creation Gabrielle. My compliments. And the night's sleep I also agree.
Thank you for your view!
By Editor Marius Cinteză
Published the 23rd of July 2021
“These are simple things that drive me: sunsets and sunrises, a walk in the mountains, sounds of a waterfall and birdsong in the trees. I just feel happy and in harmony with nature. And even more happy when I am able to share the beauty of our world with others and inspire them to travel and feel this happiness too.”
- Daniel Kordan
Formerly a mountain guide and always an explorer at heart, is a Russian photographer passionate about landscape photography. He is of the opinion that photography main power is to inspire and connect people and he strengthened the relationship with photography by experimenting with guided photo tours 7 years ago, which eventually led him to his current full-time work: photography tours and personal expeditions mainly in Polar regions, but also in remote locations of Kamchatka, Patagonia, Chile and Bolivia. Daniel’s breathtakingly beautiful works are hosted by famous magazines worldwide (e.g. Digital SLR Magazine, UK, Photography week, Photography Master Class, National Geographic, Discovery) and his impressive activity was awarded multiple times (e.g. Golden Turtle Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest winner, Best of Russia ’13, ’14, ’15 ‘16 winner, best photographer, Trierenberg Super Circuit award - best landscape photographer 16’ 17’).
Please join me in discovering more about Daniel’s works and personality in the interview below!
First, I would like to thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions! To begin, please introduce yourself and tell us about you, your hobbies or other jobs/projects you are involved in!
I have been fascinated by the possibilities of photography since my early childhood. I grew up in a beautiful lake region under Moscow exploring wild nature, spending most of my free time in nature. I graduated from art painting school when I was a kid. Mix art, nature, constant activities and you will receive a summary – art of Landscape photography. Life started swirling me, pushing me into the rush. University, hard work on my quantum physics thesis, family and friends… But there is always a pleasure in the pathless woods: places I always returned and always admired. Nature is my inspiration, with all the beauty and variety of colours and compositions. Lucky for me, during my study at the Institute of Physics and Technology I gained experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer participating in the life of the University mountain club. I became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. We wrote awesome articles on travel and adventures all over the world competing even with National Geographic.
I live in the world today, but there are places on Earth I am attached to by my soul. I love Lofoten islands in winter, with their remarkable atmosphere of fishing villages, sailing adventures, incredible hikes and northern lights dances during the wintertime. Spring and autumn are the times to visit Tuscany. Rolling hills and steep alleys of fortified medieval towns, golden mists in the morning over Val d’Orcia and Florentine architectural marvels, silvery olive gardens and distinctive local cuisine – Tuscany never left me for 6 years of my guiding there. I love remote locations: Kamchatka, Patagonia, Greenland, Chile and Bolivia... The world can’t live without testimonials, so I should place a few words here on awards and publications. I have several awards in photography: Golden Turtle Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest winner, Best of Russia ’13, ’14, ’15 ‘16 winner, best photographer, Trierenberg Super Circuit award (best landscape photographer) 16’ 17’. I have publications in such magazines as Digital SLR Magazine, UK, Photography week, Photography Master Class, National Geographic, Discovery, Photoworld China, Digital Photo (Bauer Media) magazines. My key clients are Apple, Gazprom Neft’, S7 Airlines and RedBull. I am spending most of the time in Norway at Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at our villa Gaia, guiding groups from Europe, UK, US, Asia and Russia. I am an official Nikon, Gitzo and Lucroit ambassador. Currently, I am working under my photography tours and personal expeditions mainly in Polar regions. I am a partner in Iceland photo tours company, we built tours in 45 countries around the world. I am teaching thousands of students with my online courses as well. I live in a quiet village close to Moscow with my family: 2 daughters and a wife.
Let’s start from the beginning: when and how did you start your photographic journey?
