Time for another Photographer Spotlight Interview!! This time I had the great chance to talk to Michele Agostinelli a landscape and portrait photographer from Italy. Step inside the world of Michele Agostinelli to learn what it is that makes him so good in his field.
1) Tell us about yourself, where are you from? How, when and why did you get into photography?
I was born in Tuscany in the middle of Italy in 1981.
Photography has always been my passion because I like changing my point of view.
Six years ago I bought my first DSLR camera and I joined a photography course at a local club (www.ilbacchino.it). I immediately fell in love with photography and I’ve worked hard to improve my technical knowledge and my taste.
2) How much time do you spend on photography on average?
I usually spend less time than I wish I could. I take photos in my spare time, sometimes 2 or 3 times per month, it mostly depends on my free time.
3) Which gear do you mainly use / What is typically in your camera bag? (Camera body, Filters, Lenses, Tripod, Accessories, etc.)
I always carry a tripod with me, but I also have ND filters, graduated filters, reflection panels, flashes, and softboxes.
I actually have only one camera body, a Canon 6D, but I have a good collection of lenses:
Samyang 14mm f/2.8
Canon 17-40mm F/4.0 L USM
Canon 24-105 F/4.0 L IS USM
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Canon EF 85mm F/1,8 USM
Sigma 105 F/2.8 Ex Dg Macro Os Hsm
Canon 70-200mm F/4.0 L IS USM
4) How do you prepare for an image?
It depends if it’s a landscape or a portrait image. For landscape photography, the hour of the day and the season can make all the difference.
It often happens that I get to a place when the light isn’t the right one, so I come back home without any good shot.
When I want to shoot portraits I start thinking about what I want to realize and then I start looking around for models. I try to explain to the model what I have in my mind then I usually spend too much time setting up lights. The “click” it’s the last thing!
I always use an external light (like a reflector or some flashes), but the hardest part is to use it softly, only for clearing the shadows.
5) Do you have guiding principles that you follow when you’re taking pictures (image composition)?
I always follow the rule of thirds, sometimes I use the diagonals but it depends on the scene that I have in front of me.
6) How important is post-processing for you? Can you tell us what kind of postprocessing you typically do?
Post processing is about 40% of the work! The most important thing is to start with a good image, post-processing it’s not a procedure to fix a wrong image, but it’s useful to emphasize and highlight the peculiarities of a good picture.
I always shoot in RAW. I usually import, view and choose my shots with Adobe Lightroom. After that, I do some basic correction on the raw file, then I open it in Adobe Photoshop.
In Adobe Photoshop I use a different type of techniques like remove dust or unwanted small object, manual blending (in case of bracketing shots), curves with a custom mask, luminosity mask and many more. The last thing that I do is the sharpening.
7) What’s the favorite photo you took and why?
I’ve felt in love with the Dolomites mountains, so the best photo that I took was at lake Braies.
8) What’s the most challenging part of being a photographer?
Being in the right place at the right time. Of course, you can increase the odds by looking for the right spot, but a bit of luck always helps.
9) Do you have general advice and tips for other photographers?
Never give up and follow the rule of the three:
Observe, try, make mistakes.
10) Who or what inspires you to do what you do and why?
My first inspiration is the nature: I like to discover the world around me through the eyes of my camera.
I really like to observe the galleries of other users, not necessarily of famous photographers, luckily it’s very easy today thanks to the Internet and social networks. Nowadays you can observe the wonders of the world from your desk!
11) What was your biggest accomplishment? (Awards, Publications, Exhibitions, Cooperations, etc.)
I never participate in any contest, I usually simply upload my image to 500px website. My biggest accomplishment so far is the number of followers that I have reached.
12) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
There is no default time to start getting photos that we like, for some people could take months or years, for some even just a few days!
13) What are your future photography goals?
Travel to wonderful places that I haven’t seen before.
14) Is there anything else you want to say?
Thank you for this opportunity, I hope I’ll get to know some interesting people thanks to this interview.
Find Michele Agostinelli on the Web: