What would you suggest as a starter kit?I recommend above all a good lens — a 16–35mm or a 24–70mm to start. This allows you to be versatile and to capture not only architecture, but also landscape or street photography. The camera should be 24mp minimum to be able to make enlargements of good quality. The more millions of pixels, the more details you will have. Phone cameras now have algorithms to improve your images, and you can use them to capture street photography in a very spontaneous way or even landscapes. It’s a tool that you always have in your pocket, and it makes for a very good backup camera.
What are some common beginner mistakes you can learn from?
I’d say it would be not looking for original angles or grasping the way to build a photo, and also using the automatic mode of your camera. I think when you don’t know the basics of photography and don’t play with the aperture, for example, you lose the creativity of the composition.
What are your favorite Lightroom tools? Do you have any tips for using presets?
My favorites are for color adjustment because my pictures are about the colors. And the Geometry tool. I think it’s very important for me to have a good perspective and to place my principal subject in the center of my photo. I use the Contrast, Highlight, and the Black adjustment presets every time. I use them to create something different in my images. In terms of presets, it’s necessary that your settings reflect your creativity — you need to find a good adjustment between reality and your vision. I adjust enormously the cyan of my photographs to give them a very past dimension. By playing with the red, yellow, and the blue you will create your own photographic style.
How do you use Photoshop for editing?
I use the Curve tool and I use Photoshop for color correction. When I work on an image I always use Lightroom first (and sometimes only Lightroom), but I often use Photoshop to correct my colors and remove what I don’t like. And I like to save my work in Photoshop because I export in 300dpi, so it’s good for large-format images.
How do you choose what to edit and how do you know when it’s finished?
When I do a shoot, I always have a photo that‘s talking to me more than the other ones — because of symmetry, cropping, or even the light because of that moment. A picture is never finished for me. I never like what I do. I always think I can do better. When I come back to it after, I say “No, it’s not what I want.” But sometimes I see my photo and think okay, stop, it’s finished. You can’t do any better.
How has COVID-19 changed the way you work?
It’s very difficult for a photographer like me who wants to travel. I have a road trip to California, New Mexico, and Utah planned, but due to the pandemic I don’t know when I can leave. And I want to go to Greenland to do a project with the white polar bears. Not being able to find a new place to shoot right now is very frustrating. I have to think differently and find another place because I can’t stay here and wait to see what’s happening.
What has photography brought to your life?
It’s a big change. I feel free because I can do what I want, when I want. I can’t stay in the same place for a week without moving. It’s a real liberty to do what you love the most and earn money for it, so it’s just incredible. And it’s just wonderful to be able to share my work with everyone because photography is also a testimony to the world around us.
I’m very lucky.