I was born in a small town about 120 km from Moscow. It´s a wonderful region with lakes, forests and unspoiled nature all around. For that reason, many of my most memorable experiences, have centred on nature. From mountain guiding in our University mountain club, my first years in photography were incredibly hard. I used to work as scientist and had lots of work beside my photographic hobby. I barely had any money to save for equipment or travel. I didn’t just do landscape photography. I was a chief editor in our printed magazine “Continent Expedition” which was forced to close. It was really hard to maintain a printed magazine as everyone went to social networks and our sales dropped significantly. We wrote about people and travel, challenging National Geographic. When I was short in funds for my travel, I took on all kinds of photography: wedding, portrait and production. It is hard to refuse this kind of photography. The result is short-term: you photograph – you get paid – everyone is happy. It’s not the same in landscape. When I started to guide photographic tours 7 years ago, it was just an experiment for me, which eventually led me to my current full-time work. The first groups were hard to get together, now lots of people travel with me, often multiple times.
For many of us photography is either a hobby or a way of life. How would you define your relationship with photography?
I started as a mountain and climbing guide in my University mountain club. We hiked and travelled a lot, meeting the sunrise above the clouds. Hard not to start sharing the beauty with others in such conditions. I never thought that photography could be my work or profession. I admired my scientific work, and photography was always a passion. Although photography has become my profession, I still consider it to be my hobby. That's because it's a passion. I love it so much that I simply cannot regard this as work!
What would be the most important experience so far that has influenced your steps in photography?
Style develops with years. First, it is the way you see and seek the compositions, second, it is your colour representation, the way you see and feel the colour. The major part of photography depends on post-processing these days. My workflow is quite special, and different from other photographers. Besides, a landscape photographer’s style is not only in the processing, but first of all, in the planning. The way you plan your year will reflect your style. With so many photographers in the world, you must be different from others and stand out. So, the idea of the trip, realized in a particular project, makes your style. Just to mention a few examples that influenced my steps: we had an astonishing astrophotography trip in Bolivia and Chile, with very special locations for night photography. Or we have a tough expedition to Antarctica and Arctic by yacht through places yet unexplored.
How do you maintain and grow your passion for photography? What inspires you?
Finding new inspiration is important. In addition to workshops, I find inspiration in documentaries, videos, movies, books and on my own Instagram feed. I also let myself be inspired by gifted painters. Ayvazovsky, Monet, Rembrandt, Caravaggio are some examples. Painters like these, influenced both my approach in designing images and their work has helped me improve my colour and composition skills.
Can you please describe in a few words your photographer philosophy and mission?
Photography’s main power is to inspire and connect people. My photographic groups are like small families with a very warm atmosphere of artistic people sharing the best moments and experiences between each other. I'm open to the world and open to all the people around, I guess that life motto helped me most. Our planet was given to us to explore it. We are here not to produce money for money, but we are here to feel, listen and explore our beautiful world. When I see the first rays of sun and beautiful colours in the sky, they inspire me to move forward. These are simple things that drive me: sunsets and sunrises, a walk in the mountains, sounds of a waterfall and birdsong in the trees. I just feel happy and in harmony with nature. And even more happy when I am able to share the beauty of our world with others and inspire them to travel and feel this happiness too.
The landscape photography is a domain where many photographers try to stand out, but very few even succeed. What first attracted you to this photography type?
Way back to childhood, I was so eager to experience nature, that I often wandered around outside at sunrise. Early mornings, I got to experience beautiful foggy lakes, and during winters I often enjoyed seeing trees covered with enchanting hoarfrost. Highlights like this, made a strong impression. To me it was like being in wonderland! I was always put in the fields, cycling countryside roads, building treetop houses and swimming the lakes. There were no gadgets, no smartphones - so the only entertainment is to go and play outside with other kids! I loved being in nature and this curiosity helped me so far to explore the world via photography.
What do you think are the top three secret ingredients for a remarkable landscape photograph?
Remarkable composition, perfect light and unique story behind.
What do you think that makes your landscape photos different?
I can name my style 3d-landscape or maybe magical landscape. It is diverse and complicated, but I try to merge all details in one harmonic picture. Eventually the task is to take the viewer inside the frame, keep his attention for a long time. I do not like oversaturated and HDR-like photos with a huge amount of “clarity”. Instead, I keep the low contrast with high details. And so I do not have absolute blacks in my photos. I shift blacks towards mid tones, maintaining colour and details instead of black. Besides, I try to explore the world for more hidden gems. Like travelling in my home country Russia.
