Drew is an amazing landscape/nature photographer I found on 500px. He’s provided an upfront interview which made me laugh a few times. Check out what he has to say and then make sure you view his work.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Drew Hopper. I am a 21-year-old landscape/nature photographer currently situated on the picturesque Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. For the majority of my childhood I grew up on the open road, traveling around Australia in the family motor home. I guess you could say I lived the gypsy lifestyle, the best lifestyle in my opinion. I was never spoiled as a child, which I feel has given me a true appreciation to my natural surroundings.
What made you get into photography?
The simple answer is Mother Nature! I find nature to be more compelling, mysterious and overwhelming than any facial expression, any man-made structure or materialized subjects. Nature inspires me to get outdoors and be creative with my natural surrounds. I find this to be the most precious gift life has to offer and this is why I share this sentiment with you.
How did you get started?
I guess it all started when I asked my parents for my first DSLR camera for my 18th birthday. That was when I enrolled in my first diploma course, mastering digital photography. I studied for just over 2 years with my first diploma, taking it slow and understanding everything that was being taught. After graduating with my first diploma, I decided to take the advanced diploma in professional digital photography. I’m very glad I took the advanced course, it has taught me a lot!
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Landscape and seascape. I’m not really a ‘people person’; so being able to get away in nature by myself has been one of the main reasons why I chose landscape photography. Weird enough though, my main source of income is from my commercial real estate photography.
What gear are you using?
I was using the Canon EOS 40D, until it decided to drown itself in the ocean. I have only just recently upgraded to glorious Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the weapon I have been dreaming about for years now!
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I don’t think I have a favourite lens to use… Could I change that question to ‘What is your most used lens’? I use my wide angle, Canon 17-40L for the majority of my shots.
How are you marketing yourself?
Like many other photographers, I have always struggled a bit in this category. I have a personal website, use Facebook, and post images to 500px.com. I was also quite fixed on devianART for the good part of my 5yrs since starting photography. However, and I know I am not alone on this one, but deviantART has gone downhill in the past year. A lot of my work has been word of mouth too, especially for festivals that have contacted me wanting to hire me for my services. I believe it’s who you know, not what you know. Although if you want to get known, you better know your shit!
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I would probably have to say these 4 images: all of which seem to be quite popular online, which I’m stoked about!
Golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour) is the first and last hour of
sunlight during the day. Typically the lighting is more diffused because the sun
is near the horizon, so the sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere,
reducing its intensity.
Equipment used: Canon 40D,Canon 10-22mm, Hoya pro1 circular polarized filter, 0.9 hard edge neutral density.
Lush subtropical rainforest in the Dorrigo World Heritage National Park, NSW Australia. The light spilling through the forest was simply epic!!
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40L, Hoya HD circular polarized filter.
This image was taken whilst out and about like most normal afternoons where I would jump in my car and cruise down to the beach in hope for some new seascapes. As you can see in this image there were no new seascapes to be taken, except a raging bushfire in the Hyland Park State Forest of Nambucca, NSW Australia.
Equipment: Canon 40D, Canon 10-22mm, Hoya pro1 circular polarized filter.
This image was taken right at twilight hour with the dense clouds enveloping the coastline.
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40L, Hoya NDx400 9-stop ND filter, 0.9 hard edge neutral density filter.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
- Research your market, both national and international.
- Study other photographer’s images that inspire you.
- Practice techniques out in the field as much as possible.
- Read eBooks and post-processing tutorials.
- Build solid networks; Facebook, Google+ and forums.
- Remember you won’t capture the sunrise/sunset where the sun don’t shine. Be open to criticism. Do not get around with your head up your arse!