Interview With a Photographer: Niklas Siemens

Where’s home?

Currently I call home a small town near Linz, Austria but originally I am from Berlin, Germany

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

There are a lot favourites (beside Austria) but I'm gonna highlight 3 of them: I really like the Julian Alps in Slovenia for its untouched nature. It is a hidden gem and there are not many tourist around. The Dolomites in Italy also never fails to impress, the most beautiful mountain ranges I have seen so far. Last but not least Cornwall in England also really caught my eye for its beautiful sunsets.

How did you get started as a photographer?

There have been two paths that led me into this world: The first one was through school in a subject called “media” where we produced short films amongst other things and so I got my hands on cameras for the first time. The other way was after I digitalised and edited pictures my parents took during their world travel back in 1993 I started to get my first DSLR to capture impressions from places I go on my own.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I recently switched to Sony Full Frames as I really like how well it handles both photo and video. I also use a DJI Phantom drone for all aerials and a GoPro for scenes that can’t be done so easy with the other 2 cameras mentioned, like mounting it on a car etc. Photo editing is done in Lightroom and Photoshop and for videos I use Final Cut Pro. A must have is the (now free) Nik Collection for Adobe, especially using their Colour Efex tool a lot.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

There are a lot but I guess Chris Burkhard is a good example but also people like Andrew Studer, Jason Charles Hill, Aaron Brimhall and Ravi Vora are a big inspiration.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Post continuously and engage with your audience while creating inspiring high quality content will push your account forward. Stand out from the crowd with defining your own style and try to show known places (or better discover new ones) into a new light with different perspectives. And do not forget to connect with people offline as well, I made a lot of new friends and even worked together with some of the guys I first just met online.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Showing others what fun and epic adventures I went on and that they should start exploring on their own. I often place people with their backs into my pictures to give others a scale to orientate on how big or small a place is and that others can easily imagine standing there on their own.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I like traveling, roaming the outdoors and exploring places with and without camera but it is pushing you forward when others like your work and give kind feedback.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers? 

The first few thousand clicks are the worst, it is a learning by doing process - you cannot become a pro over night. So just go out and practice shooting for improvement.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

After finishing school and doing my civilian service I am now doing photography and filmmaking full time and it is everything I could ever dreamed of. My goal is that I can still do this for a living in 10 years and visit some more beautiful places on this planet meanwhile.

To see more of Niklas' work, here is his Instagram link (http://instagr.am/sieklas) and YouTube link (http://youtube.com/c/NiklasSiemens).

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