Can you please tell us something more about your workflow for landscape photography?
I can explain my typical travel to Greenland. On a typical day during my Greenland photography workshop we start sailing around 5 p.m., navigate through ice, see whales and seals, and land in a remote village with colourful houses. Have dinner there with local communities, photograph people and landscapes ashore, then board our boats and sail through the ice fjord during the night, typically until 5 a.m. It's infinite sunsets during summer, giving incredible light for 4-5 hours non-stop. We find big icebergs, arches and towers. And finally, at 5-6 a.m. We returned to the hotel for breakfast. A bit of sleep (5-6 hours) and we have a photographic post processing Masterclass. And after lunch we departed again to the ice fjord. Usually I select and process images on the go - on the yacht, air-plane etc. on my Dell XPS laptop.
I’m sure that many of the beginners in landscape photography would like to follow your way. What is your advice for those looking to make their name in landscape photography?
A few tips to be a successful landscape photographer:
- Your journey is not only a trip to a location. Instead, try to create it as a long-lasting project with several goals and ideas to be tested. The goal might for instance be an album, an ecological project, or an exhibition.
- If you work at a particular location for a long time (returning there in different seasons or different years), you’ll soon get the advantage to be more recognizable by both photographers and local people. I think this is something you should think about.
- You should also publish as much as possible. For instance: try to write interviews, publish your work in social media, popular blogs and on photographic websites. By exposing yourself, you will get more feedback.
- In addition: request critiques from fellow photographers. Sadly, (nowadays) I think it is almost impossible to get constructive critiques. For that reason, it's essential to find a person who’ll kick you, if you get stalled.
- Finally, I would like to remind you that it takes a long time to make your portfolio “work”. Therefore, you have to work very hard every day, to achieve your dream.
Good knowledge of the location is a must for shooting landscape photography. How do you approach a new location when shooting for the first time there: are there any specific subjects or compositions you are looking for during your trips?
Physics has also taught me my project approach to photography. Each of my adventures is not just a tourist trip to a location. There's a lot of work behind the scenes: with planning, searching for fresh ideas, scouting etc., and presentation of my projects in books, interviews, magazines articles, exhibitions. Photography is almost the same for me as science - both keep your brain working on solving problems. Just in photography you solve problems of planning, light and compositions. That’s why sometimes I spend the same time at home as on location. I plan my photography tours with very fine attention to every detail. On the google maps, reports from travellers in blogs, searching among local communities and just studying old maps.
What would be your favourite photo from the last few years? Please tell us the story behind it.
Fireflies in Japan. You arrive long before the night to find a spot, figure out your composition, talk to local photographers to understand best conditions (peak of fireflies may be just a few days at certain locations), then bring your chair and wait. wait for a miracle, and when the first firefly goes off – you are happy as a kid. Fireflies are very sensitive, and to mate they need certain things: clean water nearby, warm humid air without rain, and a pitch-dark space. The light dance begins as the male flashes a specific pattern while flying, hoping for a female to reply. If the flash catches a female’s attention, she will reply back with a flash of her own. Both fireflies will engage in a twinkling conversation until they meet and mate. To photograph fireflies you need to make a stack of hundreds of images, because on long exposures (more than one minute) you’ll get lots of hot pixels, but not a single photo can show how beautiful it is – a shimmering and blinking forest full of little stars!
Many are of the opinion that the gear is not very important when the passion for photography is strong. However, can you please share with us what gear you use (camera, lenses, tripod)?
