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The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings from Ben. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-world moments.

Filtering by Category: folks

Photographer Q and A || Valerie Derome Masse

Zachary Kilgas

Q: Why do you explore / adventure?

A: A few years back I fell in love with wildlife photography. It appeared to me in the most random manners and at a time when I needed it the most. I began creating a little library of my own. These moments were crafted without any sounds or human words. I now basically live for moments like these and that is exactly why I love to go out there and explore with my camera; to collect animal portraits and embrace how alive it makes me feel. 

Q: Why take risks in life?

A: Because the worst that could happen is you learn a lot from yourself. Creating memories is all about getting out of your comfort zone. 

Q: Where are you from?

A: I’m from Montreal Canada! I grow up on ski surrounded by the natural beauty of Quebec.

Q: What is your 9-5?

A: I graduated 2 years ago from Grad school with an architectural degree. I’m currently starting an architectural visualization & 3D studio with a close friend of mine. It’s a project that’s been on my mind since I first started architecture school and I’m super excited that I finally found the perfect partner to transform this project from inception to reality. I’ve always been fascinated by images which explains my dedication to photography. Architecture visualization is a such a fascinating industry and I feel like it’s the perfect marriage between art and technology. 

Q: When you were growing up what or who did you want to be

A: I’ve always been very much fascinated by my father who invested his whole life into creating a company of his own. He’s someone who puts his heart into everything he does and there is never a project that scares him. He always challenged himself into learning new ways of creating or learning about a new topic. He inspired me to become a curious, determined and passionate creator. 

No goal is to high nor impossible. You’ve got to chase for these opportunities to grow.

Q: Favorite place you've visited 

Definitely Iceland. I got instantly seduced by the Nordic culture. The changing forecasts also makes for outstanding and unique photography opportunities. It’s the first destination that opened up my relationship with photography. 

Q: Place you most desperately want to visit? 

At the moment I would say I’m obsessed with South Georgia and the sandwich Islands. It’s definitely a place I want to visit as it would allow me to go out of my comfort zone as it feels like such a remote location. But truly the main reason is that I’d love to know more about the largest penguin colony in the world and being there in person would make for incredible photography opportunities. I would also love to go back to Iceland and photograph the arctic fox whose main territory is far north in the west fjords. 

Q: Must haves for travel

A: As the Norwegians would say, there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing. With that said, you should always do some research and know in advance about the location and weather forecast to plan your gear ahead. 


The Folks | Liam Rimmington

Ben Ashby

LIAM REMMINGTON

THE FOLKS 008 || @LIAMPEA

 

 

How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively? Digital technology has the incredible ability to connect people, the fact that I can push a few buttons on my phone and within seconds push content to thousands of people from all over the world is nothing short of amazing! This kind of interaction makes my work so much more rewarding than it would be in isolation. The biggest negative for me is simply time, the amount of time we dedicate to technology each day is mammoth, for me personally I sometimes need to remind myself that I don’t always need to fulfill the urge to pull out my phone every time I’m bored.

When you think about your favorite work, what makes it stand out from the rest? My favourite work is often not a ‘technically’ great photo, but rather one that evokes a feeling or emotion I can connect with at that moment in time.

How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? I began to realise my passion for photography when I first got a phone with a decent camera built in, I started taking photos more often and with more thoughtfulness, eventually that lead me to buy my first camera.

 

 

 

 

If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue? I would likely still be pursuing music, which was my biggest passion before taking up photography, I started playing guitar when I was 15 and was in bands for many years before my focus shifted to photography.

Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work? It’s a classic/cliche but Iceland has to be the standout location, it doesn’t matter how many photos you see of the place, nothing quite prepares you for the sheer beauty and variety of the land of fire and ice.

What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a new subject? Understanding my connection to the subject, and their connection to the surrounding, figuring that out helps me to work out how I shoot to encapsulate that.

 

 

 

 

What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs? I want people to feel some of the emotion I experienced when capturing the shot, if they can get a sense of that moment from my perspective and share in that for the brief time they’re viewing, then I’ve achieved my intention.

What gear, apps, technology do you use most to help you be successful? My trusty Canon 5D Mark III is my camera of choice, along with a simple set up of 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 lenses. I also always carry a prism and some other light modifiers to play around with. Another big key to achieving the aesthetic in my images is the Tribe Red Leaf ELMT presets for Lightroom which are incredible.

