It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to post an interview. It seems to be a very busy time for photographers globally but there are some awesome ones lined up for the coming weeks. Lets get stuck into todays interview featuring Nathan Wills who just placed second in a the ‘National Award’ section of the ‘World Photography Awards’.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Nathan Wills.
I would have to say that the motivation behind starting out in photography came from my artistic side and the sibling rivalry we all have.
I have always been artistic and enjoyed doing anything I could get my hands on to do with art. 3-4 years ago my sister decided to get a little Canon 500D, obviously I decided that I should have a camera too, but mine had to be better. I ended up getting the next model up, the Canon 550D.
What inspired you to get started in photography?
I started taking just your average photos of just about everything not really knowing anything about cameras or how to use different setting and all of that.
My mate Dan had been taking photos for a little while and so I would go to him asking about different things, or jump on the World Wide Web and research.
Since I have realised that it is landscape photography that I love and am passionate about, I have found Christian Fletcher to be a great inspiration to me.
He has been so kind in helping me with things along the way, and if it weren’t for my sister working in his little shop when we were younger I would never know him as I do now.
I have upgraded my gear now and I now use a Canon 5D mark II.
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
Since I mostly shoot landscape the essential equipment I take with me on a shoot is my:
Canon 5D mark II
Canon 24-105mm lens
Canon 100-400mm lens
(Lee Filters) Circular polariser
(Lee Filters) 0.9 ND
Shutter release remote and my TRIPOD, it’s the key
I could not live without my wide angle lens, the Canon 24-105mm. I hope to upgrade soon to a wider lens, but for now it is my most used.
What’s your favourite bag and why?
My favourite bag is my only bag, it is a Lowepro Dryzone waterproof bag. I chose this bag as it is waterproof, thus keeping my gear safe in any condition.
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
I market myself through 99% social media at the moment, which has been very important, without it I don’t think I would be where I am now.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
My favourite photo would be my most recent one of Sugarloaf Rock, this is because each new photo I try and make better than the last, I feel I am growing, getting better with each new shot.
This shot was taken using my 5D on a tripod with setting of:
focal length: 24mm
exposure time: 1.6 sec
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
Since I shoot in RAW the raw image needs basic corrections to make it look as it was while you were there. After making these corrections I dropped the exposure of the sky slightly, gave it a soft vignette, sharpened the rock slightly as the water rushing up to me had caused my tripod to drop ever so slightly and added a touch more vibrancy to the colour of the water.
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post?
I use two processing tools for every shot. Firstly I import my images into Lightroom 4.1 and do all my corrections, lens distortions, chromatic aberration, that kind of thing. Then I open it from Lightroom 4.1 into Photoshop CS6 to do anything else, such as vignetting and vibrance layers, I find CS6 gives my cleaner results as it has more tools.
What’s your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?
I don’t believe in landscape photography you can get an image 100% perfect in your camera or do I believe that you can take a poorly taken photo and make it 100% perfect using Photoshop.
Both are two key two tools that used together you can produce amazing images. You have to nail your shot in camera as much as is possible then you have to know how to process that image to captivate your audience and have them feel and see what you were feeling and seeing as you were there.
My favourite accessory other than my camera would be my tripod, without it I would probably not have 90% of the images I do today.
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
I would say I prefer to post my photos on my Facebook page as I can share them around without cost and get lots of feedback from them there.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
I have never had photographers block before and I hope that I never do. When you have such a sting passion for something I think it would be hard to get a block. I am always finding inspiration from other photographers and artists, all of these influences help in creating our own style.
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
I see myself as only really just starting out, I have only been shooting seriously for two years now, so we will see in the future.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Advice for anyone wanting to go pro, I am wanting to go pro haha, I think the key would be to make the time to get out and shoot shoot shoot, it is a must if you want to get better. Going out with a friend or someone who you can work along side who will give you honest feedback on your work after shooting is also a very important thing.