Jay Patel – ” I just like to photograph”

It took me most of last evening to come up with a write up for Jay. Quite honestly I am lost for words. The photograph below pretty much is an evidence of how visually engaging and stunning his photography is.

Saltworks

Like I said, I am lost for words. Jay’s work has been published in numerous magazines, books and he along with his wife have written several ebooks (available for download on his website). He is also an important team member of the website – TimeCatcher. Together his wife and him run several photography workshops and webinars throughout the year. You can find more information on that on his FB Page and his website.

I personally have been really inspired by his work and thanks to him my resolution for the next year is to “Follow the Light” .. no not the white light to the pearly gates.

Follow The Light

Jay has been kind enough to answer my questions. Even though the questions are mostly same, the answers are very photographer specific, and that has given a lot of insight to me about photography. Below are Jay’s answers:

KK: When you look at a photograph ( your own or your fellow photographer’s) what are the first 3 things (or more) you look at?
JP: I break down the photograph into 3 basic elements: Technique, Artistic value and Impact. Technique includes exposure, ISO, use of filters, blending software and processing. Artistic value is defined by how the photograph was composed. And impact is best defined as the WOW factor. Sometimes a photograph can have perfect technical and artistic side, but yet the photograph may lack the WOW factor. For a good photograph all three elements have to work together.

KK: When you say “Artistic Value” or the “Wow” Factor. Isn’t that just your perspective? I mean a different person may like a photo that you may not like, since everyone has slightly different sense of composition, perception and idea. Or are there any rules to this “Wow Factor” ?
JP: There is technical side to photography and then there is artistic side. Artistic side is always subjective and it includes both composition and impact. While what makes is say WOW is not ALWAYS the same thing that makes others say “WOW”. So if a photograph will have greater impact if can make more people say WOW than the ones which dont make more people say “WOW”.

KK: When you compose a photograph, are you always sure that this composition would be the best or do you take multiple shots from different perspective and decide later when you download it to your computer?
JP: I will choose multiple composition from a location. The number of composition will depend upon the location and the light available to work with. While shooting during golden hours your window of creating composition is limited by available window of light. Besides just the rules of composition we use Gestalt principles to compose our photograph. We have 3 Ebooks that explains in detail the rules of composition, gestalt principles and tips to improve your photography by helping the photographer “See Differently”.

KK: Being a Nature/Landscape photographer, you need to be at the right place at the right time. How do you figure that out?
JP: We view light as our primary photographic subject. So, we both prefer the right light over the right location. We frequently stop to shoot on the side of the road, or on the trail to a fabulous location, because the light was right in that spot. We encourage our student to follow the light rather than be fixated on a location. While we look at the weather, cloud covers and storm fronts often times we will shoot when the light is right from any place.

KK: Do you have a favorite quote about photography? taken from others or your own?
JP: Not really….I just like to photograph.

KK: Are they any photographers you are inspired from? If so, please could you share their name and how do they inspire you?
JP: I am rarely inspired by a photographer, but often by photographs. So, I dont have any specific names…but anyone who is passionate about photography inspires me to reach new levels.

KK: What is your advise for the new folks trying their hand at photography as a hobby or planning to go pro?
JP: Learn everything you can. Equipment doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use it… so worry less about what you are shooting with, and more about what you don’t know. Read everything you can, invest in classes rather than fancy equipment, and ask for those honest critiques we mentioned before.

Thank you Jay for you time..

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