Getting To Know Mitch

Getting To Know Mitch

Please introduce yourself in 20 words or less.
Passionate landscape photographer shooting since 2007. I believe photography is good for the soul and mind.


When did you start your photography journey?

In 2007, I went to Canada for five months to work as a camp counsellor looking after kids between the ages of 6 and 11. It was during this trip that I was inspired to purchase my very first Digital SLR. I took photos of everything in the natural environment - mountains, lakes, wildlife, flowers, trees, insects. I had no knowledge about composition or the fundamentals of photography, but I just loved the process of taking photos. The camp was located in Kananaskis Country which is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is an incredibly stunning place. During this time, I lived in a cabin during Spring and a tipi during Summer. I’d take the kids hiking, canoeing, and horse riding. This undoubtedly
influenced my focus on landscape photography. It was such a simple way of living that allowed for complete connection with the environment.



What is the favourite part of your work?
For me, landscape photography is more than just a genre or style of photography it is a creative process that is good for the mind and soul. I shoot a lot of long exposures, and I find this technique (and landscape photography generally) is like a form of meditation. The technique of creating long exposures allows me to slow down, stop and take in the scene around me. The natural elements take on different characteristics when all that is introduced to the equation is time. Water becomes a soft mist like substance that is silky smooth with no hardness or sense of direction. If the conditions are right, the movement of the clouds creates depth and conveys a sense of motion. While taking a long exposure photograph, you can record the way that light has moved across a scene over a period of time. There is an inherent peace and serenity that accompanies long exposure
photography. When I depress the shutter and wait for my image to be created, I get to absorb myself in that moment. I can watch the light change, the clouds move and the swell shift.


Over the last few years, what type of photography work have you been doing?
Predominantly landscape photography, however, in the last year or so I purchased an Aquatech housing for my camera. I have always appreciated photographing the natural environment and I am really excited about diversifying the way I shoot and capture my favourite subject. It was similar when I purchased a drone, I had always appreciated the landscapes I shoot but when viewing them from above you can appreciate them in a different way from a new perspective and it provided even more creative possibilities. Shooting in the ocean is like learning to walk all over again. Honestly, it reminds me of what photography was like when I first started learning the craft of landscape photography. The conditions are so dynamic and you are literally immersed in the images you are creating. Even if I don’t come away from an ocean session with any keepers, I still love the process of learning and just being in the ocean. It is a new creative outlet and process that I am very excited to learn and explore.



Are there any projects you are working on at the moment?
On a personal level, I am considering doing another 52-week project which is something I have done on two occasions previously to stay focused, continue to push myself and grow. More broadly, I am also wanting to increase my focus on photography education and learning resources that I can share through Vagabond, my website and social media, with the aim of helping others learn and grow as photographers. Another project or concept I have in the pipeline at the moment is in relation to how I can use my photography to support causes I believe in, whether it be climate change or environmental conservation or preservation. I’ve got some ideas that I am hoping to bring to fruition later in 2019.


What type of gear are you using at the moment and what is the one piece of
equipment you wished you had?
My camera bag contains - the Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon 24-105mm f/4L II, Canon 70-200mm f/4L, Nisi 6 stop ND filter, Nisi 10 stop ND filter, Nisi ND grad filter, and Nisi Natural Night filter. I have a DJI Mavic Pro drone and an Aquatech underwater housing with various ports. The one piece of equipment I wished I had would actually be an infrared camera. This style of photography and the creative opportunities it provides has always been something that has interested me.



What excites you about travel and photography?

What isn’t exciting about travel photography?! I love exploring unfamiliar places, going on adventures and capturing new landscapes with my camera. I am also particularly drawn to solo travel. I have done a couple of six-week solo trips and I really enjoy traveling solo. I think it is because landscape photography is a very solitary and individual pursuit which is one of the things I love about it. One of the things I love about Vagabond is it is a community of like-minded creatives with a passion for sharing their love of photography and combining that with travel to create truly unique experiences.


What are your sources of inspiration?
A large amount of my inspiration is simply drawn from the natural environment itself. Whether it is the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky overhead, a raging swell being illuminated by the morning sun, or deep valleys and high mountains that make you feel small - I continually want to create images that showcase such natural beauty. My very first photographic inspiration was Peter Dombrovskis. I was collecting his books while I was at university and they were an endless source of inspiration. If you look at any of his images, he expresses a profoundly emotive connection to the land and environment. He traversed some of the most isolated and remote parts of the Tasmanian wilderness. It was this dedication to bringing the beauty of these locations to the world that helped spread the message of preservation and conservation.




What advise would you give someone starting out in photography?
I think I will answer this in the context of social media as it is something that permeates our lives for better or for worse. One of the best things I did for my photography was to stop focussing on the statistics and the numbers and to focus on my craft, creating emotive imagery and engaging with others. Don’t be worried or concerned about how many followers you have or how many likes and comments you get. If you are starting out in photography, then your time and energy is best focused on learning the fundamentals of photography and becoming a better photographer. One thing I regularly do is take a digital detox. There are occasions where I am might not post or even go onto Instagram for a few months. I consider digital detoxes to be fundamental as they allow you to
rejuvenate, refresh your creativity and reconnect with your craft. In addition, get out there and shoot as much as you can because it is the best way to keep developing your eye and creating and discovering your style. Remember to enjoy
the process and shoot what you are passionate about not what you think other people will like. Lastly, a form of mantra which was shared with me by an incredibly talented, award-winning, iconic and highly regarded Australian photographer is - look, see, listen, capture, interpret and express. Each of these will mean something different for each person, but by following these steps, you begin making conscious decisions about your photography.


What is the one aspect you find the most difficult about running a photographic business?
Time. Balancing a full-time career with my photography life.



If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?
I have been wanting to go to the Faroe Islands ever since I came back from Iceland. Maybe a future Vagabond destination perhaps?!


Where can we follow your work? (Website / Social) 

My website - www.mpgphotography.net
Instagram - www.instagram.com/mpg__photography 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MPGPhotographyAus/