Photographer from Polish Hubert Leszczynski, delighting landscape, standing up with the first rays of the sun to make a unique frame. And what can happen funny stories during filming, such as running away from three dogs from the territory of the owner, whose house has attracted the photographer … Nominated competition fotopremii 35Awards, landscape photo with a smile, talking about himself.
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? How did you get started, your first camera
— My adventure with photography has started back in 2007 when I purchased my first D-SLR camera. I was always a fan of Nikon products and as it was my first choice I decided to buy Nikon D80 with Nikkor AF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED DX lens. Obviously it wasn’t the greatest model back then, but I didn’t really need to have a top spec gear. At that stage I wanted to get to know how it works and how to shoot with it.
? Who are your favorite photographers?
— There are good few names that come up to my head now. Let me start with these first: Max Rive, Daniel Kordan, Ted Gore, Marc Adamus, Iurie Belegurschi, Sean Bagshaw, Ryan Dyar and so on. All these people are great photographers, who travel around the world showing us the beauty of the planet we live on. On top of that they give us opportunities to learn from them, how to look through the lens and seek for an interesting frames. None of them is the most favourite one as I admire all their works and there’s always something to seek for in each one of their images.
? What books on photography, which should be read
— Being quite honest with you, I can’t really tell much about the books. There have been a lot of them I’ve been reading at the beginning of my adventure with photography. The main reason for that was to get to know how the particular things work and how to achieve frame with the right exposure and detail. At the same time I’ve been trying to gain some knowledge about post processing as it was also important to me. So if you only beginner you should know how to use your camera. Then all information regarding about setting it right will be useful. When you learn the two aspects and as the time go on and you will practise more and more, I think it the right time to move on and start to experiment, learn some new techniques which will make your works even more interesting. Well, there’re many sources you can gain the knowledge from. On top of books there’re also many websites giving the basic information about photography. Video tutorials are quite popular these days and are very “handy” as you can watch them anywhere you like (PC, tablet or smartphone). Summing up if you’re not a book reader there’s internet which gives endless sources about photography.
? Tell me one or a few tips for beginners.
— Some of you have already noticed that my favourite theme of photography is landscape. And as in any other theme, the right equipment is a must-have.
So first of all you need to have a decent tripod (to avoid camera shakes while shooting). You need to rely on it when you set your expensive gear on it. It needs to be stable (especially during windy conditions) and light (if you travel or hike a lot).
Going further the shutter release cable is also important. When the camera is set up with desired setting give it 2-3 seconds to stop shaking and then use the cable.
High dynamic range scenes seen when shooting sunrise or sunset require using graduated filters (they allow to avoid to get under- or over-exposed images). If you’re not sure if the image is right exposed, check the histogram: it will always “tell” you the truth.
Shoot in RAW files: although they consume your memory card quite fast, but they give you all informations you can use while processing your images.
Finally don’t be afraid of waking up early in the morning as the Mother Nature may surprise you with some stunning view you will remember for a long, long time.
? What is most important for you in your work?
— Well, there are couple of aspects quite important to me. On top of all I always try to keep my images as natural as possible. I obviously use software to process my images but always try to make them look good and don’t use too many sliders. To achieve this I have to make sure my images are properly exposed and there are all informations in dark/bright parts of the image.
? What the most memorable episode or event?
— Early morning in Tuscany, somewhere in the valley of Val d’Orcia. It was quite misty morning as there was quite heavy rain the night before. I woke up early and drove off to explore this amazing land. When the sun woke up I stopped beside some massive property. The owner’s house was located on top of the hill about 1km from the main road I left my car. I got my gear set up and started to shoot, without accessing the property — I was happy enough to shoot from the road. At some stage I heart barking… After few seconds I realised it’s not only one dog that barks: there’s three! About two minutes later I noticed that the dogs where let free and they started to run towards me, between the olive trees. What else I can tell? It was the quickest shooting and gear packing in my life. Thankfully I managed to pack up and drive off ☺. But I was happy as I captured the frames I wanted.
? What do you like to photograph the most?
— My beloved theme of photography is landscape. I really enjoy going outdoor and spend hours in silence, outside the big city, where seemly time go slowly. Over the last couple of years I decided to experiment with the long exposure images. I must admit I quite liked that type of exposing. To do so I use graduated filters which allow extending exposure time from couple of seconds to even few minutes. Why do I do it? I simply try to take people to different world, to world that can’t be seen with naked eye. I want to take them to my world so they could forget about the bustle of everyday life.
? Your plans for the future?
— I don’t really have any major plans for the future. I’m “a family guy” and my budget isn’t as big as I wish it to be ☺. But it’s obvious that money is required to travel and explore new places. But above all I try to so anyway. I try to visit new country at least once a year. I’ve been to Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Norway and Scotland so now it’s time to visit… Iceland – another photographic paradise.
On top of that I will try to gain more knowledge about photography. I don’t consider myself as someone who knows everything and now takes pictures only. I try to seek for more interesting techniques regarding shooting and image processing. There’s loads of interesting stuff but it’s only a matter of willing to know it ☺.
? What cameras and lenses do you use today?
— My gear has been upgraded over a year ago. Now I use Nikon D800 with two lenses:
Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII.
Most of the time I use the first one but the second one is also useful for a long distance shots. They both give excellent image quality (especially the zoom one) and I’m really happy with the results I can achieve with them.
? Tell the story of the creation of the winning photo in the contest 35Awards
— I left my house about four hours before sunrise as there was a long drive to this location. I went there with the other two friends, also landscape-freaks ;). As we were getting closer to the place the sun raised already and we knew we’re couple of minutes late. But because of the quite high mountains and hills I was hoping that the best light will appear just after arrival. And I was quite right! Apart of the light… when I was approaching the lake I noticed there’s no wind at all and the reflections in the water were just perfect. As I do like when there’s something going on in the sky I was a bit disappointed as the sky was cloudless. As the sun was going higher and higher, I turned to the left and saw quite heavy clouds coming towards the mountain. In about 5 minutes the clouds reached the top of the Errigal mountain… I was really amazed when I looked at the LCD display in my camera! And believe it or not, but when we’re leaving this place, the whole mountain was covered with clouds for the rest of the day… I think I was quite lucky that morning ☺.
? What are your impressions about the photo contest 35Awards? Why photographers need to participate in photo contests?
— I’m pleased that the administrators of 35photo.ru came up with that idea. There’re load of great photographer and images being published there and the contest gives them chance to see how good shots they take. When the website has been transformed to multi-language the amount of artist that could publish their works has raised. Also the contest itself had gathered people from so many different countries. I think it is great initiative that may bring benefits to everyone: photographers and organizers.
I think It’s great to present you works to someone else, who lives on the other side of the planet. And that type contest gives opportunity to see how much the images we produce are really worth. Is it only yourself who likes them or there’s more people who will admire them.
I’d also like take this opportunity and say thank you to the jury for picking my work and all people who placed their votes to my image: I’m really pleased and honoured!