1. Hey Dylan, thanks so much for agreeing to share some thoughts with us today. To start things off, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? When did you get into photography? Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?
Thanks for the opportunity! I’m 24 years old and I was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. I got into photography about five years ago, but only started taking it seriously a few years ago. I’m completely self taught.
2. Your images seem to have a consistent mood. What is your go-to editing style? Also, what is your favorite editing platform on desktop and mobile?
I develop my own presets in Lightroom. I always play with the tone curve and I work a lot with my greens and yellows. Normally I’ll play with the hues and desaturate individual colors, split toning is something I regularly do as well. Lightroom is definitely my favorite program, desktop and mobile.
3. Has your style and editing changed since you first started photography?
I think it’s pretty similar to when I started. I sort of found my niche with outdoor lifestyle photography, although I do enjoy taking photos in the city. My processing is also similar, I have always tried to achieve a darker moody feel, although my editing skill has drastically improved over the years.
4. In terms of gear, what equipment do you use most frequently? What do you have your eye on to buy next?
I use my Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 16-35mm f/.2.8 and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 most frequently. I have my eyes on some lighting set ups that I want to experiment with. I would love to start playing around with artificial light as most of my work is shot in natural light.
5. What pointers would you suggest to aspiring wildlife photographers on how to best approach and photograph animals?
I would definitely recommend a telephoto lens. I have a Canon 100-400mm which works very well. Wildlife is sometimes difficult to find so I would make sure to shoot early morning when the animals are most active. It takes a little bit of patience and luck, but always worth the effort.
6. Out of all the natural beauty of the mountains, waterfalls, stars, animals, rustic architecture, etc. what element of nature are you most passionate about photographing and why?
There’s something about a deep dark forest that speaks to me. I grew up in a cabin surrounded by large trees, which is probably why it’s my favorite environment to photograph.
7. You refer to camping in a tent as your second home. What is it like backpacking through the wilderness and setting up camp? How much time do you devote to your adventures vs. being at home?
Sometimes I wonder why I pay for my apartment. Even before photography, camping was a big part of my life. Waking up in the wilderness is something that can’t be compared with anything. I try to get out as much as possible, I even have a tent on top of my car. It’s tough to balance camping and computer work. These days I won’t go for a couple days at a time because the business of photography takes up about 90% of my time. I always need access to my computer, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it better.
8. Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your top influences on Instagram?
I look outside. My backyard here in the Pacific Northwest is where I find most of my inspiration, it’s hard not to feel inspired by looking at the landscape here. My favorites on Instagram at the moment would be @Alexstrohl and @forrestmankins. Both great guys, they capture the feelings well.