Each week we select and profile a photographer from our#SFGuide communityon Instagram. We believethese photographerscapture the everlasting beauty of San Francisco and the Bay Area. For a chance to be featured onour Instagram feed, or here, on49Miles.com, tag your photos with #SFGuide.
This week’s featured #SFGuide photographer is Aditya Jagtiani (@aditya.jagtiani), a Software Engineer from Mumbai, India currently residing in Foster City. Scroll down to view Aditya’s amazing work, and learn more about what inspires him as a creative.
#SFGuide Featured Artist Profile
Name: Aditya Jagtiani
Profession: Software Engineer
Place of Birth: Mumbai, India
Where do you currently reside: Foster City, CA
Something you’d like viewers to know about you: I’m a red belt in Tae Kwon Do
What is your favorite spot to shoot in San Francisco, and why?
Both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge & the several ‘secret’ rooftops in SoMa & the Financial District.
When and why did you take up photography?
I got my first camera 2 years ago before going on a trip to Colorado & didn’t do much with it at first. Eventually, I started developing a keen interest after learning more about the technical aspects of photography, the exposure triangle, retouching etc and gradually, my technique improved. I used to spend my lunch breaks watching tutorials and I’ve never looked back. Over the last year and a half, I’ve managed to shoot several landscapes, cityscapes, aerials, the Milky Way & Northern Lights, an event for my previous employer, wildlife and even a baseball game! I continue to spend my free time learning, getting inspired by the several spectacular photographers on 500px/ Instagram and further improving my technique and retouching skills.
What do you love about photography?
Photography gives me immense happiness as I get to travel and see a lot of interesting places. Even when the forecast doesn’t cooperate (which for me is 95% of the time), I try to walk away with inspiration & ideas for my next time at the same spot. Photography has also made me appreciate the little things that most people would simply ignore – a linear series of trees, the yellow line on a street, rocks at a beach, a puddle of water with a nice reflection, among others.
How do you decide what to shoot?
I’m one of those people who plans for a shoot, especially if I’m taking the time to travel to a distant destination. My Google Maps have over a hundred pinned places with exact coordinates for various photo spots in California & beyond. I’ve tried the whole walking around with my camera and shooting whatever thing, and sadly it hasn’t worked very well for me.
What’s your favorite part about going out to shoot?
Meeting other passionate photographers, trying new techniques and finding interesting angles at popular
Which location did you have the most difficulty getting to, and how did you do it?
I wanted a long exposure of the Bow River turning into the forest in Banff, Canada. There is a footbridge above the river which would have been perfect, except for the fact that there were hundreds of people walking on it and it was impossible to stabilize the camera even on a tripod. So, I hiked down through the forest to the river bank and then slowly managed to cross a series of slippery rocks to be right in the middle of this powerful river. The challenge then was to set up while constantly making sure that my gear and I don’t get washed away by the river into the wilderness. I somehow managed to set up really low and got my shot. It was terrifying, but the experience was well worth it!
What is your dream shot? (Where, what time of day, what’s in it / the subject?)
I have 2 dream shots and I’m confident I’ll get them in the near future. 1 – An underwater shot of a humpback whale swimming towards me in Tonga. 2 – A shot of the Northern Lights while standing on top of the crashed DC-3 plane wreckage in Vik, Iceland.
What is your favorite app to use for photo editing on the go, and what are your top 3
Lightroom & Photoshop. I like to use Lightroom Mobile on the go. Adobe has done a stellar job with LR mobile. I don’t use any Instagram filters/LR presets that I haven’t created myself.
How does Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspire you?
The photography community in the SF bay area is huge! I’ve been fortunate enough to attend multiple photo walks and meet some truly amazing photographers. Getting recognized for your work with features on popular hubs is important and very motivating, and that’s where communities like #SFGuide come in.
What are your favorite settings in your idea shot?
Lens: 16-35 f4L
Aperture: Depends on the scene
Shutter Speed: Again, depends (I often use a 10 stop ND filter & strongly
White Balance: Auto
Focus (Manual / Auto): Auto
Image Format (RAW / JPEG): RAW
What advice would you give to new or rising photographers that you wish you had
received when you first started?
Don’t be afraid! People often beat themselves up over how others perceive their work and end up discarding a lot of good images. Another one would be to shoot consistently and be creative. Also, spend some quality time on tutorials/books rather than purchasing the fanciest gear on the market right away. Never stop learning. I cannot emphasize this enough. The day you think you know it all and stop learning, you’re finished, and that should never happen.
What do you love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
I love the diversity of the SF Bay Area. You can travel 40 miles in any direction and not only does the weather change, the landscape changes drastically. I’m really pleased to have so many photo opportunities within touching distance.
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