I’m happy to introduce a new series to my photography website where I introduce a photographer and their work to you. It’s my intention to create a new category over on the left hand side of the site so you can access the Guest Artist blogs all in the one place.
My first guest artist is Miguel K who is a photographer practicing his craft in New York City. I first noticed his work on Google+ where he is a part of many communities on there and also has his own website ThePhotoExplorer.com where he posts photography blogs and links to great tutorials by adobe and other prominent educational aids quite regularly. What’s great about his work is how it takes us deep into the city, giving us views down alleyways or street corners not often seen but he also adds his own spin on well known photo locations. He tops off this peak into the city with very moody processing which has a touch of the retro to it. Some of his latest work is also HDR which is what initially drew me to it in the first place as I too am a HDR artist. I though the best way for us to get to know more about him and his process would be to present him with a Q&A that was aimed at being informative and almost instructional to other photographers reading this blog.
So with out further ado here is what Miguel K had to say in response to the Questions I sent all the way across the Pacific Ocean to him:
Miguel K- I predominately go by my nickname Miguel K vs. Michael K.
San Francisco- Golden Gate Bridge, An HDR image by Miguel K
Q1- What got you started in Photography?
I have always had some type of off and on involvement with photography since I was young. I generally love to take pictures and look at them later; it’s the stopping of time that really fascinated me the most. Growing up my family moved around a lot in North America and Canada because of military involvement. I always like to explore our new neighborhood and take pictures when possible. In High School I was part of the schools newspaper and yearbook, so I took pictures at sporting events and other school activities.
Another aspect of photography I use to be involved in was event photography in Los Angeles about a decade ago. I created a website that promoted and produced partnered nightclub events. Naturally, the sites biggest draw was the picture gallery; this experience and networking led to public relations assignments and red carpet event coverage.
Once I relocated back to New York; I took a hiatus from photography for a little while. I only took pictures on certain holidays, extreme snow days or what I call my all-day walk around the city and just take photos by myself. Now, it’s called “photowalks….LOL”.
Over the years, I started seeing these new types of images called HDR. The colors, tones and lights in the buildings really fascinated me. So, like anybody else interested in this type of photography; I started doing research and came across Trey Ratcliff’s website and like they say “the rest was history”. I basically spent a lot time trying to learn everything about HDR photography and develop my own style.
During this time I was also heavily involved with Instagram, taking pictures and learning how to do HDR on mobile devices, but I really wanted to enhance my skill-set using computer software like Photomatix, Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik Collection (Nik Software back then) and Topaz Labs etc.
Q2 – What is your main camera and which lens is it usually paired with?
Currently, a Nikon D7000 and a kit lens.
Q3 – What is your favourite piece of camera equipment and why?
Besides my camera body, I would say my Manfrotto (055XPROB) tripod. We all know the difference a tripod makes in your image quality, especially in HDR and night photography.
Q4 – Where do you go for inspiration on and off the internet, and what can you recommend to others for sources of inspiration?
I like to go to B&H event classes on 9th Ave and 34th St, attend trade shows and sometimes photowalks in NYC. Online there’s such a wealth of information available for photographers, it’s unbelievable. I am a huge fan of StuckInCustoms.com and HDRSpotting.com. I like to watch video tutorials from a variety of sources:
- Adobe TV for Lightroom and Photoshop
- Nik Collection webinars
- Topaz Labs webinars
- B&H YouTube Channel
- VSCO Film
- Google +
Q5- Can you recommend to my readers some photographers to follow to help them further their own skills?
Q6- When you head out the door with your camera what do you set out to do?
It depends on my mood, sometimes I plan out my shots in advance and other times I do not. My objective is to reach that goal no matter what. I aggressively perused a recent night photography mission; I wanted to take a long exposure photos in Brooklyn Bridge Park and light trails images on 39th & Park Ave, this was my only objective. On other days, if I am doing what I call freestyle photos.
I split NYC into a visual grid and just select locations I want to photo. I could end up in The High Line Park, Governors Island or Flushing Meadows Park. The challenging thing about New York City is that a lot of photographers and tourist take the same pictures over and over again of different New York City landmarks and locations. So, I try to set out and find picture locations we might see all the time; but I add my own twist to the photo.
Q7- What are your favorite photo editing software programs at the moment?
I use all the leading post-processing software available on the market. Lightroom 5 is my most favorite program because within LR I can launch all other programs etc…
- Lightroom 5
- Photoshop CS6
- HDRsoft Photomatix Pro – You can get a 15% Discount on Photomatix with the code LukeZemePhotography
- NIK Collection by Google
- Topaz Labs – Get 15% off ALL Topaz Labs software with the coupon LukeZemePhotography
- VSCO Films
- On1 Photo
- Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom Preset Packs
Q8- If you could give one HOT tip to upcoming photographers what would it be?
Learn as much as possible from the pros and develop your own style.
Q9- What is your favorite image that you have taken? (I will post it in the blog)
I really like the below long exposure photo taken in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Brooklyn Bridge Park- NYC. By Miguel K.
This next image from Miguel is an awesome shot using many tools from his photographic arsenal. It’s also from NYC and I’m sure you can guess the tower building reflected in the glass.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did ! It’s always cool to get to know a little more about an artist and the way in which they tick.
If you like Miguel K’s work or just want to show your love you can leave a response below.
Looking forward to sharing another guest artist blog with you all soon.