What essentials do you pack when traveling? I always take my AirPods everywhere I go, I adore listening to Podcasts while traveling and my wide music collection is really important to have with me wherever I go.

 

 

 

What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you? Just the wealth of beauty this world offers, from huge sweeping vistas to tiny details of a flower, there’s always something new to see and experience, and capturing that in photography lets you relive that over and over again.

What is something you wish you knew when you first started shooting? That although gear is important, having a simple set up and really knowing your equipment is far more important than constantly buying the latest and greatest.

If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? Enjoy today, don’t worry about tomorrow.

Favorite breakfast cereal? Curiously Cinnamon.

 

 

Favorite coffee shop? Upshot Espresso in Sheffield.

Favorite view? The inside of a tropical greenhouse with sunlight streaming in.

First photo ever taken? I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing it was probably a flower, I’m pretty obsessed!

Road trips or flights? Flights, I find them exciting and there’s something magical about being transported to somewhere half way across the world so quickly.

 

 

 

 

Do you prefer the heat? Or the cold? Cold, I don’t deal well in heat.

Where are you based? Sheffield, UK.

Give us one piece of advice? Do the things that make you excited/content, don’t worry worry about what others think, only you can tell your story properly.

 

I’m currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III and my dream would be to upgrade to the 5D Mark IV.

 

The Folks | Torsten Muehlbacher

Ben Ashby

TORSTEN MUEHLBACHER

THE FOLKS 007 || @clickpix_eu

 

How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively? Digital photography has made the work much easier. You can see immediately whether the picture I like or whether I have to do it again. The learning of the photography is also much faster, since you can see any mistakes immediately on the screen and then “repair” them. The drawback – you don’t think so much about the pic you make. You can save thousands of them on a Memory Card, so it´s very easy to make here “click” and there “click”…. With analogue films you had about 12, 24 or 36 picture on 1 Film. There you think about what and when you make a picture.

 

 

How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? Even in my youth I discovered the passion for photography. At that time still with analog film, later on digital. Now the camera is a constant companion on my hikes in the mountains and traveling.

 

What gear, apps, technology do you use most to help you be successful? I use mostly a full-format or also APS-C camera with lenses between 14 and 70 mm. For landscape photography, I prefer these wide-angle shots. At home, I first look at interesting locations with Google Maps and plan further with various apps like PhotoPills or The Photographer Ephemeris. Of course you should not forget to check how the weather is developing.

 

 

What essentials do you pack when traveling? When I travel, I usually only pack the essentials in my backpack. Camera, lenses, rechargeable batteries + charger, tripod, memory card and a few filters. 

 

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If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? Don´t put too much money in bad/cheap equipment. Pay a bit more.

 

What is your favorite view? When I stand at the top of a Tyrolean mountain and look into the distance.

 

 

Road trips or flights? I like both of them! Sometimes I combine these two things. Fly to a destination, take a rental car and drive through the country.

 

Do you prefer the heat or the cold? I prefer temperate climate. In the past 10 years, we have mainly traveled to Northern Europe. When it´s around 25-30°C – then its okay. But also winter is a great time for Northern Europe – then you can see the magical northern lights.

 

 

Where are you based? I live in Tirol / Austria, near Innsbruck.

 

Give us one piece of advice? Grab your camera, go out and take pictures! Enjoy the nature and keep a few impressions with your camera. But do not forget to enjoy the landscape also with your eyes.

 

 

Camera: At the moment I use a Sony A7RII and a Fuji X-T2 – but mostly the Fuji is in my Bag.
My dream camera?! Well….there are always new cameras, with better sensor, faster, cooler….But i think the the best camera for me is the one I just have with me. 

 

The Folks | Corey Favino

Ben Ashby

COREY FAVINO

THE FOLKS 006 | @CJFAVINO

 

How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively? Digital technology has allowed me to view life from a different perspective, it has allowed for me to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of this planet because with digital technology and my camera I’ve been able to capture things I would have never of had the opportunity to actually see (i.e. the milky way). Digital technology has also affected the way I enjoy life. I love to share the things I’m doing and adventures I’m on through social media so I feel as though I’m always posting something or uploading something and it seems to be taking away from the actual enjoyment of the adventure itself. Something I’ve been trying to balance lately. 

 

When you think about your favorite work, what makes it stand out from the rest? When I think about my favorite work, I think about the journey it took to get there. My favorite work is some of my milky way shots and the reason they’re my favorite is because of the tiresome and long journey it took to get those shots, behind the scenes stuff that most people will never know about, but because of what I went through to get them, they’re my favorite pieces. 