Actually I am not a gear lover. Still, it's a fact that I am totally dependent on well-functioning high standard equipment which helps me in the most challenging conditions. Mainly I use only three lenses in my photography (and I’m absolutely happy with these lenses). It can be quite appropriate to use expensive equipment. But not at any cost or at any time. I often get surprised when I see people use top-notch gear just to publish mainstream photos in social networks. If you use expensive gear, I think you clearly need to understand why. For my own sake, I use top-notch gear to produce high quality prints in large formats. However, if you are a reporter and for instance only publish pictures in magazines or at your blog, then (I think) it's more adequate to use a small mirror-less camera with interchangeable lenses. The final result will be satisfactory. For my choice of equipment, reliability is one of the most important criteria. That's why I use Nikon in the toughest conditions around the world:
- Bodies: Nikon D810 and Nikon Z 7
- Lenses: Nikkor 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 mm
If I had to choose my most favourite lens it would be a Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8. In my opinion this is a marvellous piece of photographic equipment. I also use filters, which allow me to do a bit less work and participate in contests (which prohibit composite images (i.e. bracketing)). I use ND 3,6,10 stop and GND 4 stop soft, polariser. For my 14-24 Nikkor, I use the Lucroit 165 mm system. Also a Gitzo tripod and Gitzo backpack. In addition, I use a L-plate + nodal slide rail for my panoramic images (or panoramic head). My favourite protection bags for safe storage of my cameras and lenses are Gitzo Adventury. For tripods on hikes and light conditions, I use Gitzo traveller. In addition, I use Gitzo systematically for tough conditions (for instance I used it to protect against the winds of Patagonia and the North Sea waves in Lofoten).
Which aspects of your landscape photographer life do you find the most challenging?
Being out of family and home. I have a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters that I love very much. Especially on long expeditions, I miss them a lot. It's a fact that I have to travel a lot (about 9-10 months per year). Therefore I´m doing as well as I can to balance the time I have, between togetherness with my family and work journeys. If possible, I always take my family with me on shorter/more easy trips (for example to Tuscany or France). When it comes to tougher expeditions, I have to travel alone. When I am at home I try to have as much quality time with them as possible. It works much better now when I get a full day and can take them outside or just play a longer game. It works better than just arriving late back home exhausted after a long day with no force to play in the evening. When I feel happy and fulfilled, I can give my kids much more than when I am exhausted.
Who are your favourite photographers or mentors whose works have influenced you and your photography?
I was mostly inspired by painters, but I love to have friends and learn from many talented photographers as well.
You have joined the 1x community in 2012. Where did you first learn about 1x and why do you think 1x is different?
Some of my students invited me to join. It is a really great resource because it also reflects my philosophy of perfection: curated portfolios, and best works which you can always learn from.
Now, since we have almost reached the end of this interview, I would kindly ask you to share with us your future plans or photographic projects you would like to be involved in.
Currently I am exploring my home country Russia. It is very challenging because of wild conditions, but it’s very exciting to explore the unknown!
Simply a miracle, is breathtaking.
Inspiring interview supported by the amazing images in Mr. Kordan’s portfolio. He sets the bar very high.
Thank you, Rob!!
Lovely fairy-tale shots. Congratulations.
Great article. A well-described path to fantastic photos and recognition, which is not easy these days. Congratulations and I wish you continued success!
Many thanks, Slawomir!!
Thank you very much Daniel and Yvette for your informative and very interesting story and interview, and of course your incredible landscapes Daniel.
Thanks Wayne ;-)
nice interview and story, great pictures 😊
Fruit and vegetables are very interesting subjects, naturally attractive, colourful and full of structures. Taking up their best features only takes a bit of planning before you pick up your cam. Tasteful and creative images were submitted to this theme.
The winners with the most votes are:
Congratulations to the winners and honourable mentions and thanks to all the participants in the contest
'Fruit & Vegetables'.
'The Golden Hour' is the currently running contest theme.
As we all know, the golden hour is the short and soft daytime light after sunrise or before sunset. It is also called the magic hour or the blue hour by photographers because the light is redder and softer. Everything under this light seems beautiful and dreamy. .
This contest will end at midnight on Sunday the 1st of August 2021.
The sooner you upload your submission the more chance you have to gather the most votes.
Good luck to all the participants.
1st place: by Mohammad Dadsetan
2nd place : by Bogdan Bouşcă
by m.enver karanfil
by Sayyed Nayyer Reza
by Viktoria Ivanova
by Thierry Lagandré (Transgressed Light)
by Isabelle DUPONT