Rounding of a Perth’fest of interview’s this past few days, we have Dylan Fox a talented 21 year old landscape photographer, who would rather carry all his gear then miss a shot, now that’s dedication.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Dylan Fox and I am a 21-year-old landscape photographer from Perth, Western Australia. I have always loved to travel and get away from the city and into the wilderness! I am fortunate to have done a great deal of travel already. I have family on the east coast of Australia and spread out across the United States.
I have loved to have a camera in my hands for as long as I can remember and 6 years ago I found my greatest passion in life, landscape photography. I love bright, colourful, otherworldly scenes and find myself forever chasing them!
What inspired you to get started in Photography?
I’ve always loved taking photographs of just about anything however it was on a photography camp in my final year of high school that I took my first landscape photographs. I was on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia and literally ever since that early start to shoot sunrise I have been hooked. I spent the rest of that trip cycling the Island in search of my next shot!
After that trip I knew that there could not possibly be anything else in this world that I want to do with my life. Capturing Mother Nature’s finest moments brings me so much happiness.
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
I like to take everything! It may sound silly seeing as I can spend hours trekking with it all on my back, but I would hate for nothing more to arrive at a scene and not have the right gear with me. Primarily I use:
Canon 5D mkII
Canon 400D (back-up body)
Canon 17-40mm L-series
Canon 24-105mm L-series
Lee Grad Filters
Manfrotto Magnesium Fibre Tripod and Manfrotto ball head
In 2008 I spent 3 days in New York City and each day I spent 10-11 hours walking around with all my gear. Cityscapes are by no means my priority but it would have burned to miss a potential shot! Luckily I came away with a beauty of Brooklyn Bridge!
As for lenses, I would hands down say my Canon 17-40mm L-series. I love it!
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
Well I have just completed a Business Degree with majors in marketing and advertising. I did this after hearing that photographers are so often brilliant but aren’t making a living from their photography because they do not know how to market themselves. When I was first hearing that I realised I had no idea what ‘marketing’ was, so promptly applied at one of Australia’s leading business schools, Curtin University. Having now completed my degree I cant say I am willing to give my marketing strategy away seeing as it is what will help build my career and separate me from the next photographer. I can say that marketing is very important! Some people think marketing is advertising, but in reality advertising is only a small aspect of marketing.
Social media is such a strong platform in today’s global economy. The Internet has brought down borders and created an international market place. Social media are a great way to gain exposure however they are only a small piece to the puzzle. Things like Facebook pages are almost a given in any marketing strategy but in today’s market I believe they are essential. For me, Facebook has been great however does not connect me effectively with my primary target market so in no way do I rely on it.
What is your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
My favourite shot seems to change quite regularly! I fell like this past year has brought about a huge transformation in my vision, technique and style. I don’t think I could pinpoint one shot as my favourite any more. For example ‘Aspens’ reminds me of an amazing road-trip across Colorado with my cousin, ‘Magnificence’ was one of the best sunrises I have ever seen, ‘Sugarloaf Sensations’ was a shot I had been pre-visualising for months and months and it turned better than I had imagined, or maybe ‘Theatrical’ for its sheer popularity! It is so hard to say!
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
My photograph ‘Vivid Vision’ uses a luminosity blending technique in which different exposure were used for different areas of the image. This allows for correct exposure and greater dynamic range. I never use any HDR programs by the way. The separate exposures are then manually blended in Photoshop which is a very slow process but done correctly it creates some brilliant results. Everything is shot in RAW mode and then processed in Capture One. Once in Photoshop I primarily use selective curves layers for specific areas of the image.
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post?
I believe no amount of post-processing can save or create a great shot. It all starts out there in the field with great technique and awesome light! As I mentioned earlier I use Capture One and Photoshop CS4.
What’s your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?
My tripod. Without it I wouldn’t be able to shoot in the low-light conditions I so often do.
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
As I mentioned Facebook does not connect me effectively or exclusively with my primary target market however that doesn’t mean those consumers aren’t highly involved or interested in my work. The large volumes of instant feedback are a real highlight of Facebook as well as Google Plus so I would have to say both of those two social media.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
Absolutely! For me the best way to overcome it is to just keep getting up early and staying out late as much as possible until you capture your next great photograph! Coming home with a crap shot motivates me that much more to get back out there!
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
I don’t think so… It is something I am so passionate about and put my heart and soul into. I am always so focused on capturing my next photograph and always has been ever since that sunrise shoot at Rottnest Island back in 2007.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Like anything in this world, I believe you have to be passionate about it. Be prepared for early starts, late nights, long drives, long hikes, and all sometimes to be left disappointed. Study the work of your favourite photographers and develop your own style. Most of all have fun!