While browsing through Instagram the other day, I came across some amazing photos that really caught my eye. I was able to track down the photographer and ask him some questions about himself and his photos. Jason Hagani is a 19 year old college student from Connecticut, with a great eye for outdoor photography:
- What or who go you started in photography?
Three summers ago I took a trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I was blown away with the incredible nature of the place – the mountains, the rivers, the gushing waterfalls…I decided I wanted to share what I had seen with the world. There’s no better way to do that than photography. From then on my fascination only grew.
- How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been photographing for about two and a half years, since that trip to Banff.
- Is photography your full time business or something you do on the side?
Something I do on the side. I’m actually currently a student at Columbia University in New York so that keeps me pretty busy!
- How would you explain your photography style?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I think I’m still trying to discover my style. I will say this though: I love colors. You won’t find a lot of black + white photos in my portfolio. Nowhere else on Earth will you find the colors you get during a sunset or on an autumn day, and I like making my photos accurately display that vibrancy.
- What kind of gear do you use?
- Camera Body: Canon Rebel SL1
- Lens: My main lens is the standard Canon 18-55mm EFS lens
- Tripod: Vanguard Espod 234AP
- Filters: I don’t really use filters too often, but I occasionally I’ll pull out a polarizer filter (made by Neewer) or a neutral density
- Flash: No flash
- Camera Bag: Compact Canon backpack
- Others: I use a shutter-remote for photos taken in bulb mode
6. What kind of tools do you use for post-processing?
I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
- What is your favorite photo that you have taken?
My favorite photo is actually one of the first I ever took. It’s of the Mistaya River in Banff National Park, and to take it I climbed out onto a rock in the middle of the river. Every time I look at the photo I’m reminded of that first feeling of awe that overtook me as I viewed the rushing rapids and majestic mountains of Banff.
- How have you/do you educate yourself to take better photos?
A lot of practice. I try to get out and shoot every week (it’s easier said than done). I’ve also read a lot of literature on photography (from magazine to books), and watched hours of online tutorials from landscape photographers like Jimmy McIntyre and Serge Ramelli. There are tons of free instructional methods out there that I urge aspiring photographers to take advantage of!
- Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking?
Without a doubt my largest photography influence has been Chris Burkard, a nature/landscape photographer from California. It was his incredible images that really jumpstarted my passion for photography. He’s not just a photographer, though, he’s also a devoted environmentalist and his dedication to the natural world is something that has rubbed off on me greatly. I hope to one day inspire other people to photograph and care about nature the way Chris inspired me.
- What is one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
How hard photography can be! I used to get very frustrated during my early attempts at photography – after all, how difficult is it to point your camera at something and press a button? I came close to just giving up a few times. But over the last two and half years I’ve come to realize that photography is a very complex form of art that requires a lot of practice and patience. I’ve still only just begun to scratch the surface.
- Any additional tips, advice, or info you’d like to share?
Find a subset of photography that you really enjoy. For me, that’s nature photography. But there are so many other subsets from portrait photography to sports photography to aerial photography. It’s much easier to get good at taking incredible images if you’re passionate and interested in what you’re photographing. The great thing about photography is that it can complement just about any sort of activity: hiking, music, you name it. But above all, just have fun with it!