Manish Mamtani is an award winning nature photographer and an Accountant. He specialises in Landscapes, Night/Astro, Aerial and Infrared Photography. He is originally from Nagpur, India and now resides in Boston, MA. He discovered his passion for photography in 2010 when he first visited Yosemite National Park. Since then he has been frequenting various National Parks across America capturing the wilderness and beauty of these majestic parks.
His work has been published in periodicals such as National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Better Photography magazine and digital Photo etc.
In his own words: “I do Landscapes, Aerial and Astro Landscapes for my love of nature. Infrared is something that brings out the artistic side in me.
Here he talks about his love for photography in detail and hopefully he will inspire many Xploring Light here who can take a leaf out of his short but illustrious photographic journey and become better photographers.
Hi Manish! Can you tell us something about yourself? How you got started in photography?
I am an avid nature photographer. I have travelled widely across exotic destinations in the US. Born and brought up in Nagpur – India, I came to the US to work as an IT/Finance consultant, and discovered my love for photography. My work includes Landscapes, Aerial, Night/Astro and Infrared and has been published in National Geographic, Vanity fair, Better Photography Magazine, Digital Photo and many more Magazines, Newspapers and online Media.
It all started after my first trip to Yosemite National Park in November of 2010. I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of the Majestic Park and after this trip; I started planning my other trips for Photography.
Who inspired you to pick up Landscape Photography as a genre and who are your mentors or influences?
The beauty of nature inspired me. I always feel at peace whenever I am close to nature. I still remember how excited I was, when I saw the Milky Way for the first time, or the Aurora Borealis or the meteor shower. I still feel the same level of excitement and this is what drives me to enjoy and capture the beauty of nature.
I do not have Mentors. Good Photographs inspire and influence me and a good photograph can be from a Professional or an amateur photographer.
What in your opinion is the key to good landscape photography? How does it differ from good photography in general?
There are a lot of things that make a good landscape photograph. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Shooting in the Magic Hour
- Mastering the Art of Composition
- Getting out of the comfort zone. Hiking to places to find unique view point.
- Using Polarizer, ND and GND filters.
- Understand the depth of field and making use of it to create sharp story telling images.
Some of these may or may not be required for good photography in General.
You keep visiting similar places for landscape photography. How do you stay motivated to click better images and how do you ensure you come back with different images of the same place?
If you are a landscape photographer, you will know that the Light changes a landscape completely. I try to shoot the same place in different seasons with different weather and light conditions. I try to be creative with my composition and always try to find a different point of view of the landscape that is shot a million times. Perfect example would be my moonrise image from Valley view in Yosemite National Park. This place is shot a million times but you will find not many images with the full moon rising over the valley on a cold winter evening.
What is that you look for very first when you start photographing a landscape?
The First thing I look for before creating any photograph is the Light. I try to shoot when the sun is low near the Horizon. Even for night sky, when the moon is low in the horizon, it creates natural glow/Light painting for the landscape.
You have shot so many beautiful places. Which is that one place you would want to keep going again and again and why?
I love the National Parks of the USA and the way wilderness is maintained here. My favorite place for Night Photography is Arches National Park in Utah because the night sky is really dark in Utah and not affected by the growing light pollution all around. For the day Landscapes, I love to visit Yellowstone National Park for its sheer wilderness and beauty.
We see lot of Astro stuff in your landscape photography. What interests you to shoot that and how do you rate that in terms of interest when compared to normal landscape and/or IR landscape photography?
I love doing it all. I take Landscape images to show how beautiful nature is and Infrared images to show how I imagine this world to be. My love for night sky is the reason I ventured into Astrophotography. Hiking in the night sky not only fulfils my appetite for adventure, but also makes me appreciate my existence amongst billions of galaxies, where our planet itself is no more than a tiny dot.
What are the three biggest mistakes you see amateur landscape photographers making?
There is always a learning curve in everything. Instead of pointing out mistakes, I would like to give three suggestions when it comes to Landscape photography.
Try to create story telling Images by using the composition rules.
Understand the histogram.
Be creative and do not copy others. Try to think out of the box.
What’s in your bag?
It depends on what I am planning to shoot but on most of the occasions, I carry Canon 5d mk iii, Canon 6d (Modified), Canon 16-35mm Lens, Canon 24-70 Lens, Canon 70-200mm lens, Rokinon 24mm f1.4, extra Batteries, Memory cards, polarizer, Flash light, water and some snacks.
Would you like to say something to aspiring photographers to help them improve.
I have seen many budding photographers running after expensive camera gear. I want to tell them that it is “YOU” that makes a great picture and not the expensive camera gear. The most important thing is to enjoy what you do.
You can find Manish Mamtani here:
Website : www.manishmamtani.com
500px : https://500px.com/mmamtani
National Geographic: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/71440/
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Manish Mamtani. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.