 

How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? After I dropped my marine biology major my freshman year of college, I was sitting in a mobil gas station parking lot with my best friend explaining to him the dilemma I was having with choosing what I want to do with my life, and he said to me, “your always taking pictures when we go exploring dude, and they’re good. Pursue that.” And the rest is history! 

 

If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue? If I wasn’t a photographer I would definitely try and pursue some sort of involvement with different charities and devote my life to that for a few years to get the opportunity to travel and help people along the way. 

 

Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work? The Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett, Rhode Island has always held a special spot in my heart. It was the first place I ever captured a picture of the milky way after trying for months and months, it was 10pm, late September, and I don’t think I’ve ever screamed louder when I saw what I had just captured on my LCD screen. 

 

What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a new subject? The biggest challenge I face when shooting a new subject is finding the vibe. I tackle each shoot with different vibes and I don’t usually ever determine that vibe until I’m there, so finding that vibe is usually the toughest part, but once its established, the shots just flow!

 

What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs? The message I want my photos to read is to adventure. To take what life has given you, wether it be your current life situation, your environment, your job, anything, and make an adventure out of it. I try and inspire people to not just sit at home waiting for the next season of your favorite Netflix show to be released, but to go and watch a sunrise, go star gaze, get lost and find your way back home, enjoy your life while you’re here, and always remain happy. Life’s too short to be anything but happy. 

 

What essentials do you pack when traveling? When I travel, I tend to pack my hammock, my tripod, an excessive amount of camera batteries, and a blanket! I always end up using and needing my blanket so i never travel without at least one!

 

What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you? The thing that motivates me to keep taking photos is the feedback I get. Hearing someone say “your photos have inspired me to go watch a sunrise” or “your photos inspired me to go star gazing!” or even “your photos have inspired me to start taking photos again myself” stuff like that is what keeps me doing it. Knowing I can be an inspiration to people, wether it’s just little things like going to watch a sunrise, those are big things to me. 

 

If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? If I could go back 10 years, I would tell myself is no matter how unrealistic they sound, always follow your dreams. I didn’t realize that until I was 19 years old. If I had known that when i was 10, I would've pursued photography from the get go, I never saw it as a profession, just a fun activity, but now that I’ve discovered its my passion, I haven’t looked back.

 

What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Favorite breakfast cereal is 150% cocoa puffs. 

 

What is your favorite view? Favorite view would easily be the night sky. Something about a sky full of stars makes me feel like a little kid. I could never get tired of it.

 

Road trips or flights? Definitely more of a fan of road trips, because along with the excitement of having an awesome destination or end goal in mind, you get this awesome adventure along the way of seeing new things and exploring new places.

 

Do you prefer the heat or the cold? Definitely more of a heat fan, big ocean lover and dedicated surfer so the cold doesn’t allow me to really enjoy either of those things, but I can still enjoy a nice winters day! 

 

Where are you based? I’m based right now in Rhode Island! Going into my senior year at the University of Rhode Island with definite plans of packing up and heading out soon after graduation this May!

 

Give us one piece of advice. One piece of advice is: don’t have a plan B. Having a plan B is indirectly doubting your plan A. Find your passion, set your goal, and give 110% to that and only that. 

 

I currently use a Sony a7 full frame mirrorless camera! Cheapest full frame mirrorless I could afford on a college budget, and my dream camera is the newly released Sony a9

The Folks | Nathael Labat

Ben Ashby

NATHAEL LABAT

THE FOLKS 005 | @NORTHERNELG

 

 

 

How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? I've traveled for eights years now and I was taking pictures with my phone each time I was traveling. I loved to do that so two year ago I bought my first camera and now I am here.

If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue? I love and study history, so why not a historian.

What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs? I want to inspire people to travel as much as possible, to discover the beautiful places that the world has to offer.

 

 

 

 

What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you?  My passion for photography, the desire to explore more places and share them with the world. My followers are a true inspiration, it's always a pleasure to read their comments and see that they want to go to the specific place, they love my photos etc... .

If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? Work is the only solution to improve your skill. So if you want to be a photographer : go out, shoot and have fun.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Corn Flakes.

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite view? Sunrise/Sunset in Norway is always a special moment.

Road trips or flights? Road trips

Do you prefer the heat or the cold? I don't like when it's too cold and when it's too hot.

 

 

 

 

Where are you based? Near Bordeaux, France.

