Elia is a photographer I met on Google+. When people think of HDR they usually cringe. Even photographers that don’t fully understand how to harness HDR cringe. Elia is one of the few that understand how to create a “proper” HDR image. Make sure you check out his blog to see more of his work.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Well, recently my doctor classified me as “mostly human.” My wife on the other hand demanded a second opinion. We’re still waiting on the new test results… So in the mean time, let’s just say I’m a full time travel photographer.
What made you get into photography?
Photography is actually a recent endeavor. I had a long career in Post Production and Motion Design but after 10 years, I had had enough. Tight deadlines, constant revisions, late nights & endless work weeks had left me completely burnt out. Pursuing larger paychecks and bigger titles had earned me only nice “things” and a mountain of debt. I had neglected the most important thing. Being happy.
In the peak of the housing crisis, over loaded, and upside down in debt, I quit it all. I sold my house and decided to pursue my other (more simple) passions instead: Rock climbing and surfing. I swore I’d never work on a computer again but after a few endless summers and sunburns later, I missed my artistic side terribly. It felt like part of me was missing.
I began to travel the world in an attempt to reconnect with my creative side. When I picked up a camera, it was a total revelation. I finally found a way to feel creative again. It just clicked (so to speak).
Now, after a few years perfecting a style and look, my wife and I travel full time taking pictures.
How did you get started?
I started way back in 1999 by landing a gig as a photoshop artist. The shop I worked for was responsible for all of the photography retouching, image alteration, and color correction for Sandals Resorts; all really high resolution stuff from medium format cameras.
For the next few years, we did it all; Boobs bigger; teeth straighter; skin cleaner. We cloned out people, we painted in skies, we masked in wave runners, boats, and parasailers. We extended beaches and coastlines for miles and miles. No matter what the crazy (seemingly impossible) image alteration request we got, — and trust me the client sent dozens — we were somehow able to get it done with sparkling results. It was a profound learning experience and It continuously shapes my skill set to this day.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
The way I like to describe it is Travel and Location Photography. I like to capture iconic places in a way that makes the view feel a sense of awe.
I’ve never loved the creative process as much as when I shoot and process photography. I hope that at least in some small way, that passion reflects in the final result.
Keep in mind that even though I use many Post Processing Techniques, no new elements are added to these photographs. Once or twice I’ve fixed the moon but that’s all.
Sometimes I paint things out like people, street garbage, power lines, Richard Simmons, and other elements that I feel are distracting from the scene.
All of what you see is the pure and true result of old school photoshop voodoo, color correction, and a light (occasional) application of HDR.
What gear are you using?
Nikon, why? Do you use Canon? Shame on you! 😉
Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8
Nikon 28-300 f/something or other
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
RRS Versa 3 Tripod Legs
RRS BH-55 Ballhead
Think Tank Urban Disguise 50 V2
Think Tank Airport International V2
Various other doodads and whatsits.
I also have a liquid cooled 27inch Imac Computer. Although, some of the water is still dripping out of the bottom so I think I poured it in wrong…
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I generally work with wide angles so I guess it would be my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. It also looks really cool on my camera.
How are you marketing yourself?
Mostly via web, social media, and word of mouth. Speaking of which, I suggest that everyone get on Google+ as soon as possible. It’s quickly dominating the social media game for photographers.
You can find me on Google+ Here (http://goo.gl/vlhKD) ←– Social Network Marketing 101 😉
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I’ve always had a problem deciding. Here’s a few instead. Let’s just pretend that my decision has a multiple personality disorder.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
I wrote a detailed article on this topic here: http://goo.gl/oLym9
In short, I’m of the mindset that you should approach everything you care about in life with passion and positivity. I feel like those elements show through in everything you do, whether it’s artistic, technical, or a blend of the two. People can even detect it in the things you talk about. It can literally be heard in your voice.