Tell us about your significance with Instagram and other Social Media. What does it bring to your adventures and photography?
My large following on Instagram and other social media channels encourages me to keep exploring new places and documenting them, not for myself, but so I can bring people along with me. It has also made the world a lot smaller. I have countless friends from all over the globe, all because of a shared love and passion for capturing and documenting our surroundings through the medium of photography.
How do you find collaboration photography different to solo?
Collaboration photography is an interesting endeavor. In a weird way, it is like combining two (or more) very distinct visions into a singular one. So unlike personal work, the beginning stages of brainstorming take much longer than usual. But what comes out of it is often a refined perspective. Seeing something in the way that another sees it is not just an important thing in photography, it is a discipline that we should engage with in our daily lives.
What sort of stories do you look for in your photography?
I look for complexity and depth in my photographs. This is seen more tangibly in my landscape images but I was pushed in this when I went to Africa in May to work for a non-profit, documenting the schools and students that they sponsor in Kenya and Zimbabwe. There, the background wasn’t what contained the complexity and the depth: it was the faces of the young children I met – their smiles, their eyes, their varied emotions. It was a challenge but I came away ecstatic over the images I created: because they captured authenticity, which to me anyway is the acknowledgement that life is complicated, and often time contains a paradox of feelings, joy accompanied with sorrow, laughter with tears, you get the idea.
What is your favourite adventure that your photography has taken you to?
The greatest adventure that my photography took me on / played a large part in would have to be my 2012 US roadtrip. My photography work allows me to work from anywhere, and with that freedom it seemed a waste not to take to the road. So at the end of 2011 I sold my car and majority of my belongings, and bought a 1984 VW Vanagon. Over the next month I built a livable interior and workspace, and by February I was homeless.
I would spend the next 8 months living in my Vanagon and traveling the US. Photographing what this country had to offer. Over the following months I got to see the United States in a way that I fear many people do not. Photographing surfers and sunsets in Santa Cruz, exploring Yosemite valley, sleeping beneath the stars in the wide open landscapes of Moab, Arches, Joshua Tree, and Zion.
Long miles of open plains through the midwest, while push starting the Vanagon due to starter issues along with boarding up the solar panel in preparation for a tornado and hail in Oklahoma. I would see swamps for the first time in South Carolina, and the Atlantic coast line for the first time in Charleston. I slept in driveways provided by Couch Surfers, and roadsides provided by small neighborhoods.
The trip gave me a chance to photography Yosemite, Arches, Zion, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, and so many smaller parks across the country. It was the best choice I have ever made and my photography allowed it to happen. Some of the work from that trip still gets sold from time to time, helping me to save for my 2015 trip Iceland!
Ondrej Cernin Prague, Czech Republic Canon EOS 60D
Tell us about your process with these moment-in-time timelapse gifs, right from setting up to producing the final image. What usually inspires you to create these?
Although landscapes tend not to change too quickly, I’ve always been fascinated by how quickly the surrounding environment can change in a day, hours or even within minutes, and completely alter the resulting view. When you compare two photos taken from the same place, but at completely different times, the difference tends to be staggering. This is why I have tried to capture these transformations with timelapses.
Whenever I decide to put my camera down on a tripod and start filming, it typically means that I have come across a remarkable view that not only I would like to document, but also enjoy, as compared to taking photos, the long process of waiting a long time for filming allows me to sit down and actually enjoy my surroundings (despite always having to make sure the battery of my camera has not died yet). Not all situations are ideal for taking timelapses, as some sort of a change in the landscape is needed or else the timelapse simply looks like a photo, which is why scenes full of moving clouds, waves, people or even the sun are ideal. Then, after the fun part in the field comes the task of speeding up the video, and then exporting the frames into photoshop in order to make the gifs, which is always tricky in finding the right frame rate in order to portray the beauty of change in the landscape correctly.