Her photos have caught the attention of tens of thousands of followers. Now she is headed back to where her heart is pulling her - Canadian Rockies. To top it off, she will keep company to 10 people from our upcoming photo tour. So we grilled her a little...
1/ Photography is your bread and butter. How did you take it up?
I left my job at film production in 2011 and hit the road to explore the world. I really wanted to show my family some good pictures from my travels, so I decided to buy my first DSLR. I didn’t even shoot in RAW during the first years, though, and was not using an exactly a good kit lens. So I’d say that I started to take photography more seriously in 2015... and still am on my learning path.
2/ Why Rockies? What makes you come back so bad?
It’s something out of this world - I didn’t expect it even in my wildest dreams. Seriously. Those mountains are just spectacular. For starters, there is always so much to explore, and when out there I love the feeling of wilderness with lots of space and no people around you. Cities drive me crazy and nature is where I feel best. And Canadian Rockies have it all.
3/ Where in the Rockies do you feel or stand most in awe?
I love Berg Lake and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. Frankly, not because they are the prettiest of all the places I’ve seen, but because you have to hike a bit to get there. You can also fly up there in a helicopter, but it is quite pricy, so many people can’t afford to go. Hence the complete silence and very few (or no) people around.
4/ Do you already have the one major picture, your favourite piece? How did it come to life, what’s its story?
Haha, that’s impossible to say. I just went through my album and there’s no way I can pick just one. There are too many beautiful or intense stories behind most of them :)
5/ What would be the best time to hit the Rockies for great pictures?
For me it’s definitely the autumn, best time being probably from early September till mid-October. Even the most popular spots are not that crowded, and all those larch trees begin to turn crazy golden which charges the photos with great contrast. To kick it up a notch, you can also expect some snowing and at the same time the lakes are not frozen yet, so you still get that incredible blue together with white sprinkled landscape around it. Which is super magical.
6/ Can you let the equipment out of your photography bag for us?
I am now very happy with my Canon 6D and I use the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 a lot, especially for astrophotography. For landscapes I use Canon 17-40mm f4. Also, I always carry around a polarizing filter, a remote shutter release and Sirui tripod - stable and yet a lightweight one.
7/ What are the 3 pieces of (non-photo) gear you always have on you?
A head lamp, a bear spray and a trail mix.
8/ Dreamy and moody self-portraits taken in low light are your thing... seriously, how do you do it? :-)
I never aim for dreamy mood. It probably comes from within. When I come to a place, I usually already have an idea about what the final picture will look like. And for that I need a specific light. If I don’t like the light (usually on a sunny day), I simply don’t shoot and wait for better light. Sometimes I get it in a few hours, sometimes no luck in a whole week. Later, I play with RAW files in Lightroom, highlighting or darkening certain spots on the photo.
9/ What makes Rockies a must-see in your eyes?
If you’ve never been there, then you’ll be totally amazed by their beauty. It’s beyond description. Rockies are simply one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever been to and if you get the right light or capture the right mood, I promise you will be bringing home some really stunning photos.
Last but not least...
There is always a first time for everything. Come explore the Rockies with us and let Martina prove herself right. And if you’ve already been there, you know we’re not wasting our breath - let the epic wild of Canadian wilderness sink into your lens on our photo tour this fall. What’s more, Martina will be joining us as a tutor and guide you through this amazing piece of land that never ceases to amaze photographers all over the world.