Give us one piece of advice: Work while having fun

What camera do you use? I use a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. My dream camera is a Panasonic Lumix GH5.

 

 

The Folks | Natalie Wall

Ben Ashby

NATALIE WALL

The Folks 004 | @nataliewall

 

1) Where are you based?

Salt Lake City, Utah

2) If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue?

I'm actually a medical student, studying to be a doctor! Photography is my creative outlet; something that allows me to express myself outside of words and textbooks.

 

 

3) If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself?

You're not going to please everyone, so don't kill yourself trying. It's alright to be different, non-traditional, and at times a little lost. Life is a journey of self-discovery; some people will agree with the path you choose, and others won't. It's a fact of living, and it's perfectly okay. Embrace it, learn from it, but don't let it dictate your self-worth.

 

 

4) Favorite breakfast cereal?

Frosted Flakes.
 

5) Give us one piece of advice

Drink your coffee while it's hot, eat your cereal before it's soggy, and always dip your cookies in milk. That's technically 3 pieces of advice.

 

WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE\WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAMERA?

Currently own a Canon 6d, use a Canon 7d for back-up, and really love the Sony a7r ii; but honestly I'm pretty content with what I have.

 

The Folks | Federica Maiolo

Ben Ashby

FEDERICA MAIOLO

The Folks 003 | @federicamaiolo_

 

1) How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively?

My job was born thanks to technology, and I can't see negative sides because the technological revolution broadens my horizons and let me learn new methods to do my job the best way.

2) When you think about your favorite work, what makes it stand out from the rest?

They're different because they represent three different times of my life, when I changed as a photographer, and every time I look at the they give me the right strenght to go on.



3) How and when did you realize that photography was your passion?

Growing up I felt natural to shoot everything, then I got my first camera and I realized that photography would be a part of me.

4) If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue?

Great question! During my teenager years there was a time when I almost completely abandoned photography to pursue different endeavors. But I quickly came to the point that photography was the only way to go.

 

 


5) Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work?

Over the last couple of years I traveled a lot with my boyfriend, we found that even little mishaps can bring something epic. That was the case when we visited Königsee, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It got under my skin and I had the chance to tell the place through my photos.

6) What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a new subject?

Mostly interpreting what's in my mind.


 

 

7) What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs?

I'd like to transmit my emotions and my inner self. If I succeed in this then my work has accomplished its goals.

8) What gear, apps, technology do you use most to help you be successful?

I shoot on a Fujifilm xt10 with the following lenses: 35mm, 16-50mm and a wide 12mm. I postproduce exclusively on my Macbook.
 


9) What essentials do you pack when traveling?

Just my camera and the essential clothes. Everything else is of less importance.

10) What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you?

The desire of showing what I love through my eyes.
 


11) What is something you wish you knew when you first started shooting?

I would have loved to study photography from the beginning, I basically learned everything by myself.

12) If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself?

Be more confident of your skills and always listen to your heart.



13) Favorite breakfast cereal.

Absolutely Choco Pops!

14) Favorite coffee shop

None in particular, I just love the coffee I brew at home!
 


15) Favorite view?

Buchenegger Wasserfälle.

16) First photo ever taken.

Family portrait.
 


17)Road trips or flights.

I prefer road tripping.

18) Do you prefer the heat? Or the cold?

Definitely cold!
 


19) Where are you based

I live in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a region in the Northern East of Italy.

20) Give us one piece of advice

Always shoot with your heart.

 

Dream Camera:  Fujifilm Xpro2

The Folks | Amy Bailey

Ben Ashby

Amy Bailey

The Folks | @maime_


 

1) Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work?

The entire South Island of New Zealand has really stood out to me with its incredible scenery from fog filled fiords with countless waterfalls and moss covered rocks to snow capped mountains and iceberg filled glacier lakes. 

 

 

2) What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs?

I want to evoke the feeling that they are in that moment too, that they can see and feel the beauty of the scene while it evokes some form of emotion for them. 

 

 

3) How and when did you realize that photography was your passion?

Photography really became my passion about 3 years ago after I was diagnosed with cancer. It was an outlet for me to find peace in nature and the outdoors while capturing the endless beauty of the world around me. 

 

 

4) What essential do you pack when traveling?

I’m definitely a minimalist and only shoot with two lenses but essentials for me are extra layers of clothing, hiking boots, rain protection for my camera, a flashlight and spare camera batteries!

CAMERA: CANON 6D | DREAM CAMERA: CANON 5D

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