Jay Patel is a landscape and wilderness photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. Besides the fact that he is also a workshop leader and author, his photographs capturing both the physical and emotional nature of light have been publish in various magazines, calendars and advertizing materials throughout the world.
Together with his wife Varina, they seek to photograph stunning landscapes against spectacular skies, and are willing to handle extreme weather conditions, strenuous hiking trails, and long periods of waiting in order to meet that goal.
We had the privilege to interview him in a spectacular interview, that we invite to read below.
Tell us about something about Jay Patel?
Seeds of my appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in my childhood on numerous trips that I was fortunate enough to undertake to some of the most breathtaking locations on the Indian subcontinent. My career in photography began in the summer of 2001 when I purchased my first digital SLR. In subsequent years, I spent much time reading photographic magazines and Internet articles and studying the styles of great landscape photographers. I have had no formal education or training in photography.
What’s your creative process like?
I love to shoot landscape with a wide angle lens when sky and clouds overhead are painted by morning or evening light. Often time during these times I am faced with dynamic range of light those modern SLR cameras are unable to handle. To overcome this limitation I use either graduated neutral density filters or to bracket the shot to combine in Photoshop.
I used manual blending technique titled iHDR (Intelligent HDR). This technique was developed by Varina Patel and me. It uses Photoshop Layers and Mask to blend two or more images. Unique thing about this approach is that it allows me to process the images with a “Natural Look” so that the image would appear to the viewer as if they were staring out of the window.
Where do you find inspiration and why you like photography?
This is a difficult question to answer. I have to say that always loved photography since I was a teenager. I unsuccessfully tried to purchase my first camera in 1985…a Canon AE-1. After that school and career put photographic ambition on a backburner. When digital camera started to first make their appearance I decided to renew my interest in photography.
What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work?
That depends upon who I am talking to too and their skill level. Affordable processing tools for digital imaging has opened creative outlet for amateur photographer that was once restricted to professionals. Often times I see photographers putting greater emphasis on photo processing over field techniques. My advice to anyone starting to pursue their passion for photography is that it takes both good field work and image processing skills to consistently produce stunning results.
Can you name some great photographer that inspires you and why?
This is an interesting question…Most photographers I know will answer this question by naming a few of their favorite photographers. In landscape photography, being at the right time and at right place plays just as important role in getting a stunning shot as your skill level. I have to say I am inspired by any photographs rather than photographers who produce the results.
What can you tell us about your workshops?
Photography is all about developing a workflow. You can have all technical knowledge in the world, but if you don’t know when and where to use the knowledge you will have a hard time consistently producing breathtaking images. Our workshops are designed to teach students a workflow from start to finish. This includes teaching student how to capture images and then to process them to achieve spectacular results. As a part of workshops we give students a free membership to our online forums where we will not only critique their images from the workshop but also provide guidance as to how to process the images. Viewing other student images also provides creative insight into what other saw in the same location under same light conditions.
What are the challenges to write an ebook about photography?
There are several challenges to writing an ebook…It starts with a design. Design should be engaging, professional and cross platform compatible. Once you have settled on a design it is time to collect the technical material. I am fortunate enough to be able to write the ebooks with Varina Patel so finding enough good material that serve to illustrate a concept is not a problem for us. Once you have the materials you need to put bounds on the subject matter – Too much material can overwhelm the reader while too little may not provide enough value to a reader. The final challenge is just sitting down and writing the ebooks. Varina does most of the design work and writing. My contribution is to test the ebook and produce the final packaged product.
Dear Mr. Jay Partel we are very glad that you accepted to help us with this interview and to share some of your vivid pictures with the fans of our magazine. Good luck with the workshops, books, and in discovering fantastic new places to expand your unique portfolio of landscape and wilderness. Thanks!