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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..

Magic Hour Unplugged with Kah Kit Yoong

Kah is another of my most favorite photographer. I first saw a photo of his in the Outdoor Photographer 2008 magazine issue, became an instant fan. He gives “Golden Hours Of Photography” its true meaning. His photography is evidence of the beautiful world out there yet to be seen by many of us.

KAH KIT YOONG

He is also a member of Timecatcher.com, a team which comprises of wonderful photographers like Jay Patel and Patrick Fruscia and more ..

He was kind enough to answer a few questions of mine. They are posted below for you to read ..

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?
KKY: The first thing I notice is the composition, in particular whether it is well balanced or not. The concept of balance is a difficult one since it is more of a gut feel than anything to do with following or breaking the traditional ‘rules’. Often the next thing I notice is how the light has been used, whether it matches the subject and composition or not. The technique behind the photo should be invisible ideally. If there are glaring technical deficiencies, these may well be the first things I notice.

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?
KKY:You can never be sure that you have the best possible composition. I often walk around without taking any photos first to get a feel of the various perspectives. I may then take a few shots and study them on the LCD to see which works best. Once I have decided roughly where I want to shoot from, I can spend quite a bit of time making seemingly small adjustments which can have a big impact to the end result.

KK: Being a Nature/Landscape photographer, you need to be at the right place at the right time. How do you figure that out?
KKY: Most of my photos come about from simply turning up to the location and matching the light to the subject. Of course the light at the beginning and end of the day are usually more likely to give better results. I much prefer to chase good light and then find something suitable to photograph rather than finding a composition and waiting for the right conditions to appear.

KK: Do you have a favorite quote about photography? Taken from others or your own?
KKY: “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” Cartier-Bresson

KK: Are they any photographers you are inspired from? If so, please could you share their name and how do they inspire you?
KKY: I draw inspiration from many photographers these days, and not only from the landscape and travel genres. Too many to mention really. However when I first started photography in 2005, seeing the work of Marc Adamus and the Time Catcher team, made me want to become a landscape photographer.

KK: What is your advice for the new folks trying their hand at photography as a hobby or planning to go pro?
KKY:I get a lot of questions from people trying to discover what ‘secrets’ I might be using. The truth is that I developed my way of doing things through lots of practice, trial-and-error, hard work and problem-solving. Some of the new folk get so caught-up in trying to find short-cuts that they lose sight of the fact that the basics of photography : exposure, composition and using light can only be learnt through practice and experience.

Kah’s award winning work has been published in many popular and prestigious magazines including Nat Geo Traveler and Popular photography. You can follow him on his blog “Magic Hours unplugged“.