Local photographer, Drew Hopper, was the winner of our Snapshot Competition last year. Finally we get the chance to talk to him about his passion for beautiful pictures.
What inspired you to make photography your profession?
I like to think that I took the scenic route to my nature photography career. I have always been an outdoors person, always been enveloped by nature and inspired to explore my natural surrounds. I eventually settled on nature photography for my creative outlet, as it combines my passions for the natural world, discovery, innovation, excitement and inner peace.
You shoot a variety of subjects, but what’s your favourite thing to photograph?
What sort of equipment do you use?
Canon 5D Mark II, with a variety of Canon L series lenses, carbon fibre tripod, neutral density filters and other bits and pieces. I’m definitely a wide-angle shooter; 80% – 90% of my images are taken at the wide end.
Aside from the ability to instantly see your photos, what do you see as some of the major benefits of digital photography over film cameras?
The ability to shoot hundreds of photos without the expensive need for film, preview buttons to be sure the desired shot was taken, and no need to spend hours processing film, scanning, or printing in a darkroom.
You’ve pretty much mastered the art of still photography, but do you ever dabble in videography?
I feel life is moving too quickly as is, so I think I’ll stay still for now.
Describe your typical day.
Check emails, check website, check blog, check stock images, wait for the light, chase the light and hopefully come home with something worthwhile.
What inspires you?
Art has always been a large part of my life, and I can confidently say that in addition to the countless hours I have spent outdoors, my photographic style has been largely influenced by my experience in travelling Australia from an early age, my sensitivity to nature and my love for discovering new untouched locations.
Outside of photography, what are your hobbies and passions?
Everything I do I usually have my camera with me, so it’s not really ‘outside’ of my photography. Definitely camping though, being outdoors and exploring new locations.
How long have you lived on the Coffs Coast, and what do you love about the area?
Roughly 12 years. I think it’s the slower pace and the diversity of the area that give me the best of all worlds. The pristine beaches through to the lush rainforests do it for me.
What products do you offer from your website?
I offer a diverse range of fine art prints on various mediums and sizes. Gift cards are in the making, and I have just started my own stock image brief for anyone interested in having a specific image for their project.
Where can we find your work?
Facebook: Drew Hopper Photography
And a few other photo online communities I’m sure you can find if you search my name.
Finally, 3 most important pieces of advice you would like to give budding landscape photographers?
• Accept constructive criticism from the professionals who know best.
• Be ruthlessly self-critical. If something isn’t good, don’t fool yourself into believing that it is. Go back and shoot it over again and again, until you get it right.
• Study the work of other photographers, not just landscape shooters, but all genres of photography.
• Practice makes perfect. The more you shoot, the quicker you’ll learn.