We kick of the year with our latest featured
photographer Kaidi Niit.
Kaidi joined GCC back in January 2014 and remains an active and valued member our club.
We took a time out to ask her a few questions about her
photographic journey so far...
Q1. Tell us a bout yourself and what made you join GCC...
Kaidi: I am from a little Estonian island called Saaremaa and as long as I remember, always had an interest in photography. My uncle had film cameras (Zenit, Fed, Smena) and a dark room, so I am really lucky to have albums full of childhood photos. Then later my best friend had one of the first digital cameras that was available but I was the one who used it most. She still has CD-s full of my snapshots. I bought my first digital camera with my first salary and never left home without it. When I moved to Ireland I saw an article in Bray People about GCC and knew I wanted to join. I have learned so much since joining the club thanks to the inspiring and helpful members.
Q2. What type of photography do you do most? What do you enjoy most and why?
Kaidi: My favourite type of photography is landscape and seascape and I love to go back to the same spots to find different angles every time. I also enjoy exploring new places, because Ireland's nature is so versatile. Second favourite type would be taking portraits in natural light to capture persons real personality.
Lately I am really into creating images and stories in Photoshop. Completely different genre with endless opportunities. I like to use my sunrise/sunset photos as a background to give them a different life. Since joining the club, I find myself looking my native country completely different way and see beauty where use to be "nothing special".
Q3. Among all the images you have taken, do you have a favourite? Why?
Kaidi: It is really hard to choose one, because each favourite image has its own story. But if I really have to pick one, it would be the one I took this summer when I was back home. It was the time of summer when days were the longest and it only goes dark for couple of hours. That field is behind my mothers apartment and perfect for sunset pictures. It is my favourite image, because it captures the essence of the long summer days that I miss when living in Ireland.
Q4. How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
Kaidi: Youtube tutorials are my favourite way to learn new skills and tricks. My favourites are KelbyOne, SLR Lounge and PHLEARN. I love to take part of workshops to get fresh ideas. I advanced the most when I was preparing for my L panel. Before that I felt that Photoshop was a challenging program, now I see it as a great tool to get the results I want.
Q5. In the field, do you have a preferred shooting mode?
Kaidi: I tend to shoot in Aperture mode. Landscapes between F11-F16, depending on the location, light and also the result I have in mind. I create my images backwards. First comes the idea and then I find a way to create it. Shutter speed depends on F number. ISO 100-300, white balance auto. Focus is most of the time Auto, except when I use my macro lens. To get better result,I find it easier to focus manually. Since I discovered how much more I can do with the Raw file, jpeg is a history.
Q6. What kind of tools do you use for post processing?
Kaidi: Lightroom and Photoshop. It is a work in progress and I am pushing myself to learn how to use the tools in both programs. And thanks to fellow club member Jane, I use the 'Snapseed' app on my phone.
Q7. Whose work has influenced you most in recent times?
Kaidi: My biggest inspirational influence is Rosie Hardy, a young creative photographer from UK. Her ideas and concepts are so unique and creative. Also award winning nature photographer Remo Savisaar, and well known Elena Shumilova. The way she captures people in natural environment is exceptional.
Q8. When you go away on holiday, what camera gear do you bring with you? Why?
Kaidi: I take my Nikon D7200, 18-105mm and 50mm lens. With them I can usually get the images I am after and are not too heavy to carry.
Q9. Among the photography gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn't bought? Why?
Kaidi: A tripod bag. I have only used it once. When going out to shoot I attach my tripod to the camera bag.
Q10. Finally, What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
Kaidi: I wish I had kept the original photo files I took with my first camera, not only the ones I processed. Now they look over saturated and cropped in wrong way. Would love to process some of them in a different way. Oh well, you live and you learn :)
You can see many more of Kaidi's photo's over on her Flickr Photostream. Click here to visit Kaidi's photostream.